Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
    Joe Suelter Guest

    Default Suspended Ceilings

    What is your companies protocol for drop ceilings? How many tiles do you move? What do you do if you cannot get a tile back in place?

    I usually move a tile every 10 feet or so, both directions. My problem is, these Joe Homeowner installs where there is less than an inch of headroom above the tiles, and the frame is so out of square, the tiles are a pain in the arse to get back down. I fight and fight with them, getting them back (after a few choice words under my breath).

    Just curious as to how some of you handle these?

    Off to work...have a great day!!

    Similar Threads:
    Member Benefits1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    My experience is much the same as yours. The bright side is that fighting with the tiles is not as bad as a nasty crawl space or hot attic.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
    Joe Suelter Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Oh absolutely! A few years back, when I was working with another company, I was chasing some cables across a suspended ceiling, I lifted up every other tile, got to the middle, lifted the tile...CRASH!!...the homeowner came running downstairs to see me still holding the one tile up while the entire ceiling framework collapsed to the ground!! That was a fiasco! The company ended up splitting the difference with them to have it reinstalled, to which I did not agree with, but that wasn't my choice.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Suelter View Post
    Oh absolutely! A few years back, when I was working with another company, I was chasing some cables across a suspended ceiling, I lifted up every other tile, got to the middle, lifted the tile...CRASH!!...the homeowner came running downstairs to see me still holding the one tile up while the entire ceiling framework collapsed to the ground!! That was a fiasco! The company ended up splitting the difference with them to have it reinstalled, to which I did not agree with, but that wasn't my choice.
    So ... you thought you were playing this game?

    Jenga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    What is your companies protocol for drop ceilings? How many tiles do you move? What do you do if you cannot get a tile back in place?

    I usually move a tile every 10 feet or so, both directions. My problem is, these Joe Homeowner installs where there is less than an inch of headroom above the tiles, and the frame is so out of square, the tiles are a pain in the arse to get back down. I fight and fight with them, getting them back (after a few choice words under my breath).

    Just curious as to how some of you handle these?

    Off to work...have a great day!!
    Oh absolutely! A few years back, when I was working with another company, I was chasing some cables across a suspended ceiling, I lifted up every other tile, got to the middle, lifted the tile...CRASH!!...the homeowner came running downstairs to see me still holding the one tile up while the entire ceiling framework collapsed to the ground!! That was a fiasco! The company ended up splitting the difference with them to have it reinstalled, to which I did not agree with, but that wasn't my choice.
    First of all, I am chosing to completely avoid discussing the appropriateness or inappropriateness of your actions relative to your cable company employment and communication cables, electric cords, amplifiers, splitters, sound equipment, etc. installed above the genericly described "drop ceiling" or your advertures in that employment/capacity with Comcast directly or via sub (referenced second quote above, and your "new member" topic posts); and limit my post dealing/addressing solely licensed Home Inspector activities during "regular" (pre-purchase/pre-sale) non-invasive, non-destructive Home Inspections (IL).

    Invasive generally outside the scope of a Home Inspection, and requiring consent of the HO.

    Furthermore, many, especially older (even newer) home and commercial products, such materials contain asbestos, lead, mercury, etc..

    Particulate/dust collections above may contain lead, asbestos, rodent droppings (hanta virus, plague, etc.) mercury containing, arsenic or other pesticide-containing "dusts", amongst other concerns.

    Environmental exposure risks to the home/occupants.

    Are you properly trained, noticed and acquired informed consent for such activities? Covered for the consequences. Willing to risk an occupant sensitive to allergins possible exposure (i.e. cockroach droppings, other allergins in previously "contained" dust triggering reaction, asthma attack, etc. This could be especially "dicey" should the home be an income property or place of employment/public/commercial activity.

    In general, IMHO it would be unwise to personally (especially by one's own hand) "disturb" such a finish system or assembly, and certainly not without the expressed written consent of the H.O. and occupants if otherwise; let the H.O. MOVE or remove; but beyond the scope of a regular H.I. to be moving, removing or disturbing a ceiling finish (system) or part thereof, in general.

