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  1. #1
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    Default Fell through the ceiling

    I don't always walk in attics; only when I think it's safe (landing) or if there's enough headroom. I was doing the inspection and walked on the ceiling joists to the other end of the attic. When I got there I slipped back on a loose board that was laid perpendicular to the framing. Luckily, I managed to grab on to the joists before going all the way through!

    The owner was pretty understanding and I had a contractor go out the next morning to take care of the hole and re-finish. It's the first time it's happened in nearly 9 years; so just goes to show you can never be too safe or sure! So word to the wise - don't crawl into attics without landings!

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Glad you're OK, and thanks for sharing, but what do you mean by a "landing"? A walk platform? I crawl or walk all attics big enough to access, almost none of them have a walking surface. Just trusses or framing.

    And never walk on those boards you see in an attic, they're usually booby traps installed by a clueless owner.

    Dom.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Thanks Dom for your thoughts.

    What I meant to say instead of landing was catwalk. Doesn't help I posted this while writing up a report that had major issues with the deck!

    Hard to navigate attics with truss framing. I would sometimes go in when there are rafters. I guess the moral of the story is that you try to be thorough, but it could come back and bite you in the butt!


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    If I only walked in attics that had flooring, I would only be able to inspect about 10 attics per year.
    I'm sorry you had and accident, and glad you are OK, but if this is the first time you have stepped thru a ceiling in 9 years, you are still ahead of the game.

    We all need to be very careful in all parts of our jobs, but we should also know our limitations, and skills. I have to wonder how thorough an inspection can be done when the attic is not entered.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Glad you are Ok!

    Is'nt amazing just how much insulation falls out of a hole that size!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    I'm glad they weren't eating dinner at the time!

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    I'm just wondering how you guys walking the attics are evenly distributing the insulation after you get done.

    Unevenly distributed insulation from people walking through the attics get called out as a defect up here. Keep in mind, here in MN we typically see 15-20 inches of insulation on the attic floors.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken, Should we also re-fluff the insulation tramped down by the alarm and cable guys?


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Ken, Should we also re-fluff the insulation tramped down by the alarm and cable guys?
    Are you saying that because it's previously compressed that it's ok for you to compress it further and leave it that way?

    My original question is just that...what are you guys doing to correct the deficiency you've either caused or added to?

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 11-26-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Glad you are Ok!

    Is'nt amazing just how much insulation falls out of a hole that size!
    What is amazing, is how the amount of insulation that falls from a scuttle hole located in a closet, is directly proportional to the number of dresses on hangers beneath it!

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    John,

    Funny thing. My pic looks really similar to yours!

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    John,

    Funny thing. My pic looks really similar to yours!
    He's a natural! I've been trying for years to get my feet both sides of the joist like that.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'm just wondering how you guys walking the attics are evenly distributing the insulation after you get done.

    Unevenly distributed insulation from people walking through the attics get called out as a defect up here. Keep in mind, here in MN we typically see 15-20 inches of insulation on the attic floors.
    Really? No answers?

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Since I don't walk attics unless walkways are installed I don't have to worry about voids or compression of the insulation.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Really? No answers?
    I thought it was asked for effect.

    The amount of pristine attics I enter are few and far between. The majority look like there has been a hundred people disturbing everything, including the insulation.

    Too many potential defects in the attic that need to be checked, so for me, in my climate, the insulation disturbance is less important.

    Dom.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I thought it was asked for effect.

    The amount of pristine attics I enter are few and far between. The majority look like there has been a hundred people disturbing everything, including the insulation.

    Too many potential defects in the attic that need to be checked, so for me, in my climate, the insulation disturbance is less important.

    Dom.
    I take it that you don't correct it then. Do you write it up as a defect?

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I take it that you don't correct it then. Do you write it up as a defect?
    I'm not correcting some one else's trampling, and I know how to walk in the attic with minimal disruption; but I write it up when it's egregious.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken, do you wade thru the fluff or do you avoid disturbing it?

    If I have to go I will, and I will leave a few small footprints behind, like a kid playing in fresh snow.
    Do you call out the 10 or 12 footprints?

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Ken, do you wade thru the fluff or do you avoid disturbing it?

    If I have to go I will, and I will leave a few small footprints behind, like a kid playing in fresh snow.
    Do you call out the 10 or 12 footprints?
    Typically I don't walk attics which don't have a floor. However, I have had occasion to do it in the past when the situation warranted it.

    And yes, I call out footprints or any other disturbed insulation. Disturbed insulation, even one depression, can lead to heat loss which can lead to ice dams, which can lead to water intrusion.


    On a separate note, I've never fallen through a ceiling, but I had a client go through. Attic in a 100 year old house had a floor, in bad condition. I went up, the client started to follow me. I told him to stay downstairs as the floor wasn't safe. He said it's going to be his home and he has every right to go up there. I said if you come up here you take full responsibility for damage to the home and injury to yourself. He agreed. 10 seconds later he had dropped down to his waste, busting the ceiling right over the master bed. He didn't buy the house but paid over $2000 for repairs. I did 3 more inspections for the guy before he actually bought a house. He never followed me into an attic again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    and I know how to walk in the attic with minimal disruption; but I write it up when it's egregious.
    Here in MN any disruption is egregious.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    No I do not fluff up the trampling of others. If the attic looks like the path to an outhouse in the winter, I don't bother. Most attics I enter usually are under insulated, and/or have the tracks of a zillion people in them. Its kind of a mute point.
    If I am the first person to step foot in an attic, I do attempt at re-fluffing when I go out. However, it will likely not get back to the original depth. I also try to walk at the junction of the truss webs, so I am a little higher than the bottom chord.
    I know in our climate, it would be a huge stretch to think that a few footsteps in the insulation would cause ice dams. Fo that matter, I don't think we have an ice dam problem in Knoxville.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    John, the attic framing on the base of the ceiling rafter, the sides which are visible, and some areas of the backside of the ceiling sheet rock have black staining. Being that I see fiberglass insulation and not some other kind such as cellulose which may leave smaller/dark fibers at these areas, is there a problem in the attic to the framing? Possibly a former roof leak, or mold/fungus on the framing? You can see the difference in Gunnar's photos which has no signs of this.

