NACHI Roofing Course

I just finished the course and as you all know the recommendation is to not walk tile roofs. Living in the S.W it seems as though the majority of the houses are now two story with tile roofs. I have walked the roofs in each case with one exception and that was because my ladder just wouldn’t reach. Each time I found exposed timber that could only be seen by laying down and looking back under the tile.

Many of these homes have fire places and I don’t see how anyone can inspect a chimney from a ladder. Some house you can’t even see the chimney unless you are on the roof.

The course also stated that all roofs should have drip edge flashing. I see many new homes with tile roofs and no metal drip edge flashing. Instead they use 1" x 5/8" lumber nailed to the top of the facia.

Would most of you stay off the roof? Would you call out the lack of metal drip edge flashing? What would you say about the chimney flashing on a roof you didn’t walk?


We had this discussion on another thread. But let me ask you would you walk on this tile roof? I know I would not.

I would take a close look from the ladder. If I thought I could safely get to the flashing I would.


I would just use a neighbors house or in this case a Bar/Restaurant rooftop patio!!!


You will get many pros and cons about walking on roof systems (and most inspectors on this board will disagree with me). I personally walk every roof I can. I would definely walk the roof listed above. Here in Florida there are many roofs that look fine from the ground, but when you get up on them all the ridge tiles are loose, there are cracked tiles, previous (undisclosed by the seller) repairs, loose tiles, slipping tiles, and other defects. I dont see how you cannot walk on them.

In lieu of walking on a roof, you can hire an independent roofer to come out with you and inspect the roof. Down here there area a few of them who do this for a living and charge a nominal fee, as they generally pick up a good percentage of the reapirs needed.

**Bill, I agree with you. It is difficult to find a loose ridge cap with a pair of binoculars.

Gary, walking the roof is not required of a HI however I would suggest that if you are comfortable doing so then walk on. I have spent every day for many years working on roofs, I am very comfortable walking around on top even on roofs others may not be to happy to be on. HOWEVER, we must not forget that magician and his white tiger!, this point is made by very many here on the board and it is quite valid.

What is the value of walking the roof for the customer compared to the risk we assume. When I spent lots of time on the roofs, I was often tied off or had slide guards in place…as an inspector what measures for saftey do we use? I heard that…none.

I know of certain homes built by certain builders that I look for certain things on…it sounds to me like you have run into a serial builder, maybe you can defer to the roofing pro when you encounter these homes. Look at it from the ladder at the eave and then send it out.

As for the metal drip edge being necessary on all roof edges (eave and rake) it is not. I have found this to be a territorial thing, some areas abosolutely think it is a waste of beer cans, while others think it is the future of them. It is recommended by most manufacturers however with the exeption of special applications and materials there are alternatives to using it. Typically the edge of the roofing material will extend further out over said edge than it would for a home with metal drip edges installed.

If a manufacturer has drip edges as a requirement in their installation guide (seems most do) wouldn’t that void the warranty if not installed to mfr’s specs?

…That would and should be stated in the manufacturers specs and warranty info, if not specifically stated then there should be no problem.

Remember the function of the drip-edge, it directs runoff water out and away from the eave and rake boards, by directing the water outward it reduces the capillary effect that can allow water back in under the shingles to the wood deck by directing this water on top of the underlayment, it serves to cover the top of the fascia if the face boards are wrapped, it closes the edge of the roof sheathing from the weather when a finish has not been achieved using trim boards. And it achieves a standard ‘lip’ for the many roofers to cut off by which in turn helps to maintain a minimum overhang of the shingle that is conducive to the roof performing properly.

A roof can be installed and work properly if the proper amount of roofing material is allowed to overhang the face board…we are looking for not less than 1/2 inch yet not to exceed 1 inch, this amount can vary according to the product and the placement (eave or rake).