    Review Illinois Code & Rules. Discuss with your imdemnity provider (insurer).

    Check with the local governmental unit regarding if restorative/replacment to property of others requires separate licensing (keeping in mind cost/value should near or total re-installation or replacement be necessary due to your activities).

    Risking damage and/or contamination of contents, building finishes, coverings, and exposure of occupants. Environmental cleanup, restoration, replacement or repair of damaged contents should there be a collapse, failure, etc.

    Not to mention what a gosh-darn pain it could be finding a matching replacement "tile" should you damage the "one" you are removing or disturbing in the first place.

    How do you determine if said "drop ceiling" is a suspended ceiling which is a listed or tested assembly, an applied ceiling finish, etc.. Not without first identifying the system and type of ceiling finish and reviewing the installation instructions, some of these close-quarter systems use for example "points" somewhat like oversized glazing points to interconnect and removing or replacing a "tile" or several, improperly in the overall field covered can cause partial or total collapse. Installing or re-installing a "tile" or componant incorrectly can jepordize the overall flame spread rating of the ceiling finish and/or compromise the integrity of the possibly otherwise rated/listed assembly. What activities are and are not covered by your insurance(s) carrier(s), with or without written consent of the property owner, with or without a written expressed indemification by same.

    What is your future liability should you not have fully restored the integrity of the "system" fully and completely? Who or what is to say the "system" was installed correctly before you first touched it (i.e. future partial or total collapse, injury, fire spread, etc.); what if a cascade of asbestos containing, lead containing, biological hazard containing particulate becomes airborne/rains down, etc. - "last man out" exposure.

    Are you prepared/covered/indeminified/protected/licensed/authorized/trained/licensed for such an endeavor indoors upon the occupied/habital property of others, and the potential liability/consequences of such actions?

    Don't touch or move. Beyond the Scope of a "regular" Home Inspection.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-13-2011 at 10:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Wow H.G., quite a commentary! I'm not sure what to make of it.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Wow H.G., quite a commentary! I'm not sure what to make of it.
    I think he said, it's suppost to be a visual inspection...or something like that

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Watson,

    Are you a home inspector? Or did you stay at a Holiday Inn?


  9. #9
    Bill Parrish's Avatar
    Bill Parrish Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I completely agree with Watson. That's why I don't operate painted interior doors or painted windows in pre-1978 houses; might grind lead paint and release lead dust.

    I don't do furnaces either; might set the house on fire. And don't even get me started on electrical components; talk about dangerous.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    .... and just what do you do at an inspection?

    I don't leave the house as its a risk, I could be killed on the way to the inspection...

    Disclaimers are a dime a dozen ...


  11. #11
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Mr Watson, as much fun as it is to read your posts, there are times (now) that you really should consider firing your editor. He/she is most certainly adding to your normal hyperbole and including old boiler plate...

    Regardless, I agree with all the parts that I understood of your soliloquy.

    Leave them alone, I always write in my report that I didnt remove them and that disclosure and access be granted. If my client so wishes, I will return and inspect.

    Happy New Year




  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Wow.
    Well as much as I agree with some of what HG stated I don't believe it to be a reasonable argument to make for those actually working in the field and serving clients. The potential liability of not finding problems far out weighs a possible chipped ceiling tile corner or any possible dust. Under that argument we wouldn't be removing dishwasher connection panels, electrical panels, access panels or checking behind stoves. At that point, you better have the best insurance on the planet. Its just not feasible. The amount of potential problems that can be missed could break you.
    I typically move a few over, as few as possible though. I'll stick the Seesnake up there and look around with it. It is true a lot of the tiles are a pain to move and those I don't move. It's usually fairly easy to find at least a couple that move up and over easily. If it is older, poor condition or suspect material ceiling tile I'll leave it alone. I don't see newer stuff as an issue.
    I have found far too many electrical, plumbing, structural problems and open supply ducts inside of dropped ceilings. Many a buyer has opted out of a deal because of what was discovered inside the ceiling. Maybe its just me but if someone put in a dropped ceiling in recent years they are trying to hide something. In that case I want to find it. Every good inspector I know moves tiles as possible.
    Obviously be careful because you don't want to damage someones property. However, if you aren't a checkbox moron, you need to do a good inspection.
    Each to their own though.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    If I found a ceiling tile with staining, I would be certain to try and lift it to see what is above.

