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  1. #1
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    Default Roof Certifications

    The seller " The Goverment' is proposing providing my customer a " Roof Certification" on the home that needed $16,000 repair/ replacement per a Lic roofer.
    The customer asked me this question.
    " In your opinion, if they do in fact pay for a "roof certification," will this be an adequate solution?"

    What would your reply be? The tile roof is not overlapped over most of the roof, there aren't any flashing where required by the Roof Tile Installation Specs.
    My thought is. What are they certifing?
    If the roof is not installed to the mfg. installation specs, the roof is not certifiable.

    What good is a cert. if the roof needs xxxx amount of repairs, and it rains, or the tiles blow off the roof due to improper nailing/ overlapping, the day after the cert provided by the seller expires?

    If a roofer certifies a roof, does he certify the roof to todays installation standards, or to the standards when the roof was installed?

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    No would be first answer.... if I felt like being nice I might explain myself.

    This may be a regional thing but in my area roof certs aren't worth the paper their written on. First, it usually says right on it that it's not a warranty or guarentee of any kind. Secondly, if/when something goes wrong and you call the roofer, there's a good chance he's out of business. Over the years the guys I saw really trying to sell certifications were "fly by nighters".

    10 years ago roof certs were a big deal but seem to have been lost during the "fast and loose" days of lending. I am hearing more about them again but I personally don't thing they mean a thing to us. Just because some drunk roofer is willing to take someone's $100 and say what makes them happy doesn't mean I agree with them. I'm definitely not going to tell my buyer everything is okay.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    I agree, i had one when i bought my home , had a 2 year cert. then the wind blew off some of the shingles , and the roofer was out of biz.
    never get a cert, maybe a tune-up to help it last a few more seasons


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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    A licensed contractor trumps a home inspector every time. If he puts it in writing you really have no choice but to accept it.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    The seller " The Goverment' is proposing providing my customer a " Roof Certification" on the home that needed $16,000 repair/ replacement per a Lic roofer.
    The customer asked me this question.
    " In your opinion, if they do in fact pay for a "roof certification," will this be an adequate solution?"

    What would your reply be?
    I would tell my client that the certification coming from the roofer who just replaced the roof is a good thing and to be expected, coming from anyone else and ... that certification is not even worth the paper it is written on - UNLESS that certification is accompanied with a bond which will pay for replacing the roof should the roof leak or fail within 'x years', and I would want 'x years' to be at least "5 years".

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    A licensed contractor trumps a home inspector every time. If he puts it in writing you really have no choice but to accept it.
    That kind of thinking is COMPLETELY WRONG and comes from home inspectors who are not aware of what home inspections are about.

    The BUYER may have limited choices other than to accept it, but even the buyer still has choices - THE HOME INSPECTOR, on the other hand, is there to give their professional opinion to their client, and THE HOME INSPECTOR'S OPINION SHOULD NOT CHANGE just because some local jerk makes a living selling their sole by signing letters like that.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    A licensed contractor trumps a home inspector every time. If he puts it in writing you really have no choice but to accept it.

    But Ken.. If one roofer told you the roof needed $16,000 of work, and another did min repairs, and gave you a cert that is good for x amount of time[ I believe 2 years is common] Would you buy the home, or tell a member of your family, or your customer, it's OK because another roofer certified it?

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    When issues are already known and repairs are needed, I can't see the certification being worth the paper on which it is printed.

    I wonder the same thing as you Dan. What exactly does a roof certification say and what does it mean to the the home owner in case something goes wrong with the roof installation?

    I really don't like it when a buyer leans on us for advice in these scenarios. You think you're done and then somebody tries to pull you back in.

    I've gotta disagree with you Ken. I think most of us have seen instances where the professionals our clients or the sellers hired to address repair issues said or did something that was completely wrong. There was one inspection where I called out multiple areas of improper clearances to combustible surfaces around a furnace B-vent. Anybody who has seen an installation manual for B-vent knows that the manufacturer repeatedly emphasizes the 1" minimum clearance requirement. The buyer brought the issue up with the sellers who had an HVAC pro look at the installation. The pro handwrote a letter on their invoice sheet that said"The flue pipe used is a special pipe designed to go through walls. Otherwise, the house would have burned down the first time the furnace was run."