    On the topic of the attic insulation disturbing while inspecting: If the attic had trusses cannot they be traveled across at higher points than where the insulation exists? In a 1920's home with ceiling insulation several inches above the top of the framing I would never dream of traveling across to the other side, but one with trusses there is never a fear. On another note regarding this is if the insulation has never been disturbed and we see this, what are the chances that areas of the attic may have issues which nobody had ever seen/noticed prior? Can all areas of the attic be viewed from an entrance? Would not crucial points such as roof connections, attic ventilation, areas beside plumbing vent stack/electrical/chimneys/metal flues etc. be left inadequately inspected? I could spend hours writing the limitations and items which may were not inspected, or I could trudge through and protect my client. It all becomes a matter of safety. Do I feel safe and comfortable to traverse across the attic space. If not, write it up as a limitation due to safety of the inspector. I believe that is is accepted that ceiling insulation will become disturbed through the inspection process. Furthermore, (in cases where insulation is inches higher than ceiling framing) most inspectors walk lightly, slowly, and carefully in an attic space making sure to have firm hand grasp on attic framing at all times when traveling through the space. We learn to push feet straight through loose filled/blown-in insulation in search of another framing board to rest upon. If anything the insulation becomes parted and rejoined after our passing. The top surface will no longer look uniform granted, but thickness is almost always the same unless you are stomping your way through an attic. In that case compressed ceiling insulation, cracked ceilings, and potentially fallen sheet rock will be common place.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by don agel View Post
    I believe that is is accepted that ceiling insulation will become disturbed through the inspection process.
    Really? Do you let the home owner know this and offer to pay for repairs after you're done? I know of no SOPs, either association or State, that require an inspector to walk through an attic without a floor. I know of no SOPs which allow an inspector to cause any damage to a home during a VISUAL inspection.

    Invasive inspections allow damage to the home. What we're talking about is non-invasive, visual inspections. Disturbing the insulation and leaving it that way is not allowed.

    Honestly, if I were selling my house and saw the buyer's inspector walked through my 20 inches of cellulose and left it that way he'd be re-insulating my attic. If he fell through my ceiling he'd be removing all the existing insulation, reinstalling a full vapor barrier, and re-insulating my attic, installing new drywall throughout the ceiling of the room that was damaged, pay for professional cleanup of the entire house to remove the asbestos laden vermiculite that he now sent airborne through my house. He'd be responsible for thousands of dollars of repairs and would have no defense as no SOP allowed him to take the risk of damaging my house.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken,

    Not everyone lives in your artic climate, so a few displaced clumps of loose fill may not mean as much to some, as to others (or to you, apparently). It has almost no perceived negative value around here.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Dom.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    ... during a VISUAL
    inspection ... .
    Ken,

    Are you telling us that you are still insisting that your inspections are only "visual" inspections?

    I hope that is not what you were intending to say and that you just said it wrong.

    What tools do you use during a "visual" inspection?

    (Hint for answer: If you even have to think about your answer then it's the wrong answer. The answer is a one word answer and there are only four letters in the word.)

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    What repairs? The insulation was disturbed as I walked through it, not upon it, as what was mentioned earlier. There is if anything a pushing aside of insulation not compression of the insulation. I, nor any "professional" is going to leave voids in the insulation upon exiting. Not talking about decades old/settled/dirt matted insulation which at that point is already lacking of today's standards and is being written up anyhow for just what you are complaining about.

    Now onto your other comments. 20 inches of cellulose insulation was attempting to reach what r-factor R-70 prior to addition of the vermiculite value? That would be a great amount of weight added to the ceilings would it not? I mean cellulose insulation does weigh about 3 times more than loose filled fiberglass per sqft. and that was added to the vermiculite which was there? Who had the joy of blowing cellulose across that attic space?

    Personally in 15+ years I have only had the misfortune of damaging two ceilings. One was in the living room above my client waiting for my return from the attic (she was quick to speak up with, "Oh my god are you alright?" the instant it happened.) Someone had cut and removed a ceiling rafter and when I leaned my leg forward to search for the next rafter there was non and my grip of the roof framing slipped. One slight crack and damaged area about the size of an apple was the extent of the damage as my other leg nailed the framing and my arms impacted the framing past the void as in an eloquent over extended Olympic dismount.
    The second mishap was in a garage ceiling extending an extension ladder over a wire wall shelf to reach a ceiling access panel located there. As I pulled myself up with the side framing of the access hole (ceiling framing) I came into the darkened area and brought my knee forward, as well as my full weight and misconception of a cardboard box as existing framing in the darkened space, onto one of two sides of the attic access opening which were not framed. (Surprise to me as I am falling 14 feet to the concrete pad below only saved from the entire impact by me impacting the wire shelf and metal ladder on the way down. More extensive damage than the first, both to the ceiling and myself. My pride mostly.)
    Both ceilings were repaired by myself the following day after the incidents though both were caused by existing problems which could have happened to the client sometime after purchasing the homes as well. Not placing blame elsewhere, my body caused the physical damage and repairs were made out of my pocket without second thought.

    That is one of the many hazards we face when trudging through insulation in attic spaces. Even with rolled fiberglass batts we take the chance of there not being a framing board between them or raised/unsecured electrical/phone/security/internet/sound cables causing a tripping hazard. Nobody said our jobs were safe, there are hazards which we are subjected to in every part of the inspection from touching plumbing, electrical, operation of equipment etc.. There are those who will trudge forward in the interest of the client, there are those who stay at the entrance due to protecting themselves. Shouldn't bash those who do, I feel this more professional of an inspection and more admirable of the inspector to inspect the attic than to write a comment as to why the insulation should not be disturbed causing the client to hire someone else to inspect the attic space or roll forward with no knowledge of what may exist in that space.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ken,

    Are you telling us that you are still insisting that your inspections are only "visual" inspections?