    From a courtcase from Alberta Civil Division
    Flemming v. Yakimchuk, 2000 ABPC 90

    [10] ... I also accept that the problem was readily visible upon easy moving of a single ceiling tile at a point where a rust spot on the hanger bar was visible and that such moving of a tile was not in any way an invasive procedure nor did it require “dismantling” of any component of the house in order to be seen.

    [11] ... also find that the Inspector Mr. Stuparyk, on behalf of his employer the Defendant Houseguard Home Inspection and Construction Services Ltd., did not do an adequate inspection of the premises on October 27th by failing to investigate further the matter of the disclosed leakage problem of the deck and by failing to note the rust mark on the ceiling hanger in the basement and move the tile adjacent to determine the cause of the rust spot. Such minor action would have disclosed to him the extent of the water leakage from the deck and the actual state of the wood supports for the deck, and would have indicated a further investigation was needed before the Purchasers bought the house.


  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    First of all, I am chosing to completely avoid discussing the appropriateness or inappropriateness of your actions relative to your cable company employment and communication cables, electric cords, amplifiers, splitters, sound equipment, etc. installed above the genericly described "drop ceiling" or your advertures in that employment/capacity with Comcast directly or via sub (referenced second quote above, and your "new member" topic posts); and limit my post dealing/addressing solely licensed Home Inspector activities during "regular" (pre-purchase/pre-sale) non-invasive, non-destructive Home Inspections (IL).

    Invasive generally outside the scope of a Home Inspection, and requiring consent of the HO.

    Furthermore, many, especially older (even newer) home and commercial products, such materials contain asbestos, lead, mercury, etc..

    Particulate/dust collections above may contain lead, asbestos, rodent droppings (hanta virus, plague, etc.) mercury containing, arsenic or other pesticide-containing "dusts", amongst other concerns.

    Environmental exposure risks to the home/occupants.

    Are you properly trained, noticed and acquired informed consent for such activities? Covered for the consequences. Willing to risk an occupant sensitive to allergins possible exposure (i.e. cockroach droppings, other allergins in previously "contained" dust triggering reaction, asthma attack, etc. This could be especially "dicey" should the home be an income property or place of employment/public/commercial activity.

    In general, IMHO it would be unwise to personally (especially by one's own hand) "disturb" such a finish system or assembly, and certainly not without the expressed written consent of the H.O. and occupants if otherwise; let the H.O. MOVE or remove; but beyond the scope of a regular H.I. to be moving, removing or disturbing a ceiling finish (system) or part thereof, in general.

    Review Illinois Code & Rules. Discuss with your imdemnity provider (insurer).

    Check with the local governmental unit regarding if restorative/replacment to property of others requires separate licensing (keeping in mind cost/value should near or total re-installation or replacement be necessary due to your activities).

    Risking damage and/or contamination of contents, building finishes, coverings, and exposure of occupants. Environmental cleanup, restoration, replacement or repair of damaged contents should there be a collapse, failure, etc.

    Not to mention what a gosh-darn pain it could be finding a matching replacement "tile" should you damage the "one" you are removing or disturbing in the first place.

    How do you determine if said "drop ceiling" is a suspended ceiling which is a listed or tested assembly, an applied ceiling finish, etc.. Not without first identifying the system and type of ceiling finish and reviewing the installation instructions, some of these close-quarter systems use for example "points" somewhat like oversized glazing points to interconnect and removing or replacing a "tile" or several, improperly in the overall field covered can cause partial or total collapse. Installing or re-installing a "tile" or componant incorrectly can jepordize the overall flame spread rating of the ceiling finish and/or compromise the integrity of the possibly otherwise rated/listed assembly. What activities are and are not covered by your insurance(s) carrier(s), with or without written consent of the property owner, with or without a written expressed indemification by same.

