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  1. #1
    Jonathan Reaves's Avatar
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    Default Roof Inspection recommendations

    Hi everyone. I am brand new to the business and have done any inspections yet. In regards to inspecting the roof, how would I do it if I cannot transport my ladder in my car? I know that it is required if its safe to do so but here's something that confuses me, when I bought my home 4 years ago, I am pretty sure my inspector excluded walking the roof even though its entirely safe but yet he follows ASHI standards. So ladder or no ladder? Will I have to get a truck to haul my ladder?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    There are many reasons for not walking a rook. Not safe because of ice or snow. Too steep. Too high to get on it without an enormous ladder.
    However, you will have fewer problems if you walk as many as you can safely.
    I carry a 17' Little Giant in my vehicle. It will fit in almost any vehicle one would use for work. I also carry a small 12' tele step.
    With the 17' ladder, I am able to get on 95% of the roofs in my service area. Sometimes I will use the LG to get on a garage roof, then use the smaller one to get on the higher roof.
    However, there are many roofs that have slopes from 8/12 to 10/12 and I don't walk those.
    You need to do what you are comfortable with, but you should get in the habit of walking on the roofs that you can access safely.
    You need to have a vehicle to haul the tools necessary for you to do your job. I don't know a home inspector that does not carry a ladder.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    I only go where my 10' folding ladder will take me. Therefore I only walk roofs where I can reach with my 10' ladder.

    Get a good pair of compact binoculars.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    There are many reasons for not walking a rook. Not safe because of ice or snow. Too steep. Too high to get on it without an enormous ladder.
    However, you will have fewer problems if you walk as many as you can safely.
    I carry a 17' Little Giant in my vehicle. It will fit in almost any vehicle one would use for work. I also carry a small 12' tele step.
    With the 17' ladder, I am able to get on 95% of the roofs in my service area. Sometimes I will use the LG to get on a garage roof, then use the smaller one to get on the higher roof.
    However, there are many roofs that have slopes from 8/12 to 10/12 and I don't walk those.
    You need to do what you are comfortable with, but you should get in the habit of walking on the roofs that you can access safely.
    You need to have a vehicle to haul the tools necessary for you to do your job. I don't know a home inspector that does not carry a ladder.
    I agree with Jack - walk as many roofs as you can get on.

    The difference is that I also carried (in addition to the 17' Little Giant) a 26' Little Giant. I typically only needed the 26' Little Giant a couple of times a month, most of the roofs could be accessed with the 17' Little Giant ladder.

    Each person will find their own comfort level and that is what you need to go with, and if you can stretch your comfort level and become comfortable with that new level, go for it. I use to do things I was not comfortable doing but did them anyway, I survived and never suffered the grievous consequences which COULD VERY WELL have happened ... over time I stopped doing things I was not comfortable doing as I realized that - one day - I may suffer the consequences of overstepping the line between safe and unsafe.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    IMO, if you haven't been up to the gutter, you have done the client a great disservice, if disservice is even a word. Spell check says it is.

    What did your trainer say to do? What does your course material say? You are not obliged to do something unsafe. You are not serving anybody by falling from the roof and doing damage to yourself and the seller's property. But if you would like a motto that will serve you well, here it is - Don't Be Lazy.

    In 3rd world countries, if you can't haul the ladder in your car, you drag it behind your car.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Get some cougar paw roofing boots, wear gloves, and tie the ladder to the house securely with rope. Roofs can look ok from the ground or with binoculars but be different when you are up there.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    I don't walk steep pitched roofs. I tell the client that it's too dangerous,and besides, I can see most of the shingles from the ground due to the roof angle. Also, If the home has an attic, you can learn a lot about the roof in there. Sometimes all looks well up on top, but leaks are frequently discovered by carefully investigating the sheathing in the attic, especially near chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, etc.
    Nailing patterns will generally clue you in on how many layers of shingles there are. Look for holes where nails were removed (if any) when new shingles were installed. Sometimes you will see a combination of "rows" of nails, and "rows" of staples. Indicates another layer of shingles. Rusty nail heads generally indicate insufficient attic ventilation.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    You will also need a ladder to inspect attics. Send us all a picture of your car and we'll figure out a way for you to carry ladders........ Yes, more than one.

