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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    California
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    Question Roof Life Expectancy

    I am mainly curious if others include life expediencies in there respective reports, I did a house back in October 2018, that was 92 years old, and actually I walked on the roof and it looked fine, no leaks or issues. Well, anyway I just received and email from the client stating her insurance company will not cover her unless she gets a new roof, and she sent out an email wondering why I did not tell her it was 'end-of-life', odd thing is they covered her the 1st year but wont do a 2nd year., well c'mon folks 92 years for anything is near its end. I have checked and in CA. we are not required to discuss that unless we are engineers, (which I am not). The specific code I go by also states

    Part III. Limitations, Exceptions, and ExclusionsA. The following are excluded from a real estate inspection:
    7. Determining adequacy, efficiency, suitability, quality, age, or remaining life of any building, system, or component, or marketability or advisability of purchase

    Thoughts ??

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,291

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    It depends on the situation for me. If it is in what I estimate to be the last 5-6 years of life or less left on the roof I mention it. If it looks new or I expect another 10+ I don't normally bring it up.

    I assume that the roof was not 92 years old on the house, although I have heard that some slate and tile roofs can last that long. We had some metal roofing on some of the old farm houses when I lived in PA that were quite old. My first house had a slate roof, and I have no idea how old it was but I moved from there 25 years ago.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Maybe those numbers are good for some areas, they are far fetched wishful thinking for Florida, especially South Florida, and along the coast.

    I can imagine other 'sunshine' states have simiar short roof life expectancies.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,779

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    I am mainly curious if others include life expediencies in there respective reports, I did a house back in October 2018, that was 92 years old, and actually I walked on the roof and it looked fine, no leaks or issues. Well, anyway I just received and email from the client stating her insurance company will not cover her unless she gets a new roof, and she sent out an email wondering why I did not tell her it was 'end-of-life', odd thing is they covered her the 1st year but wont do a 2nd year., well c'mon folks 92 years for anything is near its end. I have checked and in CA. we are not required to discuss that unless we are engineers, (which I am not). The specific code I go by also states

    Part III. Limitations, Exceptions, and ExclusionsA. The following are excluded from a real estate inspection:
    7. Determining adequacy, efficiency, suitability, quality, age, or remaining life of any building, system, or component, or marketability or advisability of purchase

    Thoughts ??
    Joe,

    92 year old house or 92 year house with a 92 year old roof? I have not run into a roof that has lasted 92 years.

    Your quote looks to be from the CREIA Standards of Practice and if you look at Part 1: Definitions & Scope, reporting end of life is a part of a home inspection. Yes, it does seem to contradict the exclusion you quoted at the end. I don't have a good explanation for that.

    2. A real estate inspection report provides written documentation of material defects discovered in the inspected building's systems and components which, in the opinion of the Inspector, are safety hazards, are not functioning properly, or appear to be at the ends of their service lives. The report may include the Inspector's recommendations for correction or further evaluation.

    Last edited by Gunnar Alquist; 07-17-2019 at 10:13 PM.
    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    1,968

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Joe,

    92 year old house or 92 year house with a 92 year old roof? I have not run into a roof that has lasted 92 years.

    Your quote looks to be from the CREIA Standards of Practice and if you look at Part 1: Definitions & Scope, reporting end of life is a part of a home inspection. Yes, it does seem to contradict the exclusion you quoted at the end. I don't have a good explanation for that.

    2. A real estate inspection report provides written documentation of material defects discovered in the inspected building's systems and components which, in the opinion of the Inspector, are safety hazards, are not functioning properly, or appear to be at the ends of their service lives. The report may include the Inspector's recommendations for correction or further evaluation.
    I concur, Gunner. Typically/usually an insurance company will accept a written document by an independent source, roofing contractor, although they try to sell a new roof, or from a certified home inspector to wave the replacement condition, or the insurance company limits the home's insurance. To the insurance company, it's about limiting their liability, getting/squeezing those last insurance dollars from a 96 year old client and protecting shareholders.