    I try not to get into arguments with or debate the professionals' calls but sometimes they're just so wrong you have to say something.


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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    I sure would love to see that Certificate, or more likely the fine print on the back of it. If the roof looks like it has problems or may soon have problems (however it was that you put it to your client) a Cert isn't going to change that. It is normal obviously for different contractors to have different opinions.
    You may want to look at some of the NRCA installation diagrams and see if the install complies with those.
    As far as a contractor statement trumping an HI, forget it. A good HI is often working from a point of education, research and valid info. The contractor is often working from the point of, 'that's what we always do, so it must be right'.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post

    I really don't like it when a buyer leans on us for advice in these scenarios. You think you're done and then somebody tries to pull you back in.
    I try not to get into arguments with or debate the professionals' calls but sometimes they're just so wrong you have to say something.
    If something doesn't look right, and someone else downplays the issue, or says it's not really a problem, I auctually enjoy the challange of getting pulled back it these scenarios.

    I lost count on how many referrals I've gotten by having buyers lean on me. I figure I did my job as long as the end result is my customer understands what they are getting. Then they can decide if they want to end up with a money pit, or possibly be stiffed by a contractor.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 02-27-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    If the roof looks like it has problems or may soon have problems (however it was that you put it to your client) a Cert isn't going to change that.

    Unless ... ... the Certification Letter is both water proof and large enough to cover the roof.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    If something doesn't look right, and someone else downplays the issue, or says it's not really a problem, I auctually enjoy the challange of getting pulled back it these scenarios.

    I lost count on how many referrals I've gotten by having buyers lean on me. I figure I did my job as long as the end result is my customer understands what they are getting. Then they can decide if they want to end up with a money pit, or possibly be stiffed by a contractor.
    My point Dan (which I didn't mention) is when the buyer does this and asks us what they should do. That's their realtor's job to guide them.


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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That kind of thinking is COMPLETELY WRONG and comes from home inspectors who are not aware of what home inspections are about.
    Really? When was the last time you called something out and suggested review or repairs by a qualified home inspector? I'm pretty sure you've never done that. We always defer to the qualified contractor.

    The BUYER may have limited choices other than to accept it, but even the buyer still has choices - THE HOME INSPECTOR, on the other hand, is there to give their professional opinion to their client, and THE HOME INSPECTOR'S OPINION SHOULD NOT CHANGE just because some local jerk makes a living selling their sole by signing letters like that.
    I'm not saying we can't argue our findings, in fact, some times it's our job. But, when push comes to shove if the contractor only has to listen to the code authority,or manufacturer's instructions, not home inspectors.

    If you disagree with me please show some sort of evidence that a home inspector has the authority to mandate or require any repairs to a home they've inspected.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I've gotta disagree with you Ken. I think most of us have seen instances where the professionals our clients or the sellers hired to address repair issues said or did something that was completely wrong. There was one inspection where I called out multiple areas of improper clearances to combustible surfaces around a furnace B-vent. Anybody who has seen an installation manual for B-vent knows that the manufacturer repeatedly emphasizes the 1" minimum clearance requirement. The buyer brought the issue up with the sellers who had an HVAC pro look at the installation. The pro handwrote a letter on their invoice sheet that said"The flue pipe used is a special pipe designed to go through walls. Otherwise, the house would have burned down the first time the furnace was run."