    Bruce Low
    Bottom Line Home Inspection
    The Bottom Line - Through an Engineer's Eyes


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    In NC and SC, there is no requirement to walk a roof at all. I never walk a 2 story house roof. Usually will walk a typical ranch if I consider it safe. I don't risk my life for a few hundred dollars.

    I carry a 17' Little Giant in the back of a Prius without problems.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Personally, when I look back at any call backs, errors, or omissions that got me in trouble or cost me money it was inevitably short changing the roof for one reason or another. If you can do it. Do it.
    Having said that, there are 14 inspectors working my rural area and I think I'm the only one that walks a roof.
    JLMathis


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    Personally, when I look back at any call backs, errors, or omissions that got me in trouble or cost me money it was inevitably short changing the roof for one reason or another.
    Perhaps you should modify your PIA. Additionally, I have a disclaimer at the beginning of my report roof sections that speaks about the limitations of a roof inspection from the ground using binoculars.

    The rule of thumb should be don't risk your life, especially if you have a family that depends on you.

    Guy falls off roof - YouTube

    falling off a roof - YouTube

    Last edited by Joe Funderburk; 02-04-2013 at 08:31 AM.
    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Jonathan;

    Home Depot sells 13 + foot articulating ladders that are basically the same as the Little Giant, at a fraction of the cost. They fit easily in the trunk of just about any car. Perfect for getting into attic access hatches too. If you can't get on a "reasonably sloped" roof with that, it's beyond the scope of inspection standards.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    IMO unless the roof is to steep to walk your going to miss a multitude of sins. I walk about 98% of roofs. I find problems on 90% of roofs. For the roofs you can't walk get a good pair of binoculars. Your doing your client a disservice if you don't inspect the roof. Get a vehicle that can carry the ladders you will need.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Even if you're not going to walk on the roof, you'll want to lay the ladder up against the drip edges to observe the gutters, flashings, and coverings as up close as possible.
    Shingled roofs made of slate, clay, or wood are not typically walkable but getting an up close view is going to improve your understanding of the condition.
    Just try and do everything you can to observe every part of the roof without compromising your safety.
    I also pack a 17' Little Giant into my sedan. Slips into the back seat smoothly. The wide base helps with stability and versatility (including interior attic access). A good ladder is crucial. Got mine on craigslist from a physically disabled woman who got carried away by the midnight infomercial. When arrived and she realized she can't climb a ladder. $100.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry DiGiovanni View Post
    I walk about 98% of roofs.
    You should go ahead and pick one out.

    http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6136/5...a013b640_z.jpg

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Reaves View Post
    Hi everyone. I am brand new to the business and have done any inspections yet. In regards to inspecting the roof, how would I do it if I cannot transport my ladder in my car? I know that it is required if its safe to do so but here's something that confuses me, when I bought my home 4 years ago, I am pretty sure my inspector excluded walking the roof even though its entirely safe but yet he follows ASHI standards. So ladder or no ladder? Will I have to get a truck to haul my ladder?
    If you want to do the best job for your clients your will access almost every roof. Years ago I knew a guy who carried a 28-foot extension ladder on a compact car using roof racks. There are many things you cannot inspect properly from the ground or from the edge of the roof.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    There are many reasons for not walking a rook. Not safe because of ice or snow. Too steep. Too high to get on it without an enormous ladder.
    However, you will have fewer problems if you walk as many as you can safely.
    I carry a 17' Little Giant in my vehicle. It will fit in almost any vehicle one would use for work. I also carry a small 12' tele step.
    With the 17' ladder, I am able to get on 95% of the roofs in my service area. Sometimes I will use the LG to get on a garage roof, then use the smaller one to get on the higher roof.
    However, there are many roofs that have slopes from 8/12 to 10/12 and I don't walk those.
    You need to do what you are comfortable with, but you should get in the habit of walking on the roofs that you can access safely.
    You need to have a vehicle to haul the tools necessary for you to do your job. I don't know a home inspector that does not carry a ladder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Reaves View Post
    Hi everyone. I am brand new to the business and have done any inspections yet. In regards to inspecting the roof, how would I do it if I cannot transport my ladder in my car? I know that it is required if its safe to do so but here's something that confuses me, when I bought my home 4 years ago, I am pretty sure my inspector excluded walking the roof even though its entirely safe but yet he follows ASHI standards. So ladder or no ladder? Will I have to get a truck to haul my ladder?
    me personally i use a telescope ladder plus there is a new thing on the market now called EYE STICK pretty good i am thinking about getting one it works with a wifi camera and it downloads to iphone or ipad.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by DENNIS OMARA View Post
    Home Depot sells 13 + foot articulating ladders that are basically the same as the Little Giant, at a fraction of the cost.
    I don't mean to for this be seen as coming down on you, but ... there is no way that any of those articulating ladders are comparable in any way to any Little Giant ladder.

    If you think otherwise, you are only kidding yourself.

    DO NOT "CHEAP OUT" ON YOUR LADDERS!

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Twice I have forgotten to take my ladder when I had to remove it from the back of my truck. At the house, I was able to drive my truck right up against the garage overhang. From the hood and then the cab I made it up and down the roof. The second time I had to scale an 8-foot wooden fence. I haven't forgotten my ladder a third time.

    TREC notified me recently that they haven't gotten around to investigate one of my client's formal complaint to them. It has been about 5 or 6 months now since my client filed a litany of complaints; one among them being that I didn't climb the roof. She's a total wacko. She was standing at the bottom of the ladder talking to me while I was walking the roof. Luckily I had photos.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    My choice of inspection methods is to walk every roof that I consider safe to do so. I have declined a few, but very few because of safety concerns, and this was stated to the client and the reasons why.
    I use 17' LG and a 6' step in my Jeep GC. They fit quite nicely, but I have at times had to resort to using the wifes car - a little car but with the folding rear seats the 17' LG still fits nicely.
    I consider roofs to be an important system of the house (who here wouldn't?) and I do all I can to include all aspects of the roof into my inspection. If you don't get right up there you easily miss roof conditions, nails and staples popping, flashing problems, skylight problems, chimney problems. Do these really matter??? ....only when it rains.


  21. #21
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    Smile Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Oh, and, welcome to the forum and the inspection business Jonathan.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Jonathan,
    I think you have to do 50+ inspections with a Lic HI. Find one that does walk the roofs up to 2 1/2 stories. Every SOP that I have seen including Va gives a weasel out of getting on the roof. But, there are many thing that can be missed from the ground. Go look at ladders, pick them up and extend them fully. See which ones you can handle. Test a few out. A truck makes caring ladders a lot easier, especially on the 30' to 40' range. Have fun :-).


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Regarding the Eye Stick. I think its a clever idea, practical, but it has limitations too.

    However considering the price I also thought this may be a better solution for those of us who do not walk roofs.

    Simple straight forward unit. Maybe it has limitations too, but maybe I can't see past the toy aspect.

    DJI-Innovations | Overview

    <$700


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Reaves View Post
    Hi everyone. I am brand new to the business and have done any inspections yet. In regards to inspecting the roof, how would I do it if I cannot transport my ladder in my car? I know that it is required if its safe to do so but here's something that confuses me, when I bought my home 4 years ago, I am pretty sure my inspector excluded walking the roof even though its entirely safe but yet he follows ASHI standards. So ladder or no ladder? Will I have to get a truck to haul my ladder?