    Joe Reilly, if you have any expertise in roof coverings, you may wish to provide you prior client with a detailed roof covering report for a reasonable fee.
    Remember, the home inspection report you provided that client, that day, was SOP and only provided so much information.

    1: Get the invoice to see how old the roof covering is.
    2: Do a ancelary roof inspection.

    If the roof is in good condition and the insurance company is still hell bent on your prior client changing the roof covering there are several remedies at your disposal to soften the insurance companies approach to your prior client.

    A: Time. The woman is 96 years young.

    B: Explain to them, the insurance provider, condition liability is in your court now. Your E&O/GL insurance company has the client covered.

    C: Call consumer protection/advocacy group. Make a complaint about 'that insurance company' and explain how the insurance company appears to be squeezing unneeded financial expenditures from a 96 year old women to protect shareholders, seeing they approve the insurance file one year ago.

    Good luck with all your endeavors.
    Keep us posted.
    Remember, like Red Green states in the closing lines of his Red Green show; I'm Pullen 4 U. We're all in this together.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,422

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    and actually I walked on the roof and it looked fine, no leaks or issues.
    [/I]Thoughts ??
    So, how old was the roof? Clearly it wasn't 92 years old, so the age of the component is the issue.

    Lots of roofs "look fine" but an underwriter may have a policy or protocol to not insure roofs over xx years old (20, 25, etc.)

    I wouldn't try to hide behind that SOP statement, as a roof has a finite service life that should be noted when near or close to end.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    The only 40 year old shingles I've ever seen where still in bundles/wrappers & stored in a warehouse.


  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    The two oldest roofs I recall having seen during inspections were true clay tile barrel roofs.

    Both were in South Florida and I reported that both were in need of replacement. One was 50 years old and the other was 75 years old (or thereabout).

    Leaking?

    That is the question the agents asked. My response was something like (looking up at the sky) 'Not today, the sun is shinning and it's not raining.'

    Then I explained that, when archaeologists do their digs, what do they frequently find - 5,000 year old pieces of broken clay pottery ... and that is what is on that roof ... it just isn't 5,000 years old yet, but some of it is broken already.

    I went on to explain that the actual waterproof roof covering is what is below that clay tile, and what is below that clay tile at the time it was installed was likely some type of organic material saturated in asphalt which was used as a roofing felt underlayment, and that it is the life of THAT material which matters, not the 'will be found in 5,000 years broken clay tile'.

    I then explained that modern asphalt saturated organic mat felts used for underlayment last maybe 15-20 years, maybe even 25 years, but 50 years ... not happening.

    The reason that roof is still performing as it is, is because those old true barrel tile roofs were laid in such a way as to shed most of the water over the tops of the tiles, but that cracks in the mortar joints and the broken tile leads to a "yes, the roof is leaking past its current waterproof surface".

    End result is "The roof needs to be replaced."

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 07-18-2019 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Had "or", meant to type in need "of" replacement
    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Vilonia AR
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    I have a standard statement that I put into every report. Basically it says that due to varying insurance standards, recommend that your insurance company inspect the roof prior to closing.

    I have had this situation a couple of times. I inspect and found no problems, six months later insurance company wants to cancel policy because the roof is worn out. I recommended that another insurance company be contacted. That company inspected the roof and wrote a new policy.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    We have slate roofs here in MD that last over 150+ years. Depends on the quarry as some have much shorter life spans.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Roof Life Expectancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Maybe those numbers are good for some areas, they are far fetched wishful thinking for Florida, especially South Florida, and along the coast.

    I can imagine other 'sunshine' states have simiar short roof life expectancies.

    It definitely depends on the area and weather wear for how long your bang for buck will last. Very difficult to one-size-fits-all obviously, but I usually don't mention the roofing life expectancy at all unless that time is clearly approaching. Out in New Jersey we see a lot of wear as well on the coast - although likely not as much as down in FL.

    Sterling
    Home Inspection Newark


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