Let’s say you are inspecting a house with an attic that has limited access or even a flat roof. It is a dry day with no recent rain. You see no signs of leaks in the attic (from what you can see). The interior ceiling is clean and unstained.
A few weeks later, your customers have moved in. It is raining daily and they now have a drip from the ceiling.
What disclaimers/narratives do you put in your report to cover yourself?
How would you respond if they called you and told you you missed the leak?
Why would the client need you if you are going to tell them to get a roofing contractor to inspect the roof prior to contingency. They hired you to inspect the roof. If the roof is older and there are no stains, was the ceiling recently painted. Tell them to get a written disclaimer from the seller. They certainly should know if the roof was leaking. You can only ilnspect and report what you see. Telling then to hire another guy to inspect what they paid you to inspect is just wrong.
Actually, Michael, I was thinking attic when I wrote that but if you can’t fit into the attic, a roofer probably couldn’t either.
Along with declaiming any area that I couldn’t inspect and stating why, I may recommend that they question, and get in writing, the owner regarding leaks.
I have, however, inspected many new or newer roofs that leaked.
The inspector could not inspect the “X” portion of the attic because there was no access visible.
Or, the inspector could not inspect the bottom of the roof sheathing and rafter sections because the bottom of the rafters were covered with drywall/etc.
So the inspector knows nothing about the condition of, and cannot report on, those areas that were not visible at the time of inspection…or, some such.
My contract/agreement that everyone signs says “The report is representative of the inspector’s opinion of the observable conditions on the day of the inspection. While this inspection may reduce your risks of home ownership, it is not an insurance policy, warranty or guarantee on the home.”
My report I send to the client says “The home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and is not a predictor of future conditions.*
The home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those defects observed on the date of the inspection.” Standard Internachi stuff that pretty much covers a roof leaking several months after an inspection.
In the case of something as potentially a big an issue as a roof leaking I would say as little as possible, non committal, until I had reviewed the report for the inspection, all the pictures etc. I took, AND went back to see the leak for myself. ("Gee, it kinda looks like Hurricane Brittany blew your roof off last week, too bad, so sad, but not my problem.’ Or maybe it will be “OMG! The roof I inspected is next door!, Excuse me while I call my E&O insurance agent.”)
I recommend you refresh on what is required by a building inspector.
I follow this routine.
Inspectors are not tradespersons or technicians.
The home inspection is a limited non-destructive observation of the building the day of the inspection.
The inspection does not predict but observe the condition of the exposed structures, system and components the inspector can freely observe during a predetermined time.
Observation: The asphalt shingle/bur,shake/metal roof appeared to have no major concerns the day of the inspection.
Recommendation: Asphalt Roof coverings, as well as many roof covering surfaces, including flashing, caulk and seals, should be inspected yearly by a trades professional during the yearly whole house maintenance schedule.
Limitation: Confined space, vaulted ceiling, drywall, insulation, etc.
So just out of curiosity, what are you trying to tell me. I told him to report exactly what he sees. That is what he is paid to do. Seeing nothing and then telling your client to have a roofng contractor come out and inspect the roof again only costs your client more money. If there was a stain or a leak, then that is another story. Reocmmending yearly inspections is different from what he was asking. What is it exactly that I need to refresh on.
Note: Opinions stated herein concerning the roof are in regard to the general condition of the roofing surface as evidenced by our visual review at the time of the inspection. These do not constitute a guarantee or warranty as to whether the roof leaks or may be subject to leaking.
Roof pitches are not calculated.
Im confused. Isn’t the roof part of your standards or practice. The last time i looked it was in there. There for they are hiring you to inspect the roof and give your opinion on it. That would include repair or replacement. Asking the seller about a stain on the roof is nothing more than seeking a disclosure. If you defer every roof out that you inspect to a licnesed roofer with no appearant problems, why did your client hire you. They hired us because we are professional home inspectors. If you are not comforable inspecting roofs, put a roofing contractor on your payroll as part of your team, but give the customer what they paid for.