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  1. #1
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    Default Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    I have a home inspection tomorrow. It is supposed to be -8F. I had an inspection last week where the home owner told me he did not want me on his roof as he was concerned that the shingles would be brittle from the cold and I would damage them.

    How cold is too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Thanks for help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    First I've ever heard that. I've walked on roofs with temps in the single digits and seen no ill effect or damage inflicted on the shingles.

    At what temperature level would the homeowner be OK with you walking the roof? Zero degrees? 10 degrees? Sorry but I've got a job to do so if you don't want me to walk on your roof today, you can offer to pay for my return trip.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    -8F? I wouldn't walk it. And I don't walk any roof in the winter. Secondly if the weather and temps are the same as here there is likely snow on the roof or good portion of it.

    In winter conditions make sure you note your limitations, as to snow/ice cover, query seller as to history, et ceteras, et ceteras...


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Thanks for the inputs.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    ....

    At what temperature level would the homeowner be OK with you walking the roof? Zero degrees? 10 degrees? Sorry but I've got a job to do so if you don't want me to walk on your roof today, you can offer to pay for my return trip.
    " Sorry but I've got a job to do..." and working with the OWNER and at their discretion as to how and what the OWNER will allow you to do is part of that job.

    It doesn't matter what the temp. If the OWNER of the property says you can not walk on the roof, you can not walk on the roof. It OWNER does not have to have a reason, they own the property. If the OWNER says that you have to remove your shoes to enter the house then you remove your shoes or walk away. If they the OWNER says that you can not go into a particular room, you can not go in to that room. You just state it in the report. It's that simple.

    If the client does not like the fact that you could not walk the roof and does not like what you report from the ladder or the ground then they walk away form the contract or make a counter offer.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    The agent can also include a clause in the purchase agreement that the seller warrants that the roof/shingles are free of leaks and in good repair.

    Again throw the whole matter back into the lap of the seller. If the seller states the shingles were replaced so many years ago, that statement goes into my report.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    I have a home inspection tomorrow. It is supposed to be -8F. I had an inspection last week where the home owner told me he did not want me on his roof as he was concerned that the shingles would be brittle from the cold and I would damage them.

    How cold is too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Thanks for help.
    Tom,
    Don't you have snow on the roof????


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Tom,
    Don't you have snow on the roof????
    It is likely to have snow but it is some 40 miles from where I live and I inspected some last week where the snow had blown off.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    I haven't done many inspections at below 0, but I've walked a few composition roofs at below 0 with no problems. They are crunchy but I've never seen a shingle break. In my mis-spent youth, I much preferred installing stiff cold shingles than wet noodle hot shingles. Walking hot roofs is a much bigger concern and much easier to damage if you aren't being careful.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I haven't done many inspections at below 0, but I've walked a few composition roofs at below 0 with no problems. They are crunchy but I've never seen a shingle break. In my mis-spent youth, I much preferred installing stiff cold shingles than wet noodle hot shingles. Walking hot roofs is a much bigger concern and much easier to damage if you aren't being careful.
    Thanks. If it is clear of snow I will go on it.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    " Sorry but I've got a job to do..." and working with the OWNER and at their discretion as to how and what the OWNER will allow you to do is part of that job.

    It doesn't matter what the temp. If the OWNER of the property says you can not walk on the roof, you can not walk on the roof. It OWNER does not have to have a reason, they own the property. If the OWNER says that you have to remove your shoes to enter the house then you remove your shoes or walk away. If they the OWNER says that you can not go into a particular room, you can not go in to that room. You just state it in the report. It's that simple.

    If the client does not like the fact that you could not walk the roof and does not like what you report from the ladder or the ground then they walk away form the contract or make a counter offer.
    I never said "I'm going to do whatever I want". I said if I'm going to have to make a return trip, then somebody is going to need to pay a return trip fee. If a roof can be walked, I'm not looking at it from a ladder at the eaves. If the owner flat out refuses any roof walking regardless of temperature or conditions, then that is another matter. But there is nothing in the OP's post that states the seller would not allow him to walk the roof under any conditions. Only because of the low temps. And if you call me back in a week and say the temperature has warmed and you can come back and complete the inspection, I'm going to advise of my return trip fee.

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

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    I was on three roofs in the past two days that had some level of partial snow cover. I don't walk on the snow covered portion and keep my walking on the exposed areas.

    To each his own and you have to do what you feel safe/comfortable doing.

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Last winter, I stepped outside at an inspection to see a ladder against the eave. Curious, I walked over to be more than amazed to see the guy scoping the sewer on the roof in six inches of snow running in his camera down a vent with all of his equipment parked next to him. When I expressed my amazement, he just shrugged his shoulders. It was about a 4/12 pitch, but since I'd taken a ride in my youth on a similar snow covered roof, I wouldn't consider stepping out on it, today.

    Oddly, I haven't seen that guy this year......maybe he moved on to some other line of work.....I haven't heard about any funerals for sewer scope guys....

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    This morning at inspection -17F

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    This morning at inspection -17F
    I see a bare section of roof, so you got that roof inspected....right?

    No self respecting Canuck is gonna be afeared a little snow!

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    I have a home inspection tomorrow. It is supposed to be -8F. I had an inspection last week where the home owner told me he did not want me on his roof as he was concerned that the shingles would be brittle from the cold and I would damage them.

    How cold is too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Thanks for help.
    I got a sun burn this week in the field..I think it got up to 89

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Early a.m start on Friday...and I had to wear a long sleeved shirt, brrrrr.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    This morning at inspection -17F
    You can see the area where the insulation is missing or ineffective ...

    Or maybe a gas appliance vent is venting to the roof sheathing ...

    Either way, you now have something to check out.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Jerry

    Its neither of those, its day time heating on a south exposure. Plus wind wash as prevailing winds are out of the west, north west. Attic insulation levels were up to snuff as was venting of exhaust fans. Insulation level was R40 throughout.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Jerry

    Its neither of those, its day time heating on a south exposure. Plus wind wash as prevailing winds are out of the west, north west. Attic insulation levels were up to snuff as was venting of exhaust fans. Insulation level was R40 throughout.
    Raymond,

    Thanks for the update and information.

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    The back portion of the roof had over a foot of snow on it.

    The picture was taken at start of inspection, by the time I left the inspection the front section had melted even more to expose more of the shingles even though the temp was still below zero, but it was sunny and there was no wind chill.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    We call it "black ice" on account of, you can't see it until you hit it.
    Frost / ice that's difficult to detect would be my concern. After a couple of close calls I have redefined the limits for when I'll walk a roof. Personal safety always wins out over self-esteem and ego.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    However that portion visible is the most dangerous. We call it "black ice" on account of, you can't see it until you hit it.
    You make an excellent point worth doubling down on. Sometimes you can step onto a roof with no difficulty and a few steps up, step on some black ice. As others have said, error on the side of caution.

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

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Too cold to step on asphalt shingles?

    If the purpose of walking the roof (and I do, whenever possible) is to inspect the roof and all that's encompassed, what's the point in walking only half the roof, when the other half - or some percentage, can not be inspected due to snow/ice covering? Logic tells me that if it's visibly dangerous in some areas then it's possibly / probably dangerous underfoot in other areas, not readily apparent.

    I know its its a considered a good sales pitch and indicates thoroughness but c'mon...common sense prevails. If walking the roof presents a hazard, just report what you can, identify the hazard as the reason for an incomplete inspection and move on. There is no way, with any snow or ice covered roof that a proper evaluation can be made anyway. Who knows what leaks may develop with thawing, long after the inspection was done.


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