roof inspection

(system) #1

I was told my roof was acceptable mid life. What exactly does that mean? I assumed it meant it had many more years to go but the inspector states it meant it didn’t need replaced on the day of inspection. Do inspectors really not warn people that the roof is going to need replaced soon?

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(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #2

(6) General Exclusions.
(a) Home inspectors are not required to report on:

  1. Life expectancy of any component or system;
  2. The cause(s) of the need for a repair;
  3. The methods, materials, and costs of corrections;
  4. The suitability of the property for any specialized use;
  5. Compliance or non-compliance with adopted codes, ordinances, statutes, regulatory requirements or restrictions;
  6. The market value of the property or its marketability;
  7. The advisability or inadvisability of purchase of the property;
  8. Any component or system that was not inspected;
  9. The presence or absence of pests such as wood damaging organisms, rodents, or insects; or
  10. Cosmetic damage, underground items, or items not permanently installed.
    (b) Home inspectors are not required to:
  11. Offer warranties or guarantees of any kind;
  12. Calculate the strength, adequacy, or efficiency of any system or component;
  13. Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to or adversely affect the health or safety of the home inspector or other persons;
  14. Operate any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable;
  15. Operate any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls
  16. Move personal items, panels, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice, or debris that obstructs access or visibility;
  17. Determine the effectiveness of any system installed to control or remove suspected hazardous substances;
  18. Predict future condition, including but not limited to failure of components;
  19. Project operating costs of components;
  20. Evaluate acoustical characteristics of any system or component; or
  21. Inspect special equipment or accessories that are not listed as components to be inspected in this rule.

The inspector is there to observe and document the condition of the building at the time of inspection. They report on ‘Significant deficiencies’: Things that are dangerous or inoperative.

If you want to know when the roof needs replacement, call a Roofer and they will install one next week. Your HI said it was OK at the time of inspection based upon his ability to observe (without potentially damaging the property in the process).

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(Joshua L. Frederick) #3

Do you have any pics you can post?

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(Jeffrey R. Jonas) #4

Why? Asked and answered. How will photos improve upon the extremly honest and to the point answer the OP has already received?

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(Eric C. Van De Ven, CMI) #5

The SoP quoted states “not required” which is not the same as “can’t or not allowed to”.

What your inspector was telling you, was that your roof is approximately half way through its life cycle. How long that life cycle is depends on the type of roof you are talking about and your location.

As an example, here in South Florida, the average life expectancy of a properly maintained shingle roof is 20 years. That doesn’t include the fact that several insurance companies will not provide insurance on a roof over 20 years of age.

If your roof is 10 years old, it is half way through its expected life span.
It was in acceptable condition the day of inspection, but, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to leak in the near future, as 10 year-old shingle roofs have a habit of doing, or, that a roofer may come out and say, “In order to fix the roof leaks, it would be better in the long term to replace the roof”.

I hope this reply answers your question.

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(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #6

Directly to your question, no.

Some things in a home exhibit signs of impending failure, such as a noisy exhaust fan or garbage disposal. An inspector will typically point such things out. Some can be deemed to be “nearing the end of their useful life”. I inspected such a roof just yesterday.

A roof that has no apparent signs of significant damage is deemed to be acceptable “on the day of the inspection”. This important disclaimer helps prevent persons from coming back at a later date (often years) claiming damages against an inspector because of conditions that developed after the inspection took place.

An smart inspector will be circumspect when it comes to predicting the future of any item or system. Lots of things can happen to a roof in a short period of time; hail damage, wind damage, granule loss from ice on the roof, heat damage from a poorly-ventilated roof, and mechanical damage from trees, foot traffic on the roof, and other sources.

Personally, I would not use the term “mid-life” in describing any item or system. It assumes a knowledge on the part of the client that most do not posses. For a roof, I state the estimated age and the condition on the day of inspection. A roof can last 30 or more years if it is covered with good shingles, not subject to hail or other damaging weather, not walked on excessively, and not subject to overheating. I own a rental property with a roof from 1985 that is still performing adequately. I have seen roofs less than 5 years old in need of replacement. It runs the gamut.

Bottom line, it is unrealistic to expect an inspector to predict how much longer a roof will last because too many things can happen to it in a short time.

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