Not getting on the roof drawbacks?

Hey folks, I have a problem getting on roofs. I typically don’t like the heights, and my balance is really thrown off due to being skittish up there. I have a drone that i use to do roof inspections, but amazingly it is always windy outdoors. Have any of you experienced negative feedback because you didn’t walk the roof, and inspected it from the eaves, etc?

You need to find another profession if you can’t walk on roofs.

Yep. If you are just starting out, quit while you are ahead. It is an integral part of the job.

Some we walk, Some we don’t.

35% of the time its too steep, snow or ice covered, wet from recent rain, too tall to safely access, etc. Sometimes its got a bitty bit of deterioration and it needs repair SO its useless wasted time walking it.

So in answer to your question … Have heard NO blowback for about 18 yrs or so if we chose to not walk one.

I would have to agree.

Although I admit, when I started, the thought of going into crawlspaces under the house freaked me out. Now I do it so often I don’t think about it. So it’s possible to get over the uneasiness of it. You just put your mind to it.

Personally I walk every roof possible, even with snow on them. I also used to build bridges ( I still don’t like heights ). But I like to do a little more than my local competition. Agents love to refer me because I put in the extra work for their clients. I’m always safe.

Do what you are comfortable doing, put in the work with a ladder from the eaves until you get comfortable or hire someone who’s done roofing before?

I see guys show up without a ladder… Out work them! Good luck

Get a pole and wifi camera.
Spectoscope Version 3.0

I walk when I can, have a 20x zoom wifi camera and a 20’ pole.


Won’t quit Master Inspector.

Thank you kindly, I respect that answer, and it sure helps. :smiley:

Love that idea, thanks man!

I have to disagree with finding another profession. I think i’m VERY good at the rest of the inspection process, just uneasy. I do agree however that its possible i can get over it. I DO get on roofs, I just am very uncomfortable on them, anything over 1 story. Thanks for the tips!

This is great motivation. Kudos to those who can do it even when they don’t like heights…Out work them…I’ll remember that.

-X Not gonna quit…gonna take these other helpful folks ideas and try to overcome it if i can. If not, i’ll find another way.

I also disagree with finding another profession even though I will walk most roof when safe. There is other way to inspect a roof without walking it (e.g. pole, high zoom cameras,). You will also get used to walking roof in time but don’t get tooo comfortable; an accident can happen very quickly…

Adam, hold on there young fellow. Inspectors like Roy, Stephen, and Ian, feel comfortable on a roof, because of their years of experience (it’s what works for them and seperates them from their competitors). I use to be a roofer for years and I ask that you listen to my advice: Never, Ever get “to comfortable on a roof”, that’s when accidents happen that could have been prevented. Always, always, always pay attention to your surroundings. This pertains to any part of the home inspection process but especially on roof inspections. Get someone who knows what they are doing to show you how to safely get on and off a roof. Never, ever, ever walk backwards while on a roof. Make sure that your ladder is set up properly (InterNACHI has a good short video on this). Buy you a couple of good bungee cords and tie off your ladder. Please note: Valleys are not as steep as the rest of the roof. This is a good place for you to start.

Inspectors like Dan, Casey, Marcel, Terrill, and I will walk roofs, when safe to do so. I have carried a pair of high powered binoculars with me for 22 years now, because there are times when I cannot traverse the roof safely. I too carry a camera pole.

Your job is too inspect the roof and inspect it thoroughly, but nowhere does it state on how you are to do that. I don’t know what state you are in so you may want to update that on your InterNACHI profile. To my knowledge no state or association’s standards of practice require any inspector to walk on roofs. A good handful of inspectors like to walk the roof to see how the roof “feels under their feet”. Does it feel spongy, bouncy, etc.?

You are a new inspector Adam and you are going to learn everytime you go out there. You are going to make some mistakes infact, there will be quite a few. Where you never want to make a mistake is when your life is concerned. Start off walking roofs with a low slope and 1 story. Work your way up to 2 stories when it is not windy and when you have somebody there to look out for you buddy.

You remind me off a “younger me” with your persistance, enthusiasm and determination. I will not advise you on finding another profession, like a few above have. Don’t get me wrong, I respect those men to no end and I know exactly what they are saying. Those guys are legends along with Dan “The Man” Bowers. For those items that you cannot inspect thoroughly because you could not safely walk the roof, disclaim those in your inspection report.

Your #1 thing to do on every inspection is to make sure that you come home safely. Never, ever forget that. So a couple of inspectors don’t agree with your way of thinking. Don’t sweat it (trust me). You will always have a handful of people who don’t agree with you or do things differently. Listen to those guys and learn. That’s not to say to do exactly what this inspector says or what that inspector says. Beat to your own drum man. Believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will.

Wishing you the best Adam Shoop. Stay safe man and Never, Ever give up. Keep pushing forward and learn every chance that you get.

1 day that might catch up with you. Stay safe man.


I typically don’t get on any roof 8:12 or more. That being said, if I have any type of doubt for whatever reason, I won’t get on the roof - including just having a gut feeling that I don’t feel safe. Of course this time of year, we’re dealing with snow and ice, which limits the inspection further. I will view the roof from all eaves and take a lot of pictures, and I also use a drone when possible.

One thing that I always explain to clients if don’t get on the roof, is that my wife has a policy that I come home safe everyday. It definitely helps the client understand better the risks involved, and it adds the human factor into the situation.

As Michael stated, don’t ever get too comfortable. I’ve worked in a factory for over 26 years, and most of the major accidents that happen are people who have performed a task hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and they just take things for granted and get comfortable with their situations.


To each his own policy … I got a good buddy inspector in another state that climbs 10/12 roofs dry AND brags plus has pics of him on 8/12 roofs with 4"-6" of snow covering the entire thing. He’s very proud he goes where the other inspector competition in his area DOES NOT TREAD.

He is really proud of getting on a snow covered roof and brushing off 2’ square to take a pic of the shingles AND tells me how impressed the buyers and used house commissioned sales people are BECAUSE if they had used the OTHER inspectors they would NOT know squat about the roofs condition.

Well after 35 yrs inspecting, my tactful comments to him are … **You’re Nuts. **You still don’t know CRAP about the roof other than what type it is in the 2’ square area PLUS you could have fallen and got seriously **MESSED **up. If you worked for me and I found out you’d done that **WE **would have 1 “come to Jesus talk” and if it EVER happened again you’d be GONE.

By the way my buddy (who is a good inspector) has been sued 4 times in 20 years and gave back $$$$ on several other occasions BECAUSE he lets the buyer and REA get too HIGH of EXPECTATIONS.

I don’t … Folks Here is What I can **DO **/ Here’s what I’m **NOT **gonna do. If that doesn’t work with them, **THEY **will not hurt my feelings going elsewhere.

Well that isn’t necessarily true. I hate getting on the roof. There are roofs that I will not get on. Never with snow, never when wet and covered with fir needles or moss. I don’t like heights but understand that the roof is an integral part of the inspection. I am a big fan of 2nd or 3rd story windows that have access to the roof.