    What is your future liability should you not have fully restored the integrity of the "system" fully and completely? Who or what is to say the "system" was installed correctly before you first touched it (i.e. future partial or total collapse, injury, fire spread, etc.); what if a cascade of asbestos containing, lead containing, biological hazard containing particulate becomes airborne/rains down, etc. - "last man out" exposure.

    Are you prepared/covered/indeminified/protected/licensed/authorized/trained/licensed for such an endeavor indoors upon the occupied/habital property of others, and the potential liability/consequences of such actions?

    Don't touch or move. Beyond the Scope of a "regular" Home Inspection.
    Way too much Lawyer talk there Mr Watson.

    That being said I laugh heavily at this because, embarrassingly so, I think on the exact same lines as your lengthy post ...... but then go about by business as a home inspector and as you can see by Raymond's post .... rightfully so.

    This is along the line of testing shower pans and this discussion could go on for days as well ..... or not.

    Sometimes you just have to do what is fully expected by any reasonably thinking inspectors and inspect everything you can and be damned with the attorneys. One will be a better inspector for it and asfter all. You are being paid for your vast experience in the inspection business and if we were to just stop doing everything ...... because .... then we would be doing nothing.

    Trust in what I say. The seller would want a thorough inspection on their new home as well. If not then they would be suing you for not doing so. I think that being said .... says it all.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Any inspector that looks up at a floating ceiling with water stains and decides not to at least try to move it is stupid.
    That is all.

    Seriously though I was and perhaps you also were trained in some Home Inspector course where the teacher said if you move one then a Judge will ask why didn't you move them all.

    That may make you think twice till you get in the real world and need to see pipe connections,drain lines,exhaust ducts,etc.

    Lost count how many times I found bare conductors running along the top of acoustical panels,open junction boxes,dripping drain pipes,etc and never ever have been sorry I moved one.


  16. #16
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
    Joe Suelter Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    udge will ask why didn't you move them all.
    That's where I was going with this question 3 months ago until this post was resurrected. I have done a few inspections since this original posting with drop ceilings, and have told the client up front that I will only look above a few (half dozen or so) tiles. But what Bob said was stuck in my head the whole time...you can only see what you can see...on the other side of that floor joist, there "could" be....

    One of the houses I inspected that had a drop ceiling, was an obvious home owner install, and the tiles were very difficult to move, the seller happened to be the one there during the inspection (the buyer came at the end), and I told the seller that I would move a number of them to peek above, I would make every attempt at placing them back, but if they didn't return freely to their home I would leave it for him to take care of. I think I put 2 tiles back and left him with 6 or 7 to do.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Windsor Ontario
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Raymond's post is bang on! (From a courtcase from Alberta Civil Division
    Flemming v. Yakimchuk, 2000 ABPC 90)

    I would always lift the "readily accessible" tiles, unless they were painted and sealed to the track.

    On at least one inspection I found loose electrical wiring sitting on top of the tile that was spliced and without connectors. If this made contact with the metal track - this would have presented a serious safety concern. To me it's like not having the advantage of looking at the electrical service panel wiring by simply checking and removing the cover panel.

    On another note the "new" CAHPI National SOP notes - Inspectors are NOT required to "move suspended ceiling tiles". In addition, it also appears that "fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances" was also removed.

    It certainly calls into question the rationale for such changes. Perhaps only to minimize the inspectors risk, while perhaps raising the clients expectations based on comparison of the SOP from other associations!


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I have posted this before it is from a Canadian courts pov. vis-a-vis SOP.

    When professional standards fail the test

    All professionals are subject to performance standards dictated by the administrative bodies responsible for overseeing their profession. There are also standards not necessarily prescribed in any law or code but described at any point in time as the common standards within the profession. One might assume that conformance with both types of standard would protect a professional person from legal liability, but that is not always the case. Increasingly, there are occasions where the courts are willing to find that professionals have acted negligently even though they followed the accepted practice of the day.

