reason to walk the roof

I’m always surprised to hear that a number of H.I.'s don’t walk the roof. When weather or pitch of the roof prevents safe walking then sure, but just a general operation not to walk is I think a law suit waiting to happen. Even with binoculars its just not possible to see all the defects IMHO. Maybe with the spectoscope you can see some of these but still think its better to walk the roof. I like to walk it last as by then I have ensured the roof structure as viewed from the attic is ok. I walked a roof recently that was 4 months new. Everything looked good otherwise but around the main stack vent was a complete lack of flashing or sealant etc. Ideal entry point of water. See attached photo.

Do you walk or not walk the roof?



Absolutely you should alway walk the roof if it’s safe to. I leave the roof inspection as one of the last items to be done. I make it a rule to check out the attic area 1st. If the roof supports aren’t up to supporting your weight, then it’s not safe to walk the roof.

Earlier this week, I was on a concrete tile roof and found this on the roof. I’m still trying to figure out how it got on a 2 story roof.


Hard to see but is that a baby bird?



I agree,… I walk on all roofs that I am able to or are safe to walk. Some roofs you dont want to walk due to weather conditions or construction (i.e. pitch) What is important is how you report HOW you inspected the roof in your report and WHY. Two things I always mention if Im not able to walk it. Not that it will prevent potential lawsuits for missed items BUT it is a deffence if it is already documented in your report. I dont see a court look down on you for protecting your own personal safety.

No, that’s a little lizard! It was very alive and moving in and out of the sunlight. Everytime, it sensed a shadow, it ducked underneath a roof tile.


Walking a roof that is new can and often does, void the owner’s warranty. If you get caught that is…

Well, then I would have missed the open hole around the pipe I showed in photo of post #1. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. How long is the warranty? 15 years? Nobody can walk it in 15 years?!

You said it was 4 month old didn’t you?

Something like that though I didn’t know that info till about the time I was leaving. Regardless, my client would be mighty pissed if he moved in and had water dripping from the ceiling and into the new carpet all because I didn’t bother to walk it.
But again, if the warranty is say 15years, you don’t even walk the roof? You’d void the warranty if you did?

I wonder is your Roof warranty in the USA any better then Canada. I can not remember the last time any one was able to get any thing from A roof manufacture . I am involved with One now that has gone on for three years . The roof is now 7 years old . Most pepole here in Canada Move every 8 years and they do not transfer to new owners .
Roy Cooke

I wasn’t too sure about this myself until last night. I attended a roofing seminar (instructor is a veteran inspector with no ASHI-NAHI-NACHI affiliations). He claims most manufacturers use/reccommend authorized personnel for inspections and maintenance during the warranty period. Anyone who is not authorized may void the warranty.

Who is ‘Authorized’ then? Manufacturer staff?

I walk roofs to make money, I advertise roof inspections, very simple one page report with a bunch of pictures stating the condition today.

During the monsoon season in the summer when they leak the phone rings.

I recommend everyone who doesn’t mind walking roofs do just roof inspections, as another service, it’s good money, especially large commercial buildings with the dangerous 2% slopes…:smiley:

My employees and I do not walk roofs, and we state so in our inspection contract, and we emphasize again that because we are not licensed roofing contractors and, thus, do not have appropriate insurance (life, AD&D, GL, workers’ comp), we do not walk roofs. As I tell my Clients, we are generalists, not specialists. What that means is that we know something about everything and everything about nothing. So if they need someone who knows everything about roofs, they should hire a licensed roofing contractor.

With thousands of inspections in 5½ years, we have never had a roofing complaint. The lowest amount that a Client got for roof problems was $1,500; the highest was $73,000. I’d say we’re doing a pretty darn good job without walking on roofs. Just my opinion, of course, along with that of my attorneys and my insurance providers.

I have emailed my dear instructor and have asked him to provide me with some documentation of these facts. I will post as soon as I get them. This is not the first time I’ve heard of this warranty provision. Any roofers/buiders out there? :wink:

When we bought our last roof, we had a variety of roof types to consider. Each and every salesman had a reason to push their own product but it always came back to what “the other guy can’t offer.” That was 10 years ago.

One of our deciding factors on the type of roof we purchased was the warranty for the leading comp roof manufacturer in our area. There were just too many items that were excluded to even consider it a warranty.

Gale force winds…void…(gale force winds are only 32-63 mph)
traffic on roof…void… If you walk your roof, it was considered traffic.
any attachments not made at time of installation…void
self application…void…only professional installation was allowed.
failure to apply each shingle with 6 nails in areas where high winds MAY occur. So if they occur…voila…no warranty. I mean what roofing company applies 6 nails to each shingle in a normal application?

This was just a sampling of the items listed in the warranty that was printed on the wrapper of each bundle of shingles.

I try to walk the roof when it is safe.

The only roofs I will not walk are new construction concrete tile or clay roofs. This will void the warranty.

That being said, not walking the roof is a dis-service to you client. I can cite roof after roof down her in Florida that are put on with various mistakes following the hurricane, even though they passed ‘the city inspection’.


I have also read where “traffic” can void a warranty. That would be walking unless there’s a car up there. I’m not saying (never did) that we shouldn’t walk roofs - I do every day. My post was to inform that it may void a warranty.


Not walking a roof is a dis-service to the customer? Most of us do walk roofs, but if I decided not to it sure wouldn’t make me feel like I was cutting corners.