What roof covering material is this?

The roof in question was essentially 4 floors up and not for the faint of heart. I didn’t consider getting up there for even a second. Definitely a roof for roofing pros only.

Interesting suggestion that it could be a widows walk. I haven’t ever seen one in these parts but I suppose it is possible.

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Where is “these parts”?

Did you at least inspect this area of the roof from the attic? Got pics? Often the framing will reveal information of it’s history.


Northern NJ. The attic was not accessible- finished ceiling throughout the 3rd floor.

I just picked up the radon can and spoke to the homeowner. She knew the flat roof was made of metal but had no other info.

Thanks everyone.


Aren’t you the guy always calling people snowflakes?! How is it rude to call out when someone else is being rude? Cry me a river.


@mleonard3 , Thank You for the update on the metal roof. :+1:


Makayla Noble is a Texan highschool student who had a bad fall while cheerleading a year or so ago. She’s back on the cheer team now, but shes still in a wheel chair and can barely articulate her arms. She made a video showing her day to day life as a quadriplegic:

This is not a drill. This can easily happen to any home inspector. We are millimeters away from a brutal existence while on a roof, if we survive a fall. I don’t want that for anyone here. We would know more about how frequently these events happen if we were governed by OSHA, but we aren’t.

I may think a roof is perfectly safe to walk on, but if someone else doesn’t, then they shouldn’t be on it. Period. Your palms get sweaty, your muscles get rigid and act weird and you’re more likely to fall. Never force yourself or suggest that someone should get on a roof if they don’t want to. Its really that simple.

Of course, there will be people who say “well this job involves this risk and maybe you’re not cut out for it if you’re so concerned!”. I call bullshit on that. I regularly get on roofs that 95% of the US population wouldn’t dream of getting on. I understand & accept the risks and I know I provide a great value. You don’t have to be a Cirque De Soleil performer to be a good inspector.

“Know where to draw your line” should be the mantra, not “get on every roof because your client deserves it”.

Stay safe guys and gals! :v:


Covered in tar.



Widows Walk.
Locked and Soldered Sheet metal.

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I don’t think that is right. It’s actually Widow’s

" Legend has it that the wives of whalers in 19th-century Nantucket stared forlornly out to sea from rooftop platforms in search of their husbands’ ships. Over time, as sailors failed to return home, those platforms became known as widow’s walks."


Thank you, Bert. Not concentrating on spelling.
What distracted me, the widows walk missing guardrails as well as a roof hatch.
Thanks again.
Keep well.

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Probably with many ladders, scaffold and conveyor. Roof jacks, restraint loops and safety harnesses.