    The general legal principle that applies is that the standard of care applicable to a professional in the performance of his or her duties is one of reasonable skill, care and knowledge (Central Trust Company v. Rafuse, 1986). Although the standard is an objective one, the law will tailor it to fit each circumstance. Not surprisingly, there has been much debate about how that standard is to be applied in respect of professionals who, by definition, engage is the trading of their skill and knowledge. The one uncontroverted principle arising from that debate is that a professionals error of judgment will not constitute negligence. The problem, of course, has been how to distinguish misjudgment from negligence.


    More to the point, when it comes to determining the importance of professional standards in respect of the legal standard just described, a court considers that a standard practice falls below the legal standard only if the standard practice fails to adopt obvious and reasonable precautions readily apparent to the court. Otherwise, the court will show deference to the standard practice.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Claude

    The CAHPI SOP are obviously in conflict with the ASHI SOP's. Since it is likely that inspectors in provinces with CAHPI SOP may be members of ASHI, it would be interesting to note which SOP's the inspectors are following.

    My personal opinion of CAHPI SOP are that the courts as with the case illustrated above find that a standard of care owed the purchaser is somewhat higher than what the CAHPI SOP dictate, re not having to remove/move ceiling tiles.

    The CAHPI SOP quoted in the case from 2006 have the disclaimer in about not removing/move ceiling tiles fwiw.

    Yet in another case..
    Rayne v. Martin and Buck, 2006 BCPC 422

    [18] The CAHPI(BC) Standards of Practice were entered into evidence at the trial of this matter. These were given to the Claimant when she signed the Inspection Agreement. Counsel for Mr. Buck directed the Claimant’s attention to clause 13.2 G, which reads as follows:

    G. Inspectors are NOT required to:
    1. perform any procedure or operation which will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property of its systems or components.
    2. move suspended ceiling tiles, personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice or debris.

    Rayne v. Martin and Buck, 2006 BCPC 422 (CanLII)

    CanLII - 2006 BCPC 422 (CanLII)



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Personal ethics and professionalism trump SOPs. Moving tiles, if possible, should be personal SOP standards.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Claude

    The CAHPI SOP are obviously in conflict with the ASHI SOP's. Since it is likely that inspectors in provinces with CAHPI SOP may be members of ASHI, it would be interesting to note which SOP's the inspectors are following.

    My personal opinion of CAHPI SOP are that the courts as with the case illustrated above find that a standard of care owed the purchaser is somewhat higher than what the CAHPI SOP dictate, re not having to remove/move ceiling tiles.

    The CAHPI SOP quoted in the case from 2006 have the disclaimer in about not removing/move ceiling tiles fwiw.

    Yet in another case..
    Rayne v. Martin and Buck, 2006 BCPC 422

    [18] The CAHPI(BC) Standards of Practice were entered into evidence at the trial of this matter. These were given to the Claimant when she signed the Inspection Agreement. Counsel for Mr. Buck directed the Claimant’s attention to clause 13.2 G, which reads as follows:

    G. Inspectors are NOT required to:
    1. perform any procedure or operation which will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property of its systems or components.
    2. move suspended ceiling tiles, personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice or debris.

    Rayne v. Martin and Buck, 2006 BCPC 422 (CanLII)

    CanLII - 2006 BCPC 422 (CanLII)
    I personally think that it is a grave mistake to enter your associations SoP into evidence in support of why one did *not* do something.

    My reasoning is that the courts do *not* care what one 'is not' required to do:
    G. Inspectors are NOT required to:
    The courts will care about what they think one 'should have done' in the interests of their client's best interests.

    Entering something into evidence which says you do not have to do something is kinda like that you don't really care what you 'should have done', only that you were 'not required' to do something - surefire way to lose a case in my opinion.