    With your ladder purchase, don't forget to pick up a bungee cord. I hook it through the ladder from one Farrel to another on the gutter. Wind gusts can easily displace a ladder and then..... there you are. On homes without gutters I use a shimmed siding camlock to grasp a shingle,slide a string, like braided plumb bob line (do people still use plumb bobs?) through the siding saddle and wrap around rung.
    You guys might think this a bit of overkill, but the embarrassment of hanging out on a roof until somebody is within earshot, well once is enough.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hagenlock View Post
    You guys might think this a bit of overkill, but the embarrassment of hanging out on a roof until somebody is within earshot, well once is enough.
    OK, I just gotta ask; how long on the roof before you got down and, how did you get down? Let me guess, jump up and down and wave your arms as cars drive by or called the fire dept?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Flat, two storey roof - how do you inspect that with binocs? You don't.

    The property listing says Tar + Gravel and the house is 40 years old. The Tar and Gravel has actually been replaced with torched on mod bit. How do I know this? Ladder.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    OK, I just gotta ask; how long on the roof before you got down and, how did you get down? Let me guess, jump up and down and wave your arms as cars drive by or called the fire dept?

    Driving home from a work out, hefty storm brewing. Turn on to my road and notice a patch of shingles and paper ripped off a neighbors roof. They're not home so I head to my place, pick up some Grace, head back. Climb up, take about 3 or 4 steps and down goes the ladder. Well, nothing to do but patch the roof. Ever use Grace in a storm? That's another story *#@%**!!. Shoulda wrote a message on the backing paper, it probably landed in the Dakota's. Took me 10-15 minutes to get the roof patched up, all the while listening for vehicles. Then another ten minutes or so mulling over whether or not to activate my ninja training and make the drop. Then some kind souls in a home a100 yards (think measurement not property) away noticed a guy in shorts and a t-shirt standing on a roof in a storm and I guess their curiosity got the best of them. Saved but shamed.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hagenlock View Post
    Driving home from a work out, hefty storm brewing. Turn on to my road and notice a patch of shingles and paper ripped off a neighbors roof. They're not home so I head to my place, pick up some Grace, head back. Climb up, take about 3 or 4 steps and down goes the ladder. Well, nothing to do but patch the roof. Ever use Grace in a storm? That's another story *#@%**!!. Shoulda wrote a message on the backing paper, it probably landed in the Dakota's. Took me 10-15 minutes to get the roof patched up, all the while listening for vehicles. Then another ten minutes or so mulling over whether or not to activate my ninja training and make the drop. Then some kind souls in a home a100 yards (think measurement not property) away noticed a guy in shorts and a t-shirt standing on a roof in a storm and I guess their curiosity got the best of them. Saved but shamed.

    Sorry, but that was funny.
    Glad you didn't have to jump.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    Personally, when I look back at any call backs, errors, or omissions that got me in trouble or cost me money it was inevitably short changing the roof for one reason or another. If you can do it. Do it.
    Having said that, there are 14 inspectors working my rural area and I think I'm the only one that walks a roof.
    JLMathis

    Just curious. I have been at this for longer than I care to admit....never had a real call back or error and omission claim or have anything cost me money. Just how many of all of that have you dealt with and over how many years?

    I did pay a crying woman that called for three months crying and could not take it any more and kicked money in for a half a panel. To this day I have no idea why I did that. Just cannot take the crying. I had pictures of every square inch of the panel and wrote up everything she had fixed. I still paid.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    I have the 13 foot Home depot version. Fits perfectly when I choose to take my car.
    . I bought it asssuming that it was 13 feet when extended. So naturally I thought that it woud span the distance to a 10 foot high scuttle hole.
    WELL. IN SMALL PRINT IT SAYS 13 FEET ASSUMING A 5 FOOT PERSON IS STANDING ON THE 2ND TO LAST RUNG.
    It is a 10 foot ladder...it will not reach
    PS. I chose not to climb a slippery metal roof one day...but then when I got to the rear of the home I saw that there was a flat patio roof. I figured that I could climb the metal roof and if I slipped I would be OK..I would just land on the patio roof...

