Roof access/Ladder to short/blocked

What would you do if you got to a job and say you couldn’t get to the roof because your ladder was too short/roof is high??? What if its flat so you can’t really view it?

I have a feather light Eye-Stick, it reaches 30 feet
Works great.

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I always study the house or structure from the listing or Google prior to the inspection day. That way I know what I am up against and bring the appropriate tools.


30 foot Docapole to the rescue. (Although I’m about to spring for the 40 footer.)

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I have looked at picks of the house, I am not totally sure if my ladder will reach but I think it will. I don’t have a pole right now and will not have time to get anything set up before the inspect.

Stand back and observe the roof with binoculars and take really good photos. Also look out of any windows from the interior where you can see the roof.

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It’s flat though. Not sure if I can get a good view of it.

If it was a sloped roof I wouldn’t have an issue I don’t think.

You can use a painter’s pole from the top of your ladder if need be, should be able to pick one up nearby.

How it physically connects to the device depends on what you use (phone or digital camera), they make all kinds of crafty solutions for this very setup.

Yeah, I wish I had a pole already, I am new to this and in Toronto with a lockdown and stuck at home teaching my kids with online learning and one of them is disabled. Not been advertising myself for inspections because I can’t right now but took this one a while back. Wife working full time. Crap I don’t want to give a bad inspection, don’t want to give it away and don’t want to disclaim a roof. Stuck in a hard place.

Stuart, do the inspection and be upfront with the client on what can’t observe based on limitations at the time. Let them know you will be glad to reinspect once you have obtained what is needed to do so. Don’t make excuses, but reassure them that you’ll follow up and do so within the time period.

Believe me, they do appreciate the honesty and that you’re working for them.

Call some local roofers and see if they can show up for a roof inspection while you’re onsite.
Some will do that, hoping to get future work/referrals. Some will charge, others won’t.


Dom makes an excellent point. :wink:

Go buy a taller ladder or rent one.

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There are also real estate photographers that can offer you a one time drone service if you do not have a drone and a license.


I am in a stay at home order/lockdown in Toronto, 2 young kids doing online school, one of them disabled, both need constant supervision. Just accepting this inspection needed the wife to take time off.

I think I should maybe contact the agent and tell him there are some possible limitations and see what he feels.

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I have used a “Spectascope” (sic) with my wi-fi camera for many years. I think it goes up to 35 feet or something like that. I use it on 90 % of my inspections because 90% of the roofs here are tile (I will walk most asphalt roofs and the flat ones…except when too high). (Also working on drone lic.) I know some will walk tile roofs but you will open yourself up to trouble if you break a tile (yes I know how to walk them) or if a homeowner accuses you of breaking the tiles (you reported). A pole with a wi-fi camera is easier than falling of a roof! I’ll bet Falling from roofs (or rather… the abrupt stop on the ground) is the most hazardous aspects of our jobs…Know your limitations and know when, too high is too high and too steep is too steep. or rather “Johnny don’t be a hero”

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Even with a stay at home order shouldn’t you be able to at least drive by the property before deciding that your equipment won’t work.

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Bit harder with needing to take care of my kiddos to. However I spoke to the agent. He said he has drone pics I can use/look at if I want. He also said he does not expect home inspectors to access/walk high roofs anymore, its just not safe. They were his words.

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