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

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    [60] I am also of the view that the Claimant’s claim against the Defendant Buck for breach of contract must fail for several reasons. Firstly, the Claimant has not proven any breach of the contract on the part of Mr. Buck. He contracted to provide an inspection in accordance with the CAHPI standards, and it has not been shown that he failed to adhere to those standards. The contract did not make Mr. Buck a guarantor that the premises were free from defect and the fact that defects in the premises were later discovered does not rest liability with Mr. Buck.

    [64] For the foregoing reasons I find that the Claimant has not proven her claim against Mr. Buck for negligence or in contract and her claim against Mr. Buck is dismissed.

    This case above illustrates the opposite. The client had read the contract and was provided a copy of the SOP and of the terms and limitations.

    Of course the onus is on the plaintiff to prove their case, and in this case no 'expert witness' was called by the plaintiff to argue that the standard of care was absent or less than expected.

    Other cases indicate the SOP are introduced as evidence and recognized.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Jerry,
    Some States like MD have SOP incorperated in the lic. law. MD SOP is simular to ASHI SOP. But it is in the state law and not a mater of interpration as what the min requirements are. Some use it as a way to justify a minimal effort.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I lift tiles as long as I can reach them. I'm more concerned about providing service to my client. If a tile corner breaks or will not easily pop back into place, that's life. If the property owner complains about a broken tile, I'll replace it. It won't kill the bank account. I'll risk it as long as I keep finding wire splices, damaged framing, amateur wiring, plumbing and bad HVAC modifications hiding up there.

    I've had more trouble getting covers back on some cheap air handlers than getting tiles back in place. I started carrying a few self-tapping sheet metal screws for those occasions.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Jerry,
    Some States like MD have SOP incorperated in the lic. law. MD SOP is simular to ASHI SOP. But it is in the state law and not a mater of interpration as what the min requirements are. Some use it as a way to justify a minimal effort.
    Garry.

    "But it is in the state law and not a mater of interpration as what the min requirements are."

    Correct in establishing "minimum requirements", not correct in establishing a "standard of care".

    Being as the state SoP are *required* "minimums" levels of care, if the inspectors in any given area within the state, or within the state in it entirety, then the "standard of care" is what 50% + 1 of the inspectors are doing.

    With the plaintiff not bringing in the 'standard of care', they cost themselves a lot of grief. Had the plaintiff brought in the 'standard of care', then it is highly likely that the 'minimum' SoP level would have been set aside in favor of the standard of care.

    It is easy to establish a level of standard of care, and it is difficult for an inspector who does less to overcome that and win in an action against them.

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

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Safety Harbor, FL
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I agree with Raymond, if the tile is water stained, let's see why it is and where the water source may be or had been coming from.

    If you are an HI in Canada and do not remove the tile then you may find yourself on a future edition of the Holmes Inspection. While you are at it, don't forget to remove those air supply register covers as well.


  27. #27
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I lift as many floor grates and registers that I can. Laminate flooring comes in many thicknesses, pull one and you have your answer. Whats under the carpeting as well. Pull the one in the bathroom and check signs water staining.

    I may change my stance on the ceiling tiles, I do see the potential to hide stuff in there. I will look a little closer the next home. I would, of course, call out any stain. The home owner has the answers to many of my questions. Disclosure is there for that, and if they hid something behind new construction that is a latent defect and my lawyer would love to hear that.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Another way to look at this subject is the, “What’s above the one you didn’t move?” question. If you get into a claim or lawsuit situation where you missed something above a drop ceiling, and you had moved one or more other ones, the first thing the plaintiff’s side is going to try to pin you on is why didn’t you move the one that hid the problem? You moved ‘that one over there’ after all, so you have no defense that you don’t move ceiling tiles.

    A better defensible position is that you are doing a non-invasive, visual inspection only, and moving drop ceiling tiles is not within scope of a standard home inspection.


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I pop enough ceiling tiles to allow me to access the space above, take pictures of anything of significance, jiggle the stupid things back in place, and move on.

    Not required in SoP's? Then, it sucks. I know it's something that must be done and it's a standard of care that the customer should receive.