    I hope that is not what you were intending to say and that you just said it wrong.

    What tools do you use during a "visual" inspection?

    (Hint for answer: If you even have to think about your answer then it's the wrong answer. The answer is a one word answer and there are only four letters in the word.)

    Jerry,
    Apparently you didn't read the sentences right after the one you quoted:
    Invasive inspections allow damage to the home. What we're talking about is non-invasive, visual inspections. Disturbing the insulation and leaving it that way is not allowed.
    And in case you've never heard of it, there's something called the ASHI Standards of Practice. Here is an excerpt.
    inspect readily accessible, visually observable, installed systems and components listed in these Standards of Practice.


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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    2.1 The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to establish a minimum and uniform standard for home inspectors who subscribe to these Standards of Practice.

    On that note do you only provide the minimum required standards for your client?


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Jerry,
    Apparently you didn't read the sentences right after the one you quoted:
    Ken,

    I read that sentence, but it DID NOT OFFSET this sentence:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I know of no SOPs which allow an inspector to cause any damage to a home during a VISUAL inspection.


    That is not MY all caps and bold, those were YOURS to highlight and accentuate that phrase.

    And in case you've never heard of it, there's something called the ASHI Standards of Practice. Here is an excerpt.
    And you abide STRICTLY TO the ASHI SoP? Choose your answer carefully:
    - A) Yes.
    - B) No, you do more.
    - C) No, you do less.
    (Hint: Any answer you give is going to be wrong for its own reason - but please do answer the question as I am interested in seeing your answer.

    An ASHI SoP inspection IS NOT A "VISUAL" INSPECTION.

    1vi·su·al adjective \ˈvi-zhə-wəl, -zhəl; ˈvizh-wəl\ : relating to seeing or to the eyes
    Full Definition of VISUAL
    1: of, relating to, or used in vision <visual organs>
    2: attained or maintained by sight <visual impressions>
    3: visible <visual objects>
    4: producing mental images : vivid
    5: done or executed by sight only <visual navigation>
    6: of, relating to, or employing visual aids
    — vi·su·al·ly adverb

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Jerry,

    You're getting too hung up on the ASHI SOP. You're the litigation specialist here. Provide some legal documentation which allows an inspector to cause damage to the house without being held responsible for it.

    Yes, disturbed, compacted or voids in the insulation is a deficiency. If the inspector caused the deficiency he's damaged the home.

    All of the real estate contracts I've seen require the inspection to be non-invasive. Causing damage to the home would be invasive in my opinion.


    The State of Pennsylvania defines a home inspection as:
    A home inspection is “a noninvasive visual examination of some combination of the mechanical, electrical or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a residential dwelling designed to identify material defects in those systems and components and performed for a fee in connection with or preparation for a proposed or possible residential real estate transfer.
    Wisconsin:
    By law, the inspection is a non-invasive and non-technical review of the home.
    California:
    The real estate inspection to be performed for Client is a non-invasive physical examination, performed for the fee set forth below, designed to identify material defects in the systems, structures, and components of the above-referenced primary building and its associated primary parking structure as they exist at the time of the inspection


    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-01-2013 at 11:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Jerry,

    You're getting too hung up on the ASHI SOP.
    YOU are the one who brought the ASHI SoP into the discussion ... t'wasn't me old chap.

    All of the real estate contracts I've seen require the inspection to be non-invasive.
    Non-invasive is not the same as "visual".

    Not my fault that only PA still uses the word "visual" ... they need to get up-to-date like the others.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Jerry,

    You must have posted the difinition of visual as any searchable definition of Noninvasive only references to medical/surgery and surely not to any inspection of a house.

    Ken,

    Just curious if you do any of the following in your inspections or if you really do only provide a "visual" inspection:

    1. Remove the electrical breaker panel cover for inspection of the wiring in the panel?
    2. Lift and remove any HVAC air filters or supply registers to view the inside of the ducting?
    3. Turn on any light switches, fan switches?
    4. Operate the dishwasher, garbage disposal, oven, microwave etc., in the kitchens?
    5. Operate any HVAC equipment even by usage of the wall thermostat/s?
    6. Turn on any water fixtures in the house?
    7. Do you press any GFCI test/reset buttons?
    8. Operate any sprinkler equipment?
    9. Do you test any installed sump pump for operation?
    10 Press any alarm test buttons on septic alarms?
    11. Do you rock the oven forward to see if there is an anti-tip bracket installed?
    12. Do you press the test buttons on smoke/CO2 alarms?
    13. Do you flush any toilets or lift any tank lids to check for damaged seals/leakage?
    14. Pull any refrigerator units forward to check the ice maker line/shut off valve.
    15. Fill any sinks/tubs and check the drain stop functions?
    16. Probe any decay suspected materials at the structure or exterior?
    17. Do you lift the shingles at the eave/rake to check for multiple layers or lack of felt paper?
    19 Operate any doors/locks
    20 Do you open/close tilt-in any windows during your inspection?
    21. Access any panels to see spaces in wall spaces at plumbing locations such as beneath jetted tub?
    The list can go on and on and on and on........Point is a home inspector is never providing only a non-invasive visual inspection. We open/close/engage/disengage/lift/lower/turn on/off, etc... as Jerry was trying to explain.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Jerry,

    I'm sure other states beside PA use the term visual. I only posted the first three that came up. Your welcome to spend the day searching for others.

    Don,

    Sure, I do most of things you listed. Pretty normal stuff for a non-invasive inspection. Operating items and opening access panels as intended. But you didn't list things which damage the home:

    Walking through attic insulation
    Cutting an opening in the drywall to see inside a wall
    Pulling up carpet
    Cutting open a sealed access panel
    Remove siding to see if the windows are properly flashed
    Tear up sealed shingles to see how many nails were used
    Cut away tarred areas between shingles and side walls to see if there is step flashing at the joint

    Do you really not see the difference?

    Granted I've done some if not all of the items I've listed, but only after receiving permission from the owner of the house.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by don agel View Post
    Jerry,

    You must have posted the difinition of visual as any searchable definition of Noninvasive only references to medical/surgery and surely not to any inspection of a house.
    Don,

    No, I only searched the definition of "visual" as that is the word Ken is trying to hang his hat on - that he, and others, only do "visual" inspections.

    Home inspections are not "visual" inspections ... home inspections started out being "visual" inspections, but as the profession advanced and grew the inspectors started using "tools" - at that point home inspections stopped being "visual' inspections ... oh, and that was probably back around, say, mid-to-late 1980s.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Jerry,

    I'm sure other states beside PA use the term visual. I only posted the first three that came up. Your welcome to spend the day searching for others.
    Ken,

    I have no need to find out which other states, if any, are still clinging to the term "visual" - remember, state licensing is done by politicians and they do not like going back and making changes in the laws they pass.

    That's why there are some really outdated laws on the books of various states, counties, cities and towns:
    - Dumb Laws in Minnesota. Crazy Minnesota Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!
    - Dumb Laws in Florida. Crazy Florida Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!
    - Dumb Laws in North Carolina. Crazy North Carolina Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!

    Just a sample of outdated laws still on the books.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ken,

    I have no need to find out which other states, if any, are still clinging to the term "visual" - remember, state licensing is done by politicians and they do not like going back and making changes in the laws they pass.

    That's why there are some really outdated laws on the books of various states, counties, cities and towns:
    - Dumb Laws in Minnesota. Crazy Minnesota Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!
    - Dumb Laws in Florida. Crazy Florida Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!
    - Dumb Laws in North Carolina. Crazy North Carolina Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!

    Just a sample of outdated laws still on the books.

    Jerry,

    I've not talking about inspector licensing. I'm talking about real estate laws set in place by the states. The states make the laws regarding what an inspection is and isn't. As I've stated, every one I've seen states non-invasive and / or visual, in other words, not causing damage. You might think they're dumb, but unless they're changed it is what inspectors have to abide by.

    But instead of making this a pissing match, how about answering my original question.
    I'm just wondering how you guys walking the attics are evenly distributing the insulation after you get done.

    Unevenly distributed insulation from people walking through the attics get called out as a defect up here. Keep in mind, here in MN we typically see 15-20 inches of insulation on the attic floors.
    Since the consensus is that they leave it that way and don't correct it, my next question is what gives them the legal right to cause the damage or add to the damage and not do anything about it? I'm not seeing anything in any SOP or real estate law that gives the inspector the right to cause any damage, in fact, it's just the opposite.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Jerry,

    I've not talking about inspector licensing. I'm talking about real estate laws set in place by the states. The states make the laws regarding what an inspection is and isn't.
    ONLY IF THEY ARE LICENSED ... so, you ARE talking about licensing, like it or not.

    As I've stated, every one I've seen states non-invasive and / or visual, in other words, not causing damage.
    "Non-invasive" DOES NOT EQUAL "visual", not sure why you are having a hard time separating the two.

    We are discussing "VISUAL", not "non-invasive".

    But instead of making this a pissing match, how about answering my original question.
    In case you haven't yet notice, Ken, *I* am leaving that part of the discussion to others who are currently home inspectors - I may poke and prod to get people to think, but I don't recall having addressed that question in this tread.

    I AM addressing your continued use of, and thinking that you perform a, "visual" home inspection.

    Either you do or you don't - there is no in between ... and you have not answered my question on that as yet - it is a simple one word answer.

    Do you ... or do you not ... do a "visual" home inspection?

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ONLY IF THEY ARE LICENSED ... so, you ARE talking about licensing, like it or not.
    No Jerry, I'm not talking about licensing. Take Minnesota for example. We have no licensing. However, we have real estate laws which home inspectors need to abide by. We also have to abide by accepted real estate practices.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "Non-invasive" DOES NOT EQUAL "visual", not sure why you are having a hard time separating the two.

    We are discussing "VISUAL", not "non-invasive".
    No Jerry, you're discussing "visual". You're hung up on that one word even though I clarified my original statement in the next sentence.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In case you haven't yet notice, Ken, *I* am leaving that part of the discussion to others who are currently home inspectors - I may poke and prod to get people to think, but I don't recall having addressed that question in this tread.

    I AM addressing your continued use of, and thinking that you perform a, "visual" home inspection.

    Either you do or you don't - there is no in between ... and you have not answered my question on that as yet - it is a simple one word answer.

    Do you ... or do you not ... do a "visual" home inspection?
    You're not "poking" or prodding. You're being an ass and taking what I said out of context. You're taking one word from an entire paragraph and hammering a point that has no context in this discussion.

    To answer your question, yes I do a visual inspection...and then some.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    No Jerry, I'm not talking about licensing. Take Minnesota for example. We have no licensing. However, we have real estate laws which home inspectors need to abide by. We also have to abide by accepted real estate practices.
    Okay, I'll bite ... past them here.

    No Jerry, you're discussing "visual". You're hung up on that one word even though I clarified my original statement in the next sentence.
    WE'RE discussing "visual" - YOU used it, you THINK you can set it aside by trying to think it means something else, but a "visual" inspection IS NOT WHAT YOU DO ... except that you refuse to admit it because you want to THINK that is what you do.

    You're not "poking" or prodding. You're being an ass and taking what I said out of context. You're taking one word from an entire paragraph and hammering a point that has no context in this discussion.
    You mean I'm being as stubborn as a mule just to get to you address that one word: "visual"? Kenny, you ain't seen me being stubborn yet. And I haven't taken anything "out of context", I have exposed the context you put it in, that's all.

    To answer your question, yes I do a visual inspection...and then some.
    So, the old Watson fake, fade and redirect, huh? Here is a news flash for you: You ARE NOT doing a "visual" inspection, you ARE doing more, as you pointed out, and that means that you ARE NOT doing a "visual" inspection.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken. Just a few notes here.

    Insulation tucked tight to a flue for the chimney, water heater, heating system is more or a deficiency and danger than som e disturbed insulation.

    Wires half cut through, or just twisted together with no wire nuts and no junction box that you would not have seen unless you at least attempted to see what was on the other side of that hump of insulation is a much greater danger and deficiency than some disturbed insulation.

    Insulation burying the tops of can lights that you would not see the light glowing through unless you attempted to get to all sections of the attic that were accessible is a greater danger and deficiency than some disturbed insulation.

    Rafters separating from the ridge is a far greater concern than a little bit of disturbed insulation.

    Cracked rafters that you just do not see unless you get a fairly close look at are a greater deficiency than some disturbed insulation.

    Moisture on the other side of a rafter that you could not see unless you are on the other side of the rafter is a much greater deficiency and danger for further home damage than a bit of disturbed insulation.

    Inspecting to exactly what the SOPS limit you is a far greater deficiency than a little bit of insulation. Or should I have put it, covering your own ass and limiting your inspection about walking in the attic if possible is a much much greater deficiency due to all plus some that is mentioned above.

    Just saying. The attic is one of the greatest areas of deficiencies I write up every day of the week. If I did not get into all those attics I would miss some to many of those items mentioned on every inspection I did. That would be a massively greater (hm, those words together?) deficiency than disturbing bit of insulation.

    Ah yes. Back to your question. I write up every attic as being walked through in the past and flattened, depressed, disturbed insulation. I inspect new homes all the time where the insulation has already been disturbed and write it up and is to be expected to access the attic for repair and or inspection.

    You cannot access an attic for a thorough inspection from standing in one spot in an attic.

    One other item for a quick note.

    Accepted Real Estate practices? There is no licensing in your state. Who says you have to follow accepted Realtors Real Estate practices. Think of yourself as a contractor! Oh wait! You are a contractor. To do an inspection on a home your client wishes to know what defects there are in that home. Hm, I would find that the accepted practice in the inspection process, acting as a contractor for you client to find as many concerns in the home as possible with out literally tearing open a wall or digging up the concrete.

    And those accepted Real Estate practices? You have no licensing. You have no licensing rules. So, those rules/practices you are talking about?? Who makes them? Not the Realtors depicting what you should do or not du, Is it.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-02-2013 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Additional info

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ted,

    I totally agree with your list of deficiencies compared to disturbed insulation. I also note that you did not post what gives you the right to cause damage to the home by walking through the insulation, or if you correct it when you're done.

    I believe you want to perform the best inspection possible for your clients. However, it's not your house and it's not your client's house.

    Regarding accepted real estate practices...when I take an inspection order I contact the seller or the seller's agent to let them know of the appointment time. They generally approve it, but sometimes the time doesn't work for them, but eventually we get permission to enter the house and the lockbox information.

    Why do you think that is? As a "private contractor" shouldn't I be able to show up unannounced any time I want, kick the owners out of the house for 3 or 4 hours while I drill holes in the walls, tear up carpet and stomp through the attic? Then I can wait 3 or 4 days to send my clients a report. Who cares if their contingency period ends the day of the inspection. If I tried that I'd be arrested then sued. That's not the way it works and I'm sure you and Jerry know this.

    Here's an excerpt of a Minnesota Home Inspection Addendum
    Buyer shall not have the right to do intrusive testing without the prior written authorization of Seller.



    For purposes of this form, “intrusive testing” shall mean any testing, inspection(s) or investigation(s) that changes the property from its original condition or otherwise damages the property.


    Seller
    DOES
    DOES NOT
    agree to allow Buyer to perform intrusive testing or inspection(s).
    ----------------
    (Check one.)
    -------------
    If answer is

    DOES
    Buyer agrees that the property shall be returned to the same condition it was in prior to Buyer’s intrusive testing at Buyer’s sole expense
    I've never seen one which allowed intrusive testing. So are you guys saying that I shouldn't be bound by my client's legal contract with the seller and I should go ahead and cause damage to the home? And yes, I always ask my client if the sellers agreed to intrusive testing. None has.

    And just for Jerry:
    Visual inspection is a common method of quality control, data acquisition, and data analysis. Visual Inspection, used in maintenance of facilities, mean inspection of equipment and structures using either or all of raw human senses such as vision, hearing, touch and smell and/or any non-specialized inspection equipment.
    Visual inspection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-02-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    And just for Jerry:
    Visual inspection is a common method of quality control, data acquisition, and data analysis. Visual Inspection, used in maintenance of facilities, mean inspection of equipment and structures using either or all of raw human senses such as vision, hearing, touch and smell and/or any non-specialized inspection equipment.

    Just for Ken: I guess you did not read what you posted? (bold is mine)
    - "using either or all of raw human senses such as vision, hearing, touch and smell and/or any non-specialized inspection equipment."

    All you use is "non-specialized" inspection equipment? Would you please post a photo of your inspection bag and inspection equipment you carry in it and keep in your vehicle for use during inspections? Thank you.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just for Ken: I guess you did not read what you posted? (bold is mine)
    - "using either or all of raw human senses such as vision, hearing, touch and smell and/or any non-specialized inspection equipment."

    All you use is "non-specialized" inspection equipment? Would you please post a photo of your inspection bag and inspection equipment you carry in it and keep in your vehicle for use during inspections? Thank you.
    So now you've moved on from picking apart "visual" to picking apart "non-specialized". I don't use anything that anyone can't purchase over-the-counter or is required to have a license to purchase or use. I don't use anything that is used in only one industry.

    Unless you want to count my pickup...I have a license to operate that.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So now you've moved on from picking apart "visual" to picking apart "non-specialized".
    Just tryin' to keep up with your fake, fade, and redirect movements ... (sigh)

    I don't use anything that anyone can't purchase over-the-counter or is required to have a license to purchase or use. I don't use anything that is used in only one industry.
    You did not answer the question - one can purchase many types of 'specialized' (the converse of "non-specialized") equipment over-the-counter and require no license to purchase. One example of 'specialized' equipment you can purchase an 'electrical circuit tester' which can be from a 3-light nightlight special to a SureTest ... I suspect that you DO OWN a circuit tester - don't you? I would certainly hope so.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Way off the subject Jerry. You should start another thread. This one is about attics. Plus, I'm done arguing something that's pointless.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Way off the subject Jerry.

    You should start another thread. This one is about attics.
    Agreed that it is way off subject, all I did was try to follow you wherever you wandered about trying to defend the indefensible.

    Plus, I'm done arguing something that's pointless.
    I thought you would see the point being made, apparently you do not get the point that 'home inspections are not "visual" inspections ... thus, as you said, it's pointless to continue.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted,

    I totally agree with your list of deficiencies compared to disturbed insulation. I also note that you did not post what gives you the right to cause damage to the home by walking through the insulation, or if you correct it when you're done.

    I believe you want to perform the best inspection possible for your clients. However, it's not your house and it's not your client's house.

    Regarding accepted real estate practices...when I take an inspection order I contact the seller or the seller's agent to let them know of the appointment time. They generally approve it, but sometimes the time doesn't work for them, but eventually we get permission to enter the house and the lockbox information.

    Why do you think that is? As a "private contractor" shouldn't I be able to show up unannounced any time I want, kick the owners out of the house for 3 or 4 hours while I drill holes in the walls, tear up carpet and stomp through the attic? Then I can wait 3 or 4 days to send my clients a report. Who cares if their contingency period ends the day of the inspection. If I tried that I'd be arrested then sued. That's not the way it works and I'm sure you and Jerry know this.

    Here's an excerpt of a Minnesota Home Inspection Addendum


    I've never seen one which allowed intrusive testing. So are you guys saying that I shouldn't be bound by my client's legal contract with the seller and I should go ahead and cause damage to the home? And yes, I always ask my client if the sellers agreed to intrusive testing. None has.

    And just for Jerry: Visual inspection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Actually i inspection maybe 1 in 30 homes where the buters dibt leave as it is expected here.

    Around here and in Flirida and Mass maybe 1 in 50 homes have not alreasy had the insulation walked through. I dont damage anyones hone by walkung through insulation. I don't compress it. At best tgere is a slight indent. For some rwason or other you feel that the seller of that home would not want a thorough inspection on the home they are moving to from rhat one. Furthermore i dont sign a conteact with any Real estate comoant for any type of inspection ir contingency. I also never calk a seller for anything, ever. The only tume and reason i call a listing agent is due to them on rare occassions when they are making appointments is to make an appountment and find out wgat type of lick bix us on the doir. I never talk to them aboyt anything else ever.

    If a plumber has to get to a pipe to rewrap insyltion on it or an electrician has to feed a new light ir a chimbey man is checking the condition if a flue in an sttic they must walk through the insulation and there are no permissiobs or wavers signed to do so other than a cobtract to pay x amiunt for the work.

    Please forgive spelling as this was sent by phone.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Please forgive spelling as this was sent by phone.
    ........I'm glad you added that comment - I was afraid you might have blown a head gasket


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Actually i inspection maybe 1 in 30 homes where the buters dibt leave as it is expected here.
    I'm not sure what you're saying here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I dont damage anyones hone by walkung through insulation. I don't compress it. At best tgere is a slight indent.
    Slight indent, damage it's all the same...it's not as you found it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    For some rwason or other you feel that the seller of that home would not want a thorough inspection on the home they are moving to from rhat one.
    I wouldn't know if the seller wants a thorough inspection or not, but I'm sure they don't want their home damaged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Furthermore i dont sign a conteact with any Real estate comoant for any type of inspection ir contingency.
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. You're clients have a contract...that's the one you have to abide by.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    If a plumber has to get to a pipe to rewrap insyltion on it or an electrician has to feed a new light ir a chimbey man is checking the condition if a flue in an sttic they must walk through the insulation and there are no permissiobs or wavers signed to do so other than a cobtract to pay x amiunt for the work.
    These are great examples of work hired to by someone who owns the home. You're not working for the home owner.

    Ted, I get it. You think you can do whatever you want and have no responsibility to the owner of the home. If you don't repair things after you damage them, I have no problem with it as it doesn't effect me. All I'm saying is you have no protection from liability if the homeowner wants it repaired. Personally, I do the best inspection possible, but draw the line at damaging a home my client doesn't own.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken

    In support of your earlier views.

    [33] A very useful summary of the scope of a typical homeinspection was set forth by Stansfield, Prov. J. in Brownjohn v Ramsey, 2003 BCPC 2 (BC Prov. Ct.) (a case which, although a Small Claims Court decision, has been referred to with approval in a number of Superior Court decisions) at paras. 16-17, as follows:

    The point made repeatedly in the PTP contract, and mentioned consistently in the various cases to which I was referred — but most importantly, which simply accords with common sense — is that there are limits on what one reasonably can expect from a relatively brief visual inspection undertaken by someone who has no right to interfere with (and by that I mean no right to dismantle, nor to effect any permanent change in) the property which one must remember is not owned by the person requesting the inspection. As well, as a matter of common sense one has to recognize that a service performed for a fee of $240.00 cannot be expected to be exhaustive.



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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Ken

    In support of your earlier views.

    [33] A very useful summary of the scope of a typical homeinspection was set forth by Stansfield, Prov. J. in Brownjohn v Ramsey, 2003 BCPC 2 (BC Prov. Ct.) (a case which, although a Small Claims Court decision, has been referred to with approval in a number of Superior Court decisions) at paras. 16-17, as follows:

    The point made repeatedly in the PTP contract, and mentioned consistently in the various cases to which I was referred — but most importantly, which simply accords with common sense — is that there are limits on what one reasonably can expect from a relatively brief visual inspection undertaken by someone who has no right to interfere with (and by that I mean no right to dismantle, nor to effect any permanent change in) the property which one must remember is not owned by the person requesting the inspection. As well, as a matter of common sense one has to recognize that a service performed for a fee of $240.00 cannot be expected to be exhaustive.

