Professional: Must walk roof?

“I have cracked cement tiles twice and will not walk them anymore”

Welcome to the club. I cracked two tiles today. Will I pay for them - no. The roof I inspected today had approximately 25 percent of the tiles loose and some slipping. Had I not walked the roof I never would have known. By the way - this is a 4 year old roof. Most of the damage probably came from Hurricane Wilma. Someone when up there and trie to do a cheapo repair job. I do not want to get into an argument with Russell, but, to me, not walking the roof is a dis-service to my client, and I will continue to do so.

I find solar panel installers and repairpersons are often offenders as well.

Like many of you, I walk roofs that are safe to walk. In Illinois, we are licensed and are required to walk a roof, if accessible from a window or door onto the roof. If we do not walk the roof, we are to enter the info in the report why we did not walk the roof. Not a problem with this type of requirement.

I have had only one complaint from a client and he let me and everybody else know about it on Service Magic. I could see problems from the ground with binocs and from the eave with a ladder. (I was called after he contacted two roofing companies to check his roof, both telling him the same thing. He needed the west side of the roof re-installed many loose shingles in a 10 x 4 area, the reveal was not wide enough per best standards, and the valleys were installed incorrectly.)

He had purchased the home within the last six months, without a home inspection. I believe I was there to make the determination if the roofing guys were telling him the truth and to tell him to fix it. When I told him what I found, same thing as the roofers, he said thanks, paid the bill and I think that’s it. I even forwarded the phone number of a roofing company that had taught a great class at our Chicago NACHI chapter meeting three days prior to offer yet another option. His rating for me was that I would only look at things from the ladder as I too lazy to walk the roof, didn’t know my stuff, and was pricey.

To make a long story longer, he agreed to the price prior to my arrival. I even stated since I didn’t walk the roof, I’d knock off some money, which he refused. (I did walk the roof after discussion with him and found exactly what the roofing companies found as mentioned prior in this post. Still offering him the chance at a lower fee.). Remember, I told him the same problems, without knowing what the roofers had stated. ( I did check the attic, which the roofers did not do, and could not find any water intrusion, which he liked that idea. Of course no mention from him in his eval.)

Oh well, what’s an inspector to do. I’ll chalk this one up as experience and will improve upon my inspections and deliver on my promises.

Blaine - Five ways:

(a) its low enough my 17’ Little Giant gets me to it;
(b) I’ve been told its tall and I SPECIALLY bring my 28’ Werner;
© My 28’ Werner won’t get to the warehouse roof - I have their forklift or highloader raise me to the roof;
(d) they don’t have a lift - they can hire a cherry picker to get me onto the roof and they can pay for it; OR
(e) they can call a roofer

(f) 10 years ago the 6th way was to throw the rope over the roof corner, anchor it to my truck winch and walk/pull myself up - too hard anymore.

Up to 8/12 pitch. Never on metal, tile, slate or shake. 200lbs at age 64, been walking roofs and top plates much of my life. Don’t have a death wish. Do have a desire to do the best possible job for my clients. If it can be walked, I will.

Don’t see many flat roofs around here. One in three years on a townhome. Brand new. As flat is less than 6/12, I had no problem getting on this one. Had I been unable to reach it with my ladder, I would have noted it and regretably moved on.

Beautiful! You deserve a margarita.

You definitely are on my “when we meet let’s sit down and have a margarita together” list.

Well, I check roofs from the ground, with ladders, and with binoculars. Note the commas in there, meaning I’ll use three different methods to check a roof.

For single stories, I set my ladder up just like for any other roof.

For second stories, I’ve always been able to find a second-story patio and/or another vantage point from a neighborhing yard, a hillside, etc.

The flat roofs are the easiest to inspect because there aren’t any hidden locations.

Also in my climate, a standard recommendation in my report for flat roofs is that, notwithstanding anything I say in my report, they should have the roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor before close of escrow. I educate them about why, and I educate them about roofs in San Diego again in the special roof section of my [Interactive Report System]( for NACHI members.pdf).

