Roof Inspections

Do you guys get up on tile roofs for the inspections or inspect from accessible ladder for visual?

I usually will not walk on tile. From ladder and binoculars.


If you dont walk the roof, how do you know if there are any loose field or ridge tiles. Most tile roofs will not crack under your weight. The only ones you have to be real careful with are the clay tile.

I’ve got one scheduled for Saturday with a clay tile roof. Buyer asked if I will be walking on it. Nope. I’ve got binoculars, a ladder and 20X zoom camera.

The biggest problem is not whether or not I will crack them. The biggest problem is when they do crack I will be blamed. If a customer wants me to walk it, I will, with their permission and blessing. Most people who have clay do not want you on it. IMHO

It depends on the type of tile and installation, the pitch and the weather conditions. It’s a judgment call.

I personally walk 99% of the roofs I come across.

Loose fields, loose ridge cap, poor flashing in certain areas, cracked tiles, poor/deteriorated flashing, weather cap at electrical mast and other items cannot be found with Binoculars and a camera.

Its a business decision, but I walk almost every single roof. I want the buyer to get the best inspection possible. If they blame me, so what? They blame me for their water heater not working, the double tap in their panel, AC not working…It was all working yesterday, it must have been something I did. If I worried about that I could really inspect nothing.

If its not too steep, weather permitting I am on the roof with about 8 to 12 pictures in the report showing that I did in fact walk the roof.

Once again, its a business decision but not walking on the roof is like not taking the cover off the electrical panel. So many issues can be missed.

I am not saying I am right, it just works out for me.

tile: I refer to free roof company inspections
others : I walk

First if that works for you then AWESOME. I am NOT saying I am right, but here is why I would not do that. #1, I never call a person in to do a job I can do. I am NOT saying if I am not qualified to do the job I attempt it. I am saying I LEARN it ASAP! I never want another person outside my company on the site. Just my way of doing business.

#2 - When a roofing company is called in then the UNBIASED evaluation is now biased. Just my 2 cents.

Why are you guys in those clay tile areas not using HD video on a pole?
$50 in parts sets you up.

This is from 12-23-10 and video still shot.
Am I missing any details? (Dark cloudy day)


See something wrong?

Every chance i get!!!

I hold out my insurance papers in my left hand while doing so (just so they will be handy for the home owner who will want to know WTF your doing up there).

Make sure you take up a collection to assist you in your medical bills before hand.

Disregard all statements in the SOP that says you don’t have to do anything that will hurt you or the property you are inspecting…

G. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the opinion of the inspector, to be unsafe.
H. walk on any roof areas if it might, in the opinion of the inspector, cause damage.

I guess it reads that it is UP TO THE INSPECTOR. Do as you wish. No one forces anything upon anyone. I feel comfortable with inspecting and walking on 99% of the roofs I come across. Just my opinion. Do what works for you and your company.

How do you control the camera? What parts do you buy?

28 foot window washer pole and camera mount from any tripod is pretty much all you need.
The PVC coupling parts are around 50 cents and easy to figure.
Being doing it for over a year and never had a client do anything but compliment the technique which actually sees more in many cases (such as tops of tall chimney’s.
I also get a nice closeup of window framing.
Published details and pictures here many times.

How do you control the camera?

Remember Tiles are on a roof to protect the underlayment from the sun and physical damage, their far from waterproof.

I walk most Concrete Tiles but NO Clay Tiles, I can see the underlayment from the eave and other areas lifting the Tiles upward looking at the underlayment.

If the underlayment is 20+ years old it could be shot or could be in normal condition with normal wear at edges, valleys, etc, a lot depends on the attic ventilation here anyway.

If the roof underlayment is more than 20 years old or there are numerous Tiles cracked missing sliding, etc, I tell the client to have a roofing contractor certify the roof.

I’ve seen vaulted roof-ceilings with no ventilation with the underlayment shot in 15 years too, so it depends a lot regarding framing methods-ventilation, etc; types of underlayment, 30 lb. 90 lb. etc.

Set it on video.
Those are still shots off HD video from my Sony HXV5 which has amazing video res of 1850 x.
Well worth $399 and keeps all my other cameras at home.
The camera mounts have an adjustment stick that serves as a good aiming target.
Think about it and you will see there are usually only several main roof penetrations and and chimney sections you really need to get close to as you walk around the perimeter and you review with your client to see if you should get a closeup of a certain area.
Great way to teach how important flashing is.
The LCD screen is large for review.

Good idea Condo…you’d prolly have your Ladder stolen between the time you got on the roof and returned back down.

I use a licensed roofing contractor on all of my inspections.

Ha ha
Dale I still use it but sloped roofs and fold out ladder combined with ice and snow do not mix.

If I was still carrying my old 28 foot Hook and claw fiberglass Warner I never would have thought to make this rig.
The thing will keep me working as I get older however so it all works out great.
Dale even on those commercial jobs you can take a nice look around.
Heck how much can you see through all that gravel on the flats anyway?
OK I know you still check out those commercial air handlers:( so have fun with the hatches.I hate climbing up those rungs and pushing the hatches up though.
How many times have you climbed up and found a padlock?:slight_smile: