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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
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    133

    Thumbs up Roof snow question

    Hi All, just wanted to get a thought from the forum on what everyone is doing regarding a roof that is cover with snow the day of an inspection. Do you just write it up as snowed- Roof Not inspected? or do you come back an inspect the roof on a later day. This is not pertaining to safety since I don,t go on roof when there wet etc. This is just to get an idea of what the industry practice is.

    Thanks to all in advance for your responses

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    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  2. #2
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    I write up what I see. Snow covered roof. I also describe as many details as possible: drip edge, gutters and any roof vents. I also use the snow to see if there is any voids caused by heat escaping through the attic.

    I also use google street view to see what the roof looked like a couple years ago. The date is time stamped in the picture, so you have some idea of what's going on. If on the off chance the the roof has been replaced. I recommend disclosure as for contractors name, type of shingles and date the were installed.

    I will return to insp after the snow is gone. I discuss all ofthis with my client prior to and after the inspection ....


  3. #3

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Hi Steve!

    As aside bar - I just saw your PM to me and replied.

    C


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    I disclaim all roofs which are snow covered and inform purchasers to seek assurances from vendor as to age and whether there are any repairs.

    Nor will I put a ladder up and sweep a section off as that is not conclusive of anything.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
    I write up what I see. Snow covered roof. I also describe as many details as possible: drip edge, gutters and any roof vents. I also use the snow to see if there is any voids caused by heat escaping through the attic.

    I also use google street view to see what the roof looked like a couple years ago. The date is time stamped in the picture, so you have some idea of what's going on. If on the off chance the the roof has been replaced. I recommend disclosure as for contractors name, type of shingles and date the were installed.

    I will return to insp after the snow is gone. I discuss all ofthis with my client prior to and after the inspection ....
    Great Advise Thanks so much for your wisdom on this subject. Best regards

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I disclaim all roofs which are snow covered and inform purchasers to seek assurances from vendor as to age and whether there are any repairs.

    Nor will I put a ladder up and sweep a section off as that is not conclusive of anything.

    Thank you Ray for your help.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    I just wait a few minutes until it melts. They say if you don't like the weather in Texas just wait 15 minutes and it will change

    Seriously we do get a few days of snow most years and I just disclaim a snow covered roof. Check the attic and give as much information as possible but if you can't see it you cannot inspect it. Coming back in a few days or weeks usually won't do much good for the client since the option period here is only 5 to 7 days and their decision has likely been made to purchase or not.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Thanks Jim, Basically that'swhat I do, But wanted re-affirming from experience inspectors like your self.
    Thanks again. Have a great weekend



    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Nor will I put a ladder up and sweep a section off as that is not conclusive of anything.
    If I can safely do so, I will look at a small snow covered south section near a valley if possible. If I sweep a small area of the roof at an eave and the shingles are crumbling and falling apart, it conclusively tells me a small area of the roof is crumbling and falling apart. And that is what my report will say.

    Sometimes the seller and their agents will swear up and down that the roof is new and a naive buyer (and HI) might just believe them, and blow off a follow-up roof inspection. Or better still the seller will provide a roof certification telling the buyer that this roof is good for at least another 5 years. To this day, I have never seen a roof certification in my area where the roof wasn't a disaster.

    That said, if the house is near home (10 minutes or less), I will go back no charge to look at the roof. If further, I tell them I will come back for a price depending on the distance and it will be done when the snow melts and as it fits my schedule. Since snow can stay on a roof for weeks around here (and in Lombard) I think it is best to at least get a peek if I can.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  9. #9
    Pete Curtis's Avatar
    Pete Curtis Guest

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Hi All, just wanted to get a thought from the forum on what everyone is doing regarding a roof that is cover with snow the day of an inspection. Do you just write it up as snowed- Roof Not inspected? or do you come back an inspect the roof on a later day. This is not pertaining to safety since I don,t go on roof when there wet etc. This is just to get an idea of what the industry practice is.

    Thanks to all in advance for your responses
    Most people who go on a snow covered roof without proper fall restraints in place end up in a wheelchair or a coffin. I recommend using a well-qualified roofer to do the inspection of the surface, taking lots of pictures. Protect yourself: Make sure the roofer is fully insured and uses a harness and any other required safety equipment.
    If you are dealing with a wood, PVC, or TPO roof that is just a little damp, STAY OFF!!!
    Try to inspect the attic (if there is one). Use thermal-imaging to scan the decking, rafters, insulation, etc. Check for moisture content. If there are leak issues, you will be able to identify and locate them.
    After all this, if have not been able to visually inspect the roof surface, I write "Roof not inspected" and move on. If anyone has an issue with that, I come back after the snow is gone.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    The last ten or so days, I have been dealing with snow covered roofs. If I can't see any of the roof at all, I write it up as not inspected. I used to sweep off part of the roof, but no longer do that. It's too hard to opine credibly about a roof based on viewing a 9sq ft area.
    Now, most of the roofs have areas that are free of snow. I'll report on the part I can see and strongly report that I can't opine about the part I can't see. I never walk a roof with snow. I took a slow motion ride down a snow covered 4/12 many years ago when I was young and agile. As a guy nearly 60 years old, I'm not quite as agile and a similar ride might not end quite as well.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    . . . I never walk a roof with snow. I took a slow motion ride down a snow covered 4/12 many years ago when I was young and agile. As a guy nearly 60 years old, I'm not quite as agile and a similar ride might not end quite as well.
    Wait 'til you get old, youngster. As I rapidly approach 70, I'll swear every roof (or bridge girder) I walk gets higher and more slippery with each passing year. And easily, the worst part of it is that "Oh boy, this is going to hurt" feeling on your way down.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    If you saw but a small section of the south eave and it was garbage, would you not speculate that the rest of the roof might also be garbage?


    Would you speculate nothing because you can't see the rest of the roof? I hope not.


    Or would you strongly recommend that the rest of the roof get looked at when the snow melts because it just might be garbage like the small area you could see?


    If I can safely look at a small section of a critical area such as the south eave and/or valley I do so. Recommending that a roofer look at the roof when all the snow melts isn't likely to happen at all especially if the stuff you can opine on looks pretty good.


    Case in point yesterday. It is a 13-year-old house with a 13-year-old roof and everything I could see looked pretty good. I still brushed some snow away from the front south valley. The starter course had worn away between the tabs and the roof is now leaking behind the drip edge.


    My client now knows maintenance is needed. If I had reported that I could not see these areas because of snow and that he should have a roofer take a look when it melted, it never would've happened. But my ass is covered, right?


    If you don't want to brush snow away, fine, but checking an eave 10' off the ground is not dangerous, and making this small effort can pay dividends for the buyer.
    035roofa.JPG026red.jpg

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Roof snow question

    Mike, I agree that if you see a problem in the swept off area, then you have something to report.

    BUT.........Two days ago, I was on a roof that was about 30% snow covered, so I could walk most of it. The only problem area was a cluster of nail pops above the porch. The rest of the visible roof was in good condition. So, if the roof had been covered in snow and above the porch had been the area that I cleared, I could have speculated, incorrectly, that the roof was covered in nail pops.

    If the roof had been snow covered and I had swept the area above the garage which was more accessible from the ladder, I wouldn't have seen any problem. Writing up anything in the report would have failed to mention the problem area above the porch.
    If you are sweeping any portion of the roof, you could well run into a situation where you are defending why you didn't sweep all around the roof edge.

    I don't think one way is more correct or safer than the other. You could get equal grief either way. Be consistent. Do the same at every inspection.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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