Roof observations in a 11-month inspection

Hello all,
I just completed another inspection, and found the following from the photos taken by the drone:

  1. Regarding the penetrations, a lot of sealants were used to cover the gap between shingle and penetrations, is this worth pointing out as an issue? I suspect that it is a make-a-shift cover.
  2. Another observation is a lot of black dots along the ridge cap installation line. What are these (as pointed by the arrows)?
    Many thanks in advance!

Not too bad. Found this Monday. Keeping up the Pulte quality. Neighbors love to talk. 5 more inspections scheduled on the same street.

  1. that’s just a crappy flashing job. If done right no tar sealant is needed at all

  2. the “black dots” are the adhesive strip


maybe it’s a regional thing? but I believe the expression you’re looking for is “make shift”, btw :wink:

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It really just looks like poor workmanship. Too much roof tar around a vent or flashing could indicate they’re covering up a problem. Here it looks like they just had some extra roof tar or caulk to get rid of. The exposed adhesive strip is just sloppy work. The roof looks steep but you should always get up there when possible. Drones don’t always tell the whole story.

I’d call out the penetrations but not the exposure on the top course at the ridge. Caulking is not needed when those penetrations are done right. One of the more common brands of pipe jack flashings I’ve seen over the years is Oatney and the words “No-Caulk” are stamped into the metal.

Funny story about that: Years ago… probably back around 2000 when I first started inspecting I did a townhouse in a HUGE condo complex and inspected the exterior because I wasn’t sure about HOA responsibility, etc. I got up onto a roof that apparently no one had previously. The roof was installed in the mid/late 90s and was trashed. Bad Owens Corning shingles - cracked like all hell. The agent actually lived in the complex and thought I was crazy… said the roof was just done by the best roofing company in town (this was before the days of digital pics so it was just my report). Anyhow, they had other roofers out that agreed with me and it turned into a six-figure lawsuit against the roofer and O/C. One of the huge points of contention was caulking around the pipe jacks that were used to prove a bad installation. I talked on the phone with one of the lawyers and pointed out the words, “no-caulk” stamped on the flashing and he literally burst out laughing. IIRC the roofer was trying to blame the HOA by saying they hadn’t maintained the caulking at those flashings so the warranty was void (wtf?).

When I see ANY caulking around those flashings it’s an immediate write-up for, “an incorrect/poor installation and/or past/intermittent leakage” and advise future leakage is a possibility.


I like to see a gap or debris channel here. It keeps the water flowing smoothly.

So, before you write something up just because it is ugly or is unconventional, be sure to identify a consequence.


First question is, What is allowed by your AHJ? Because there is a high likelihood that that roof was inspected and passed.
Second question is, Is there any problem arising from the caulking?

Comments that caulking should not be needed are correct, but that doesn’t automatically mean that caulking is bad.

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As with Brian and others: the caulk is an indicator of non-professional work. It’s a visible marker that raises suspicion.

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Reminds me of a new construction I saw recently… it appeared that mortar was used to adhere metal to metal… in a location that didn’t need adhesion in the first place :ok_hand:

I believe it was a Pulte home.

It looks like they just got a little overzealous on the mortar for the stone. I don’t see that as being an issue.

I didnt see it as an issue either, I’ve just never seen mortar used like that. it looked to me like it was intentionally put between the layers of flashing. isn’t that masonry installed before the flashing is installed?

Yes. Probably a worker was touching up some missing mortar or crack and smeared some into the flashing.

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:man_detective: you’re probably right