Professional: Must walk roof?

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.


The current model is 20x80. The older model (mine) is 20x75. I guess those are actually 20x, right?

Anyway, they are very easy to use.

They might not offer them north of the border.

The first number is always the magnification…the second number is the size of the lens…80mm in this case or 75 in the case of yours.

Hard as hell to focus from less than 100 feet also…

Hunting comes in handy afterall…

I bought mine at a Discovery-type store in Houston earlier this year when everyone else was at the National Convention. The reason why I bought them was because they were the old model, i.e., clearance sale, they were 4.5 pounds (the same weight as my old notebook computer), and they were easy to focus, even inside the store.