    NOT SAFE!! I slipped and caught every sheet metal screw on the way down. There was skin. hair. and blood sticking to all of those screws .OUCH!!
    I looked like the girl from the movie CARRIE.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    As a risk taker I still will set up a fall prevention system (ropes) at times. I got into rock climbing at about 15 and learned how to make harnesses, tie knots and use ropes for climbing. You might find it useful to get some training in climbing and how to use your lines. You don't have to go crazy just the basics will give you the ability to secure lines and set up a safe system, concentrating on repelling and knots. The costs are not that much, mostly the cost of rope (cordage)(not the Home Depot crap). You could buy a fabricated harness for climbing ( not the roofer fall prevention systems sold at places like Home Depot) or make your own from your climbing rope to reduce the cost it is not hard.

    Just a suggestion if safety (not falling) is why you don't walk the roof.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 02-07-2013 at 05:35 AM. Reason: addition

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Kris

    The first and last lesson is not to walk a metal roof, shake roof, wood shingle roof....


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Ted,

    I don't walk every roof and over 20 years I have yet to have a complaint let alone pay anyone for a negligent roof inspection. (touch wood).


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Just curious. I have been at this for longer than I care to admit....never had a real call back or error and omission claim or have anything cost me money. Just how many of all of that have you dealt with and over how many years?

    I did pay a crying woman that called for three months crying and could not take it any more and kicked money in for a half a panel. To this day I have no idea why I did that. Just cannot take the crying. I had pictures of every square inch of the panel and wrote up everything she had fixed. I still paid.
    In June of 2007 I inspected a home and reported the roof was "functioning as intended", no leaks and shingles were in good condition. In May of 2008 the young couple have there lawyer call me with a complaint the the roof needs to be replaced and the roofing contractor said "the home inspector should have caught this!" Fortunately I was already in the habit of taking a lot of pictures and keeping them. When I told the lawyer I had pic's proving the roof had been power washed there was never anything more about it.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    In June of 2007 I inspected a home and reported the roof was "functioning as intended", no leaks and shingles were in good condition. In May of 2008 the young couple have there lawyer call me with a complaint the the roof needs to be replaced and the roofing contractor said "the home inspector should have caught this!" Fortunately I was already in the habit of taking a lot of pictures and keeping them. When I told the lawyer I had pic's proving the roof had been power washed there was never anything more about it.
    So the roof was power washed following your inspection?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    So the roof was power washed following your inspection?
    Yes, there was a little algae, the black streak stuff, on the shingles. I tried to down load the pic's but the one I took after it had been washed is in high resolution. Too big to post. You can see where they stood on a ladder and ran the sweep attachment in a radiant pattern.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    A 22' Little Giant will fit in a 1992 Saab convertible with the front passenger seat leaned all the way back. I had to roll down both windows on the passenger side and open the door to shimmy it in. Tool bag and crawl gear tub in the trunk. Sometimes we have to work with what we have for a while. It broke the seat mechanism. Now I drive a Volvo station wagon.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The first and last lesson is not to walk a metal roof, shake roof, wood shingle roof....
    Especially WET metal, wood shake, wood shingle roofs ... PERSONAL EXPERIENCE talking here - I slipped on a wet wood shake roof and swore I would never do it again after sliding down the wet, slimy, slippery wood shakes on my stomach trying to dig my fingernails into the wood shakes to stop me --- the toes of my shoes caught the gutter (took a lot of 'Oh Crap, how do I get out of this' before I somehow managed to get out of it).

    Then probably less than a month later, maybe a week or two later, I proceeded to do the same STUPID THING, only this time I managed to grab a plumbing vent stack and didn't slide as far ... yeah that WAS the last time I did that stupid thing on wet wood shake and shingle roofs ... metal roofs are different (not wood, right?) so I had to learn the hard way again - gutters COME IN VERY HANDY FOR CATCHING YOUR TOES.

    I've got some other personal examples of stupid roof climbing stories - I survived long enough to learn that it was not worth the risk.

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

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Gould View Post
    A 22' Little Giant will fit ...
    ... into sneakers placed on the top of a Chevy Astro Van backed up to a commerical building wall and parapet and is then high enough to reach within 6 inches of the top of the parapet wall ... which happened to have a 4 foot drop to the roof on the other side - okay, now getting back up and over that parapet wall and finding the ladder was a challenge, but, having done something even stupider, I ALREADY KNEW HOW TO DO IT.

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

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Jerry

    Good points.

    A thousand years ago when I was in the film production business I was told to string a heavy electrical line from the generator to the klieg lights over a wood shake roof. Well I was fine until I start to slide, fortunately I got myself stopped just before the edge of a 25 foot drop.

    It was a good way to clear up constipation!


  41. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Dayton,Tn
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    16

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Gotta have a ladder - gutters, roof, attic, high ceilings, exterior walls, 2nd story decks, outside stairways, lofts, eaves, etc.- gotta have a ladder - some of the time - all of the time. I use 20' ladder that folds down to about 5' by 10" - it's great - its also a multi-positional step ladder. Cosco - is the name on it, I believe. I drive either a SUV (fold down seat) or a P/U though. Good luck.


  42. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    McKinney Texas
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    475

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    The Cosco ladder that Tabb mentions is what I have. Solid as a rock. Sold at WalMart and less expensive as other brands, and less expensive than what Home Depot and Lowe's sells. I would take the Cosco anyday and will by another if this one wears out. I have climbed over 500 roofs with it. It is stury, takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Folds up and fits in a car trunk, (even though I drive a truck).


  43. #43
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Back to the topic of transporting ladders. Many years ago a car passed me on an interstate road doing at least 60mph ( I drive and think slooowly )
    On the roof was a large canoe tied down to the front and rear bumpers. (this was back in the good olde days when vehicles had real metal bumpers--this is one reason why I keeps mom's 1989 Lincoln town car)

    So, did this vehicle have roof racks?? NO. It may have had rain chanels on the sides of the roof, which is a rare thing today and once I made a set of racks that I fixed to the channels. So, this canoe was securely connected to the vehicle via the friction of an inflated truck tire inner tube.

    Good friction ( which can be briefly improved by a film of water ) created by the amount of tension on the tie downs. Not too much wind resistance due to the roundness of the tube. A way to go. Currently I use Swedish made Thule #450 racks that fit easily to the side racks of my Toyota Rav4 and two bungee chords and one or two pieces of scrapped Romex AWG 15 or 20 that can be twisted aroung the ladder rungs and the Thule cross bars. I can carry a 28 footer on fast roads and my heavier 32 footer around the city on slower roads. My home made racks on my Subaru wagon allowed me to carry several large ladders on any road as the distance separating the racks is large enough but I also ran a plastic encapsulated steel chord the the real metal bumpers ( a used a gadget that was created for pulling clothes lines taut that has 3 ball bearing inside about $4.00 ) The steel chord is similar to what is used on garage door cables but has a transparent plastic sheathing.
    It is also used to articulate outboard motors on boats with steering wheels.

    Home & Condo Inspections in the Boston MA area by Certified & Licensed ASHI Inspector


  44. #44
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    To the original poster:

    I make every effort to access the roof. As stated, you are doing your client a disservice otherwise. There are many ways to do it (I've taken a step ladder out a 2nd story window and set-up on porch roofs more than once when hills are involved). I won't do steep, or slate, etc, but I feel obligated to make every effort.

    Safety is a valid reason, inconvenience isn't. I would feel negligent not carrying my ladders.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pennington nj
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    USE A CAMERA POLE.... I use a 14' painters pole with a 1/2-20 bolt epoxyed on the end, screw on the camera, put it on movie, wave it around, poke it here shove it there, pull it down and turn off the movie mode. Load it in the computer and use a screen capture program to take screen grabs. I use a painters pole and a $20 fishing rod when I have to go that extra 4'. It also allows great overalls that you can't get from on the roof. Plus it's alot safer, unless you hit an elec line.
    k


  46. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Pennington nj
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    8

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    whoops 1/4" -20 bolt...


  47. #47
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    I use a 12-foot folding ladder and in 12+ years have rarely had a roof I couldn't do a good inspection on. In the few times it's come up I call my roofer contact and have him do the roof inspection for me. I think it's happened maybe 3 times over the years. Usually it's on flat roofs on commercial buildings.