    I try not to get into arguments with or debate the professionals' calls but sometimes they're just so wrong you have to say something.
    I agree with the fact that we've all seen contractor screw ups. But, like I just posted to Jerry, we have no authority to mandate or require repairs. We certainly can argue, but the final word comes from the contractor. The final, final word comes from the code authority. And that could be wrong also. If I were Dan I'd try to get the city inspector to come out and flag it.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    A licensed contractor trumps a home inspector every time. If he puts it in writing you really have no choice but to accept it.
    Ken, are Mn home inspectors Lic?
    I can see, and agree to your point to some extent.
    In AZ a Lic. contractor is only liable for his work for two years.
    As an AZ Licensed Inspector, there is no time limit that I can be held liable, and accountable for not properly disclosing a defect that was present at time of the inspection.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    But, when push comes to shove if the contractor only has to listen to the code authority,or manufacturer's instructions, not home inspectors.
    And that is not what we, you included, are talking about here - the home inspector should be on the same page as the manufacturer's installation instructions, in fact, those are the pages the home inspector should be using - this discussion is about some jerk being hired to come in and say that a bad roof, which has already been identified as being bad, is 'really not bad at all, and in fact they will "certify" the roof is not bad'.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Jerry, I understand what you're saying. I agree we can argue with the roofer and take him by the hand and show him the problems. But we as home inspectors can't force him to fix it. Now I assume Dan has recommended replacement and probably suggest review by a contractor. If the buyer chooses not to listen to Dan and listens to the contractor Dan has no liability. He's done his job.

    Now if Dan wants to take a stand against the contractor, going head to head with the contractor won't work since Dan has no jurisdiction over him. Dan needs to get the city inspector involved.

    I inspected a new house. One 2x12 floor joist was cut completely through in 4 different spots. I called it out. The builder refused to budge since the city had inspected and found nothing wrong. I arraigned a meeting at the house with myself, the buyers, the buyers agent, the builder and the Chief code official. When the code official saw the cut joist he tore up the certificate of occupancy and told the builder to fix it.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Ken, are Mn home inspectors Lic?
    I can see, and agree to your point to some extent.
    In AZ a Lic. contractor is only liable for his work for two years.
    As an AZ Licensed Inspector, there is no time limit that I can be held liable, and accountable for not properly disclosing a defect that was present at time of the inspection.
    No, no licensing in MN.

    But, you already disclosed the defect in the roof, correct? What they do from this point isn't really your problem, unless you want to really fight for your clients. In that case you'll need assistance from someone with authority, since you don't have any as a home inspector. Or do home inspectors in AZ have some authority since they're licensed?

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    No, no licensing in MN.

    But, you already disclosed the defect in the roof, correct? What they do from this point isn't really your problem, unless you want to really fight for your clients. In that case you'll need assistance from someone with authority, since you don't have any as a home inspector. Or do home inspectors in AZ have some authority since they're licensed?
    We don't have any authority, just can be held liable, by a hungry lawyer, for faulty workmanship if we fail to properly disclose it.
    I don't know for sure, I am assuming since this home is a vacant foreclosure, the local BI is not going to get involved unless repairs or replacement are done.

    I have had luck with the City BI, the last one was, the water softener drain line was hooked directly into a sewer line. On that one, the BI inspector told the customer, if it's not corrected their water would be shut off.
    The contractor that told the customer that I was full of s..t , was there the next day installing a backflow device.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 02-27-2010 at 05:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Dan, one other thing you may want to clarify. Is the contractor planning on certifying the roof as it sits or are they planning on doing repairs then certifying?

    The roofers I know won't certify a roof if they know repairs are necessary, but will certify it if they do the repairs.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Dan, one other thing you may want to clarify. Is the contractor planning on certifying the roof as it sits or are they planning on doing repairs then certifying?

    The roofers I know won't certify a roof if they know repairs are necessary, but will certify it if they do the repairs.
    I have to find that out. The leaks can be temporally repaired by caulking the hundreds of exposed nails, gooping the flashings, and caulking bottom of the tiles to secure them , and help prevent driving rain from going under them.

    To me that is not a long term option, if I go back on that home in a few years on a re-sale I would state the same as I did.
    The report the roof should be corrected to the mfg installation installations.
    There were several areas of exposed underlayment materials, that already had some sun damage, that can be coverd up.
    From my experience on feed back from new home customers, a roof is this condition could be short a few hundred tile.
    Considering the age, they may not be able to match the color of the existing tiles.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I have to find that out. The leaks can be temporally repaired by caulking the hundreds of exposed nails, gooping the flashings, and caulking bottom of the tiles to secure them , and help prevent driving rain from going under them.

    To me that is not a long term option, if I go back on that home in a few years on a re-sale I would state the same as I did.
    The report the roof should be corrected to the mfg installation installations.
    There were several areas of exposed underlayment materials, that already had some sun damage, that can be coverd up.
    From my experience on feed back from new home customers, a roof is this condition could be short a few hundred tile.
    Considering the age, they may not be able to match the color of the existing tiles.
    Get all the information you can before you challenge the roofer or bring in the city inspector. You may be worried over nothing.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    I can't count how many times I beat a contractor either in court or at a jobsite. There he is swearing up and down that I am a moron and he knows it all. There I am with my humble pages of paper, copies of the Code, Manuf Spec's, industry standards, etc. There he goes, tromping away, swearing how I am a jagoff and he'll be back with his crew to fix it.
    We as HI are under no obligation to consider the contractor's word as the final word. If our client hires us to help them in a matter, then our obligation is to provide legitimate evidence for their purposes and stick to the facts.
    One of the things that really bothers me about this discussion is the recurring idea/excuse that we have no authority. No sh-- Sherlock. Of course we have no authority to mandate or demand anything. As an HI, we have no legal authority to demand squat. So what. Is that an excuse not to provide a client with relevant needed information, to protect them from Joe scumbag contractor? I think not. Furthermore, we are not in the business of mandating or requiring a particular standard or repair. That's for the Muni Insp, Arch or SE. I provide my clients with their options. These options are based on Codes, standards, the building itself, their particular situation, etc. Which option they choose is up to them. The client, being the one with the checkbook, is the one who can mandate and require.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post

    One of the things that really bothers me about this discussion is the recurring idea/excuse that we have no authority. No sh-- Sherlock.
    The problem that we run into here is that many Home Inspectors, especially on this site, seem to think they do have authority.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    I can't count how many times I beat a contractor either in court or at a jobsite. There he is swearing up and down that I am a moron and he knows it all. There I am with my humble pages of paper, copies of the Code, Manuf Spec's, industry standards, etc. There he goes, tromping away, swearing how I am a jagoff and he'll be back with his crew to fix it.
    We as HI are under no obligation to consider the contractor's word as the final word. If our client hires us to help them in a matter, then our obligation is to provide legitimate evidence for their purposes and stick to the facts.
    One of the things that really bothers me about this discussion is the recurring idea/excuse that we have no authority. No sh-- Sherlock. Of course we have no authority to mandate or demand anything. As an HI, we have no legal authority to demand squat. So what. Is that an excuse not to provide a client with relevant needed information, to protect them from Joe scumbag contractor? I think not. Furthermore, we are not in the business of mandating or requiring a particular standard or repair. That's for the Muni Insp, Arch or SE. I provide my clients with their options. These options are based on Codes, standards, the building itself, their particular situation, etc. Which option they choose is up to them. The client, being the one with the checkbook, is the one who can mandate and require.
    The heavy highlight I am referring to above says if, as in if they want to go the extra mile and expense for the time involved. If they want you to pursue it beyond a home inspection then they can pay us to provide more time an documentation as needed.

    If it is a home inspection and only a home inspection we tell them of a concern and which contractor to follow up on the matter with. If they want to pursue it and we spend another day pulling further documentation together and hang out for the day waiting for all parties to arrive to confront the matter then we get paid for it and then and only then is it our obligation. We already fulfilled our obligation when we did the initial inspection and handed them the report and went over those findings. I have had people calling me to take a look at things long after an inspection. If I am in the neighborhood and it is a quick question and answer session to help them out that is one thing. If it is repeated calls about home advise and could you give them some help and stop over and and and. and then it will cost them. We are professionals that only get paid for our time. It is not like we sell goods and make a huge mark up on those goods and make a profit from hiring other trades.

    The truth is we have no authority at all. The truth is if we are paid for further advise and we can just present that advise and paper work as needed but still have no authority of any sorts for repairs.

    I know that you are not suggesting that once we are hired to do a home inspection that we are their servants and saviors for all time for free. I also understand that you know that we have no authority over anyone for anything. I am just explaining my opinion as to where our obligation starts and stops. After all the only thing we get paid for is time spent. The longer the time the more we get paid. The money stops and so does our obligation. Yes I know we hang in their with them to a point but that point gets pretty dull sooner or later.

    Then again, if you want to go back and forth to the home inspection site or their home a few times or more for the next week or month or so for free then that is you decision that you must make.


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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Agreed, Ted

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    I totally agree too, Ted.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The problem that we run into here is that many Home Inspectors, especially on this site, seem to think they do have authority.
    The other side of the problem we run into here is that SOME Home Inspectors, especially NOT on this site - but SOME on this site, seem to think they do not have to do anything other than to accept whatever a contractor says without regard to its validity and then change the home inspectors report accepting what the contractor says ... and that IS NEVER A CORRECT thing to do.

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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Right on Jerry . Aren't those called checkbox/franchise HI
    I am sooo jaded.

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    Cool Re: Roof Certifications

    I have to agree with Ken on this page. I have sold 2 homes, and while inspections are needed, they are often wrong! and kill deals. A year ago I paid $200 to have an electrician come to the house I was selling because there were some things noted on the form and the already nervous buyers were making a fuss about (one was the gauge of wire for my cooktop) and this electrician told me that he will write a letter showing the buyers that NOTHING needed repaired. ALSO, have a roof certification from the roofer who did my repairs, but the subject still came up because the inspector told them they need a different opinion, and they hired a guy who said i need a new roof (go figure).


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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxy Morgan View Post
    I have to agree with Ken on this page. I have sold 2 homes, and while inspections are needed, they are often wrong! and kill deals. A year ago I paid $200 to have an electrician come to the house I was selling because there were some things noted on the form and the already nervous buyers were making a fuss about (one was the gauge of wire for my cooktop) and this electrician told me that he will write a letter showing the buyers that NOTHING needed repaired. ALSO, have a roof certification from the roofer who did my repairs, but the subject still came up because the inspector told them they need a different opinion, and they hired a guy who said i need a new roof (go figure).

    While I obviously cannot speak to your electrician or your electrical wiring, I can definitely speak to my experience for electricians and other trades who write those letters, and my experience is that those letter are *meaningless* ... actually ... worse than *meaningless* as the letter state there is nothing wrong when obvious serious safety issues are easily and clearly visible.

    I suspect that many of us have had similar experiences.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  32. #32
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    The National Roof Certification and Inspection Assoication National Roof Certification And Inspection Association offers a roof certification. You only need to take their Dunlap & Carson course $900 course and then you can write certifications. You inspect the roof and request any repairs be made. Once repairs are made, you charge the customer $175 and certify it will not leak for 2 years.

    I might be off a bit on the numbers but that is the jist of their program.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Roof Certifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxy Morgan View Post
    I have to agree with Ken on this page. I have sold 2 homes, and while inspections are needed, they are often wrong! and kill deals. A year ago I paid $200 to have an electrician come to the house I was selling because there were some things noted on the form and the already nervous buyers were making a fuss about (one was the gauge of wire for my cooktop) and this electrician told me that he will write a letter showing the buyers that NOTHING needed repaired. ALSO, have a roof certification from the roofer who did my repairs, but the subject still came up because the inspector told them they need a different opinion, and they hired a guy who said i need a new roof (go figure).
    Next time you see an attorney you can thank them. The frivolous crap that gets thrown at us dictates the way we right reports more than anything. Particularly newer inspectors who are unsure of things they find are quick to call something wrong or the overused "further evaluation".

    I understand your frustration but, honestly, we didn't create this environmnet.


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