Roofing Inspection Safety

Looking for a roof pitch safety chart that will show pitch / angle and safe to walk limits for typical asphalt shingle roofing.

The one I use is called

. lol


And ones Gut feeling, just ask yourself is this safe… if the little voice in your head says nope… then examine from the inside of the attic, a ladder, the ground, anyplace but up top. It is your life and well being that are first and foremost. And get a Camera with a great zoom that helps too.

Pitch is only one - and probably not the deciding - factor, depends on weather, condition, and access, amongst other things.

I prefer to get on roofs because I find many issuers at chimneys and other penetrations, but as my wife points out “Dead inspectors write no reports…”.

If you don’t get up there though, BE SURE that you have observed the ENTIRE roof from somewhere, and if not disclaim ANY unobserved area, no matter how small.

I personally won’t go on a roof steeper than 7/12. That is thirty degrees. A 12/12 roof is 45 degrees. A rough rule of thumb is that each additional number goes up 5 degrees. Again, the answer about following your own feeling of safety is most important. If it feels uncomfortable, don’t do it. No inspection is worth a broken back or death. A good pair of binoculars is also helpful.

Before I even opened my doors for business almost six years ago, I made the decision never to walk on someone else’s roof during the course of my inspections. That protocol is stated in bold red all-caps text in my home inspection agreement and is emphasized again at the actual inspection and is emphasized again in my reports. To date, one Client got a brand new roof to the tune of $87,000 and many, many more have gotten new roofs at lesser costs, escrow credits, lower prices, etc. With the number of tile and wood roofs, it’s beneficial not to have to make individual decisions about individual roofs. If you do decide to get on the roof, make sure you inspect the attic first for any rotten spots, damaged/altered trusses, chimneys that have been removed but not properly replaced with wood, etc.

I use the pucker factor if my underware gets drawn in real tight I don’t walk the roof. Otherwise I am on the roof. To many lawsuits about roofs in my area;Hail Belt you understand. If a person is afraid of heights they should find a job on the ground; Thats what I say.

I love heights. I can’t wait to go to the Grand Canyon and visit that new skywalk.

Has it had it’s first Jumper yet?

I think a jumper would have to either be on stilts or jumping off of a trampoline.

You all reflect alot of my own thoughts, Clients sometimes feel you are shorting them if you don’t go up on roof. A try to go on every roof that is safe to walk on so I can report conditions found. My danger meter is pretty good, and as my wife has explained to me, a dead inspector can’t write the report.

If one’s Clients feel that way, then I believe that one hasn’t done a very good job of managing one’s Clients’ expectations.

8/12 is about my limit, but I have walked steeper pitches if there is a valley to walk up. The deciding factor for me is not if I can get on the roof, it is if I think I can get off the damn thing. Coming down the pitch and not seeing at least 3 feet of ladder up over the edge of the eave can be intimidating. The steeper the pitch the higher the pucker factor.