roof leak

Six months after moving into the property I inspected for the client the roof leaked. Client wants to sue me.

The following is what I stated in the report.

" The roof covering is old. While it could last 3 years or so, some areas such as the garage may need to be repaired sooner. "

Opinions on what I said in the report are welcome.

Nothing wrong with that comment as there is no way you are liable even the day after you inspect a roof for roof leaks. If you said that it would last instead of **could last **3 years than maybe you might be in a bit of trouble but even then it is touch and go.
Check with Joe

If that was your exact comment, in the States, you would be paying for repairs to that roof. You basically inferred that the roof was good for three years. The comment “may need repairs” is weak and a moot issue when following the inferred three year certification you gave.


What did the client say to you .
Strange they would say they want to sue you .
Most Say my roof has leaked and ask me what I can do about it .
I would like a little more info have you been in contact with the client . What has the weather been like has it been exceptional windy .
Have you been back to see what has happened .
Will give you more info when I see what was said .
Send me your phone number and I will call… Roy

Speaking of Roofs after 12 years this was the worst roof I ever Inspected for selvage roofing
Over 150 nails were left under the double layers and some were even pocking out of the top sheet, many areas had no bond and lifted along the edge.
The Client could not even get the CODE Inspector to go on the low slope roof. What is the world coming to when even the CODE OFFICIALS will not do there job.
This company without a doubt should be removed from doing anymore roofing.

I had a similar inspection scenario to this not long ago. This is how I reported it…

Roof appears to be at or near the end it’s useful life. There are multiple points on the roof with curling and or cupping shingles. The roof may still shed water however, I would recommend that the roof be replaced in the near future to prevent damage to the sheathing and interior parts of the home. The estimated remaining life of the roof is zero to five years.

I also remember a bad one from last year and looked it up. That one read…

Recommend that the entire roof be evaluated by a licensed roofing contractor for repair or replacement.

Also all of my reports include this disclaimer: Roofs may leak at any time. Leaks often appear at roof penetrations, flashings, changes in direction or changes in material. A roof leak should be addressed promptly to avoid damage to the structure, interior finishes and furnishings. A roof leak does not necessarily mean the roof has to be replaced. We recommend an annual inspection and tune-up to minimize the risk of leakage and to maximize roof life.

Nice response, just copied and used it today. Thanks!

I just note the defects of the roof in my report. If any shingles have severe granule loss, I note it. If missing or damaged shingles, I note it. If I feel the roof covering needs replaced, I note it. I never put in writing the expected life of a roof, except for some government loans. I always ever under estimate in those cases.

In my opinion there is no way to estimate how long a roof will last and these people who certify them to last are crazy.

While I don’t think it’s a great comment, I do not think that the average person reading the comment would think the roof is anything… but old. Suggesting that repairs may be needed sooner in certain areas may cause confusion…but your primary statement was that the roof was old. Simple.

I as well as most reading your comment knew that the roof was old at inception of reading it.

Why does client immediately want to sue you? Did their home owners insurance read the inspection report, decide that they knew they bought a defective roof and now refuse coverage?

Just a thought.

I would also try to get past their “frustration” and go over and see what happened for yourself… try and talk with them and take pictures/gather any data possible.

I’ll agree with that Billy. :slight_smile:

I read the response before the inspection…Once I looked at the roof, it described it perfectly. By the way, roof certifications are a requirement for insurance coverage down here for some underwriters.

You covered yourself. You need help with you narrative IMO.

Reach out to the clients. Ask them can you help in any way. Explain to them what you have reported.
Nothing to be afraid of.

KWOOD; Agreed see Mr. Farrsetta.
Let him look at your PIA. Contract.

You should be more descriptive.
SUSPECT:The roof covering is worn in appearance.
Most roof coverings are warranted 10 years.
Why; Flashing, Caulking, Openings, Appears to have maintenance issues. IE; Cupping curling shingles, IE: BUR system, Alligatoring asphalt, missing gravel.
RECOMMEND:A licensed roofer evaluate condition.
LIMITATIONS: Inspected by walking on the roof.

Joe Ferry report it too Robert! Not Mr Farsetta.
Never say anything like the roof needs to be repaired sooner for next time.
I still don’t think the Client has leg to stand on since you said they called 6 months later.

Did it leak the day you were there? Was it raining? Explain the limitations of a home inspection politely to your client.

P.S. I agree that the brief narrative about an old roof needs to be strengthened so that the client understands that it’s at the end of it’s useful life and that he needed to budget for a new roof.

Mr Farsetta has helped many a HI Kevin.

Never say anything like the roof needs to be repaired sooner for next time?

Yes Robert but it is Joe Ferry that is the Lawyer.

He should reach out to the clients.
See where the leak is coming form.Might not even be from the roof for God sake.
Question; did the home owners manipulate the roof in any way?
They knew the roof was the report or so we are told.
They hire Mr. No Brains to make it last 2 more years.
The signs will be obvious. Get photos.
Clients (Lets get a free roof.)

After he has satisfied his duty to his clients and taken photos to match up with his has in the report (wait.)

Talk to Joe Farsetta.

I am not going near this.