That’s great. I don’t think anyone is telling you not to walk a roof. I think we non-walkers are explaining why we don’t walk roofs.

Considering all the licensed roofing contractors who get injured and killed each year from falling off roofs, and me not being a licensed roofing contractor, I think it is more likely to happen to me than it is to them. So if it happens to them too often for my comfort level, and for the comfort level of my life insurance and AD&D insurance, then I simply am not going to do it.

You can do virtually anything within the law if one manages one’s Clients’ expectations. It’s when one fails to manage those expectations that one gets oneself into trouble.

So I have no problem with anyone walking on roofs. I don’t as a home inspector, and never will as long as home inspectors are not licensed in this state and as long as my life insurance and AD&D insurance excludes such activity, even as part of my profession since I’m in an unlicensed profession where parts of my profession fall under the purview of licensed professions in the State of California.

Cable installers and “professional Holiday light installers” are the worst around here.

Fall once and I promise you won’t want to fall again. Heck, if you’ve never fallen, you should never want to do it once.

Remember what the real risk is, it is not getting sued or having to pay a little money, it is getting seriously injured. If that happens, a thing called perspective happens.

If we have to walk, which I will do only if it is a flat roof, a one story, and completely safe, try to keep a perspective before it finds you. The most expensive that could happen is to not be able to inspect another home.

I only walk on the roofs that are easily accessible, like bungalows or bi-levels with an attached garage for ease of getting from one level to another. First of all, heights just aren’t my bag. They cause a small wet spot to appear in my jeans in the crotch area:shock: If the roof is wet/frosty/snow covered, or if it’s windy…not a chance. I also found I can determine shingle age and condition just as good or better by studying the shingle from the eave without having to transfer from ladder to roof which is the most danger-est part, I feel. After all my eyes are only inches from the shingle when at the eave, verses 5-6’ away if your standing on top of the shingles.

I also make up for it by checking out the attic more thoroughly to compensate for my not walking the roof. The attic can tell you just as much or more by way of staining etc. Every try and find a leak in a roof from the outside? Way easier if you check the attic first, then go up and try an pin point the spot. A good pair of binoculars (15 power) also comes in handy for those 2 story/ high pitch roofs. It’s also possible to get a pretty good look on some 2 story homes through a window, depending on the style/layout of the home.

If I was comfortable walking roofs, I would do it. BUT I’m not,…and I know my limitations.:wink:

Very good perspective on things.

My only difference is that I use a 75x binoculars which you can get at a good bird-watching store.

I’m amazed at the prices for common items that places like Professional Equipment and even NACHI charge home inspectors. Equally good, sometimes far better, equipment, usually at far better prices can be found at the sporting goods stores. If it’s rugged enough for hikers, swimmers, divers, backpackers, rock climbers, mountain climbers, etc., I suspect that it is rugged enough for me. And at half the price.

Totally agree on the price thing RR. Go to specialty shops or tool stores and be prepared to dish it out. Rechargable 1Mil candle power flashlights for example…Canadian tire reg. price 29.99, on a good sale which is 3 or 4 times a year 9.99 You can’t beat that, I buy 10 at a time and I’m good for the year. When they crap out…trash’em.

By the way…75 X binoculars for bird watching…Holy crap man, are you trying to analyze the bird poop to see what they’ve been eating or what:shock::shock::p:p

I don’t walk roofs.

If possible I do walk roofs .

With so many years experience framing and roofing, I am quite comfotable on most pitches. At 9/12 and above, I dont get off the ladder. For storey, a good set of binoculars works for me.

So you probably don’t need 75x binoculars. Unless you’re a bird watcher. :wink:

I have never ever met a person who could a pair of 75* binoculars. I have a 25 power scope on a try pod for those roof I will not walk or can not walk . I also have never me a person who could hold a 25 power scope steady enough to see. I expect you Binoculars are 7.5 power.
I used to have an 8 power on a varmint rifle and with it I used a by pod to help hold it steady.