    Thank you Raymond.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Glad you are Ok!

    Is'nt amazing just how much insulation falls out of a hole that size!
    I usually open the attic from the side just so I don't get a shower of crap falling on me, and if the seller's clothes are in the closet, I have to cover them with sheets. All the way around it's a hassle.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'm not sure what you're saying here.

    Slight indent, damage it's all the same...it's not as you found it.

    I wouldn't know if the seller wants a thorough inspection or not, but I'm sure they don't want their home damaged.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. You're clients have a contract...that's the one you have to abide by.



    These are great examples of work hired to by someone who owns the home. You're not working for the home owner.

    Ted, I get it. You think you can do whatever you want and have no responsibility to the owner of the home. If you don't repair things after you damage them, I have no problem with it as it doesn't effect me. All I'm saying is you have no protection from liability if the homeowner wants it repaired. Personally, I do the best inspection possible, but draw the line at damaging a home my client doesn't own.
    What I think is happening here is you are using the extremes for examples. I clearly stated that almost all attics I inspect, including new homes, have already been walked through to one extent or another.

    There is no damage to the home. An indent at the slightest is not damage as far as any perceived view of damage to a home. Now if you go in there and squash it all and compress it everywhere and or kick it all around and it is blatantly obvious you did so then rightfully so you should be paying to have it corrected. If you leave extremely slight indents no more than what settling is going to do in a short time then you are doing no damage.

    Now back to your not inspecting all the items mentioned

    You might as well as not even go into any attic because you just wont see those items for the most part. That is damage beyond repair to your client that wants to know what is going on up there.

    As far as permission from the home owner.

    You got it already. You got the same permission as that electrician, plumber, chimney man whomever to do your job and search for possible defects for the items mentioned. They gave you right to inspect the home, not just some of it. The attic is a very very large part of it. They gave the electrician the right to inspect their home. They gave the plumber the right to inspect their home. They gave the chimney man the right to inspect their home. None of those trades differ from you. They must enter the attic to inspect for defects that need correcting. If they find none? Then they still had to go into the attic to look for them or they just would not know if there were any. Same as you. You just won't know if there are any defects unless you went in there to loo for them.

    You simply cannot inspect for those items unless you go into the attic. The other tradesman cannot inspect for those items unless they go into the attic.

    I know you understand that but I do not blame you for standing for your own beliefs. It is a natural thing to do.

    This is by no means an argument just simple facts.They were given permission to inspect.You were given permission to inspect. Who was that permission given by? The home owner! The same intent was meant to the electrician as you. Purposeful, blatant disregard for their property will not be tolerated. But you MUST be able to do your job the same as the electrician.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ted,

    We're given permission to do a non-intrusive inspection and are expected to leave the home as we found it. Just as if we have to cut the attic access open, we have to get separate permission from the home owner. That's not covered by the typical home inspection addendum, no damage is.

    Your comparison of the electrician and plumber make no sense. The owner of the property hires them to do repairs or upgrades as your example states. At that point the home owner is responsible. We're not hired by the homeowner. We're hired by someone interested in buying the house. And by contract, we and our client, are responsible for any damage we do.

    Unevenly distributed insulation is a defect. Period.

    Please actually read the lawyers comments regarding the case Raymond posted. Check sealed areas during home inspection

    As I previously said, you can do your inspections anyway you like without regard to damaging someone else's property or your client's contract. But, sooner or later it will catch up to you. Nobody can force you to listen to common sense or case law.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ken,

    To clarify, the paragraph I posted is that of the court and is precedent setting and has been referred to in several (tort law) cases involving home inspectors. The courts have spoken and there is no justification or standing in law for home inspectors to do destructive invasive testing. The buck stops at the courts.. here comes the judge..

    PS. Okay I didn't see the link to Bob Aarons article in the Toronto Star.... ooops...

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 12-05-2013 at 04:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Anybody here cut the paint with an Xacto knife? That is my usual practice, never heard a complaint for doing so.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  56. #56
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Anybody here cut the paint with an Xacto knife? That is my usual practice, never heard a complaint for doing so.
    I do, but only after getting permission from the seller or their agent. Around here we get complaints if the window blinds aren't put back exactly how we found them.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-05-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Around here we get complaints if the window blinds aren't put back exactly how we found them.
    You have that problem too!

    I see notices from home inspectors on counters saying things along the lines of, "I have performed a home inspection and during the inspection we open doors and windows and in the process need to move rugs or blinds. We try our best to place things back in their original positions and apologize if it is not 100% correct."

    Maybe we are just too picky in the North...




  58. #58
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    I once had a agent call me from a home she had listed, and complained that she found my biz card on the kitchen table and wanted to know how it got there! The strange part was I hadn't been in the house, ever. She couldn't accept that someone who attended an open house had probably put my card there. Besides what would it matter? Other than the fact she has been on record as calling me a deal blower. Because It Touched Close 2 Home.


  59. #59
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted,

    We're given permission to do a non-intrusive inspection and are expected to leave the home as we found it. Just as if we have to cut the attic access open, we have to get separate permission from the home owner. That's not covered by the typical home inspection addendum, no damage is.

    Your comparison of the electrician and plumber make no sense. The owner of the property hires them to do repairs or upgrades as your example states. At that point the home owner is responsible. We're not hired by the homeowner. We're hired by someone interested in buying the house. And by contract, we and our client, are responsible for any damage we do.

    Unevenly distributed insulation is a defect. Period.

    Please actually read the lawyers comments regarding the case Raymond posted. Check sealed areas during home inspection

    As I previously said, you can do your inspections anyway you like without regard to damaging someone else's property or your client's contract. But, sooner or later it will catch up to you. Nobody can force you to listen to common sense or case law.

    Again with the extremes. A caulked and sealed hatch. Undo damage etc etc etc etc etc.

    I submit to you that that particular case was screwed up Canadian (no offense intended) law.

    I on an extreme occasion see a sealed hatch or on the rarer case sealed pull down stairs. I do not go into them.