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Harbeck View Post
    A better defensible position is that you are doing a non-invasive, visual inspection only, and moving drop ceiling tiles is not within scope of a standard home inspection.
    Ken,

    We've been through this before here, but "you are doing a non-invasive, visual inspection only" is what will get you sued, or be the plaintiff's ace-in-the-hole if you are sued, because all the plaintiff needs to do is show that you used a flashlight, screw driver, ladder ... ANY type or kind of tool and your 'but it is only a *visual* inspection' defense goes out the window.

    Home inspectors have not done "visual" inspections since almost the beginning of time for home inspections.

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

  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Invasive is not a screw driver, a ladder, flashlight. It never has been and never will be. invasive is not a moisture meter, an IR camera, lifting a ceiling tile. Invasive always has been, drilling a hole, digging into siding, pulling back a piece of trim etc etc etc etc

    Also, standard of care is a legal term, not a home inspectors term. The only time one gets money taken from them when the "standard of care" is thrown about is when the lawyer in the courtroom is not told to stick his "standard of care" term up his backside and then being brought into reality in front of the judge..
    \
    If you can get to the tiles and they lift easily then you lift them and put them back in place. If you have to start wrestling one then you leave it be. An explanation, not the word "disclaimer" is given as to why not all ceiling tiles were removed. You explain that you removed a sampling of ceiling tiles and from those that were removed you either did or did not see a concern.

    The reason why so many inspectors do get into trouble is due to the , what I call, cover up with mass amounts of disclaimers throughout their report. Not necessary at all. Too many disclaimers and then everyone starts digging and thinking that this guy was just lazy and all these disclaimers were just to cover his ineptness up.

    It is my opinion that when ceiling tiles are at a home or business that you are inspecting that you explain in your report and in person with the walk through that you moved, if possible, the ceiling tiles with stains and then a sampling of the rest and there is no way that you saw every square inch of area above those tiles. You will further explain that you found xxx while viewing an area from one of the samples lifts and this is what you found.

    There is no cover up. There is no disclaimer saying you were too lazy to at least lift a few. There was ample explanation that you where not going to see the entire area above. There was also that ugly phrase, even though not said, "standard of care", that you gave it your best shot at the sample area.

    Stop thinking that everything you do or don't do is going to get you in trouble. Always give it your best shot and explain it that you did. They will see by your report that you at the least popped up a few and if in fact something was found it further shows you did your job. If something was not found then they also know that you were not going to pop up a hundred or 2000 ceiling tiles.

    Just my opinion.

    I never once woke up and got ready for work thinking "What are they going to try to get me for today". EVER. While doing my job I never once thought about what some lawyer might have to say about anything I was doing. EVER.

    Again. Just my opinion.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    I never once woke up and got ready for work thinking "What are they going to try to get me for today". EVER. While doing my job I never once thought about what some lawyer might have to say about anything I was doing. EVER.

    Again. Just my opinion.
    I agree , BUT

    How many times have you read about something here or after talking to another inspector, then thought dang I didn't report that item from six months ago properly.
    Then thought about what a lawyer might have to say if the customer tried to get you?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Courts have recognized what a visual inspection is and realize is non invasive, non destructive, readily accessible.

    Reading a lot of case law, I don't ever recall a court opining about the use of or non use of screw drivers, awls, levels, ladders as part of a visual inspection.


  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    I agree , BUT

    How many times have you read about something here or after talking to another inspector, then thought dang I didn't report that item from six months ago properly.
    Then thought about what a lawyer might have to say if the customer tried to get you?
    Are you asking me in a round about way "have I ever missed anything

    Well, the answer to that would be ..... never silly. I just happen to be perfect. Just ask me


  35. #35
    David Valley's Avatar
    David Valley Guest

    Default Re: Suspended Ceilings

    I will not touch suspended ceilings. Although, I will give my Buyer the opportunity to move these tiles for me. When I do suggest moving ceiling tiles (to my clients), a good percentage of them will absolutely move them for me then put them back in place when I'm done inspecting and probing.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •