Why it's good to learn

I was asked by one of my mentees recently what was the purpose of continued learning. Their though was that once they’d achieved the necessary education and skills, anything extra was pointless if they weren’t using it.

I explained that continued education should be focused on solely the subject you are thinking you should focus on.

As an example I explained how investigation into why Icicles formed on the eaves and gutters of a fully insulated roof led me to learning stuff I didn’t know.

Things about Geography (like Anchorage is not in the Arctic, or that there is only 1 city with a population of 1,000 or over in the Alaskan Arctic Circle), or weather patters (such as the fact that it snows more in Syracuse, New York than it does in Buffalo, N.Y. or Anchorage, A.K.) and architecture designs influenced by it (such as ventilated cathedral ceilings or top surface insulated low-slope roofs)

It also explained why adequate ventilation is one of the best cures for Ice dams and insulation serves to increase energy efficiency, but can sometimes, depending on the roof and attic configurations, create Ice dam conditions.

It is by following the path that the learning takes you, and going outside the original focus that you can expand your knowledge and your horizons. It’s true that some of the knowledge you gain might be classified as useless information, but I think it’s still worth it.

This is why I like the InterNACHI (and other) online courses so much, and the online education system of self-paced learning.

It allows you to have these “mind-wanders” during the learning curve which I personally cannot benefit from in a formal, book based, learning environment.

Life skills are not math or science, and nor is Home Inspection. It has a large smattering of both, but the ability to think outside of the box for root-cause-analysis is as important as any focused fact learning.

As the eyes of my mentee never glazed over once as I was explaining this, and seemed to grasp the concept, I guess I have a convert.



To the making of books for Home Inspection, articles, building science there is no end. To the making of accurate info for Home Inspectors there is an end.

A long time ago an ordained minister was giving me career advice, one of the advantages of the ministry I was informed, was that you never had to do any updating or continuous learning like say, doctors or engineers etc., being that god had already spelled it all out in the good book, so there was nothing left to say.
I made the supreme effort to keep from busting a gut, didn’t want to be rude, but totally failed to follow that well meant advice.
The day I stop learning I will be dead, as I don’t expect to be meeting my former advisor or anyone else in the hereafter.