    We are not doing any more harm than the electrician that has to inspect or any other trade.

    You can bet your back side that if you miss a broken rafter, soft sheathing, exposed wires and the home burns down, buried ceiling lights that keep blowing bulbs, flues tight against the sheathing and the home burns down etc etc etc you will find out what damaging someones property is all about.

    You keep using the term damage I use the term shortening the inspection by 1/3 and only inspecting for a third of the possible defects in a home.

    I for one have never been drawn into court for anything I ever did in construction or inspection.

    How about you?

    That whole sealed area was a waste of reading and time considering all we are discussing.

    Sorry Ray

    My example of a plumber, electrician, roofer, framer or any other example made no sence to you? Seriously. They are given permission to inspect and or repair and are expected to abide to the same rules as us. No undue damage to the home.. Leaving a home as you found it would go all the way to leaving a chair out of place or bringing in a bunch of mold spores by opening the door, or moving a toaster aside to check a counter top outlet.

    Like you said. I will do what is expected of me and never be drawn into court as I always have been doing. You keep not inspecting and you will get drawn into court, again and again.

    Anyway my discussion in this subject is dead for now and just no more to say except....wow!

    How do you even know if that heating flue or chimney flue is even connected properly froma roof being done over in the past? Fire waiting to happen. Sellers are no ignorant unreasonable people. There are those fools out there I guess that will try to get someone for something they actually should have done but I have not run into that one in a million inspections yet.

    I have to ask the question. Do you in fact write into every single report that you stood in 3 foot square spot to inspect the entire attic or do you just not go into the attic as you don't inspect it anyway. You cannot mention wiring, insulation, framing, sheathing, flues etc etc etc because you just cannot inspect it. What do you write about attics. I am seriously interested.

    You gents have a good night


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    You can so inspect an attic from the hatch, and you know this, Ted. It depends on the house design and the location of the hatch. And it depends on what is up there to see. I get plenty that are wide open to view and I take 6 or 7 pics from the ladder, done. If that simple roof line with no pipes or chimneys is the dominant style in your area, lucky you.

    If there is a skylight well in the way, or a wing or an addition, or questionable exhaust fans, yes, then we need to look a bit farther, and that means going for a walk. Some of you guys need to get out more, see what other inspectors have to face on a daily basis.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ted,

    Apparently you don't understand your own scenario. An electrician doing repairs in the attic is hired by the homeowner. We are hired by someone who doesn't own the home. We aren't allowed to cause damage. Do you really not see the difference between who the electrician is working for and who the home inspector is working for? Do you not realize that we're required to abide by our client's purchase contract, and that the electrician isn't working for someone purchasing the house? I don't know how to make it any clearer and frankly I'm tired of repeating myself.

    Yes, I've been sued. I was sued due to mold found behind kitchen cabinets when my clients did a kitchen remodel. I won because the law and buyer's purchase agreement were on my side. We're not allowed to cause damage to the home by removing the kitchen cabinets to inspect the walls behind them. Call it first hand experience with the law and limitations of home inspections. Something you claim to have none of. Do you remove the kitchen cabinets to see the walls behind them? Really, why not? You're not doing a complete home inspection if you don't. Yeah right.

    I've never stated I don't inspect the attics. I stated I don't walk through the insulation causing voids, thin spots or other damage. And yes, when I view them from the hatch I put it in the report. Those which I can walk through without causing damage I do.

    It doesn't matter if you think the law is screwed up. It's case law. Your welcome to find any case law supporting your belief. Good luck.

    Shortening the inspection by 1/3? So if your inspection takes 3 hours you spend 1 hour in the attic? And you don't disturb the insulation...that's a neat trick.

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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Ted

    The fact is; the court has addressed the problem and it has spoken and it gave direction. The buck stops with them. I think its a good thing because now inspectors have something to stand behind as far as accessing areas which by entering would cause damage.

    Perhaps if the plaintiffs had brought in their own expert witness to support their case there may have been a different outcome. I blame the plaintiffs lawyer for letting their client down and stringing them along.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The fact is; the court has addressed the problem and it has spoken and it gave direction. The buck stops with them. I think its a good thing because now inspectors have something to stand behind as far as accessing areas which by entering would cause damage.

    Perhaps if the plaintiffs had brought in their own expert witness to support their case there may have been a different outcome. I blame the plaintiffs lawyer for letting their client down and stringing them along.
    You are right, Raymond. In the end it is up to the judge, and that is where a good lawyer earns his keep.

    "My SOP will protect me". "My SOP will not protect me". Stop, you're both right. The judge will decide if you acted responsibly or not. As we saw with the roof inspection from across the street, and the mouldy antique basement, the judge may choose to ignore the airtight defense and the experts and simply find that a stronger effort should have been made.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 12-06-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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  64. #64
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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    "Wires half cut through, or just twisted together with no wire nuts and no junction box that you would not have seen..." This could also be an argument for not walking through, and/or feeling around in the insulation with your toe trying to find a joist, and finding some voltage instead.


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    Default Re: Fell through the ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by John Chung View Post
    I don't always walk in attics; only when I think it's safe (landing) or if there's enough headroom. I was doing the inspection and walked on the ceiling joists to the other end of the attic. When I got there I slipped back on a loose board that was laid perpendicular to the framing. Luckily, I managed to grab on to the joists before going all the way through!

    The owner was pretty understanding and I had a contractor go out the next morning to take care of the hole and re-finish. It's the first time it's happened in nearly 9 years; so just goes to show you can never be too safe or sure! So word to the wise - don't crawl into attics without landings!

    IMG_4547.JPGIMG_4548.JPG
    Happy to hear you are with us and able to work.
    You can fashion crawling or stepping platforms with plywood. 2 pieces of 18" X 36" inch in length makes a stable maneuvering platform. As you address wisely, attic wiring and plumbing lines must be thought of in advance.

    You bring up a good point for roof decks as well. Find those trusses or rafters to walk on!
    Thanks for the post.

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