    Something I've done several times is to back my truck up and put the feet of my ladder in the crease between the opened tail gate and the bed. It's super stable and gives me an extra 3 feet or so.


  48. #48
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    Feb 2013
    Location
    FLORIDA
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    41

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    MR. PECK.. I salute you!
    My motto is...If at first I don't succeed..I keep on suckin' till I do succeed..

    I have even been one of those lonely inspectors waiting for someone to put my ladder back in place ..on a vacant house....
    I would have preferred to just fall to my death.... it's a lonely place on the roof when everyone in the neighborhood is at work..
    But..I'm still here..

    Next time Im taking my cell phone.. .. or at least a fiddle..


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    If you don't walk roofs around here, you will miss things and you won't work much.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  50. #50
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Ted,

    I don't walk every roof and over 20 years I have yet to have a complaint let alone pay anyone for a negligent roof inspection. (touch wood).
    I do not walk every roof myself but I do walk a vast amount of roofs. I took my breath away coming down off a roof last week. Way to steep but I had valleys and such to get up there with. I had my feet straddling a peak and the right foot slipped. That was enough to remind me why I stay off the steeper roofs.

    When I do not walk the roofs I state it straight out what I thought I could see from the ground or eves bur also state that I really have no idea as to the the full condition of the roof. I also state exactly what I saw in the attic and where I could not get to in the attic.


  51. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I do not walk every roof myself but I do walk a vast amount of roofs. I took my breath away coming down off a roof last week. Way to steep but I had valleys and such to get up there with. I had my feet straddling a peak and the right foot slipped. That was enough to remind me why I stay off the steeper roofs.

    When I do not walk the roofs I state it straight out what I thought I could see from the ground or eves bur also state that I really have no idea as to the the full condition of the roof. I also state exactly what I saw in the attic and where I could not get to in the attic.
    I find it amazing how much steeper they are from the roof than the ground.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  52. #52
    Mitchell Allen's Avatar
    Mitchell Allen Guest

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Try this out for size. I use a wifi camera attached to the 21 foot wonder pole. The signal is sent to my iPad or iPhone. I can see any part of the roof I wish up close, zoom in and out and take video or pictures all controlled by the app that comes for the camera. Pretty cool and very safe. All in all the camera, mounts and pole cost about 400.00 but I never put my life in jeopardy by walking on a roof. I will use a ladder to get closer look if need be but never go on them. Too many opportunities to fall or damage something


  53. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    FLORIDA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Mitch,
    nice!
    I am "so out of the loop" that I went to walgreens looking for flash cubes! She didn't know what I was talking about.


  54. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    A couple of times I've climbed the next door neighbors' single story roof to take a better look on my clients second story roof. I haven't been caught trespassing yet.


  55. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bradley Illinois
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    I have been using the Longshot Camera System For 3 years. It cost less than $300 for the 21' pole, not the $800 that an Eyestick costs. It is a very ingenious system using a basic digital camera.

    LongShot Camera Systems | Cleveland Ohio | Home Page


  56. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Roof Inspection recommendations

    Got to have at least one ladder, I carry 3. One is a light weight 8 ft extension that I use to get into attics all the time (have to get up past the insulation baffles). Like others have said, climb up on what you are comfortable, be careful with metal roofs, they tend to oxdize and become slippery. Be very wary of wood shake roofs. And never climb on a cement tile roof if you can avoid it, because you will probably break a lot of the tiles.
    Where possible, at least use the ladder to inspect the roof from the edge (gutter if there is one) so you can physically touch the roof, see the flashings, etc. And always be super careful (fiberglass extension ladders tend to slide sideways). Flashings around vents and chimneys are critical to inspect as well as possible.

    What nobody has mentioned so far - at least do a visual check of BOTH SIDES OF THE ROOF. Can't count how many times I have seen the front and it looked ok, but then found surprises on the back side. Sometimes an owner will re-shingle only the front of the house, and back will be in horrible condition. again - always check ALL sides of a roof in some manner.


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