Hard To See the End

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Competent home inspectors will always attempt whenever possible to get up on the roof. Often it is not the roof or more accurately the shingles that are of interest, but various other areas that require scrutiny.

For example masonry chimneys especially need a thorough looking over inside and out. Any penetrations through the roof and associated flashings need to be examined. Seams where the roof and home join are always of importance. And don't forget those gutters.

Arguably some of these "hot spots" can be examined from the ground through a pair of binoculars or the edge of the roof. But not all of the areas of interest can be seen well enough with these methods to make a good determination on their condition. Unfortunately some roofs are not accessible due to height, slope or weather so the roof edge or the binoculars may be the only means of inspection in those instances.

I was on a roof recently that looked to go on almost forever. Walking around up there was quite a work out!

My advice is whenever looking to work with or hire a home inspector ask if they walk the roof. If they answer no you may want ask what other parts of the home are not examined.

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
428,973
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

You have to love an inspector that actually inspects the whole house. IMHO the roof is one of the most important things to check out as it costs a small fortune to replace. Nice job!

;)

 

Jul 26, 2009 02:23 AM #1
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

I agree with Betina. Along with furnaces and dryer vents. Kate

Jul 26, 2009 03:45 AM #2
Rainmaker
176,535
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Roofs are the one of the few compenents of a home that wear out.  Siding doesn't wear out, quality plumbing doesn't wear (excluding galanzied of course), qualitiy electrical systems don't really wear.   That roof wears and there is nothing to do about it except pay the piper.

Great post.

Jul 26, 2009 04:19 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

I traverse all roofs, nearby trees, wires and any holes into crawl space or attic areas. I believe that few real inspectors can match my areas of intrusion as a certifried home inspector assistant.

Yours truly,

Nutsy

Jul 26, 2009 05:09 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

James,

My assistant called my attention to this excellent post. In WA, the law now requires traversing the roof with a few exceptions regarding safety or possible damage to materials. It can be hard enough, sometimes, to see defects when you are up there, let alone from a flat-footed position below. It is all about effort.

Jul 26, 2009 05:15 AM #5
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

hey Nutsy, you said it. You are intrusive. Kate Ford BBGuns-R-Us Inc.

Jul 26, 2009 05:52 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a client once complain that I did not do thorough home inspections when I refused to tear up a piece of hardwood flooring to check underneath for mold.  He asked how he was supposed to know if there was mold there or not...  and he was serious.  Hmmmm.

So, to answer your question about what isn't examined - under hardwood flooring?  Behind the fire bricks in the fireplace?  The AC coils?  Under the fridge?  Behind the wall oven?

How'm I doing?

Jul 26, 2009 10:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,043,881
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

That does appear to be a long roof.  I hope it wasn't too hot up there.

Jul 26, 2009 10:55 AM #8
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Betina, I think it really comes down to honest effort. If you can do it safely, you should.

Kate, And water heaters and foundations and....

Jim, It usually a big bill to the piper.

Nutsy, Yes your intrusiveness is hard to match.

Steven, As I said to Betina an honest effort should be made. There are to many outs that can be exploited by those not willing to make even the slightest attempt to get up on the roof or go in a crawl space or attic.

Kate, BBGuns-R-Us Inc. LOL!

Jay, Good start on the list. I had a client insist on opening duct work to look for mold.

Barbara, Hot? It might have been if we were having New England summer weather, which we are not!

Jul 26, 2009 11:50 AM #9
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

James and Jay, I would think a seller might severely frown on their home being torn up. That is why I have started a movement to ban squirrels from home inpsections in Nevada. They gnaw. KTG

Jul 26, 2009 01:07 PM #10
Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Watch out their might be mold on that paper that wraps the conductors of romex in your walls:)

Jul 26, 2009 02:40 PM #11
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kate, It is better to gnaw on squirrels than they gnaw on our homes.

Charlie, That is a great tip! I will have to add that to my list of things to inspect:)

Jul 26, 2009 10:35 PM #12
Rainmaker
179,891
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Long house.  Had a sixteen family on a story and a half last fall.  That roof too looked like it went from Dayton to Columbus.

Jul 27, 2009 06:10 AM #13
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jack, This was a looong ranch. About 2000 sq. ft.

Jul 27, 2009 07:53 AM #14
Ambassador
2,758,520
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

James, If I can get on the roof, I will. However, I do not bounce as well as I used to, so I limit what I do to single story, 4/12 or under. I have a good pair of binoculars, and have looked at over 4,000 roofs in my career. However, you do make some valid points... 

Jul 27, 2009 11:17 AM #15
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Michael, I hope you never had or ever have the occasion to find out exactly how much you do bounce. If your methods are working well for you, and you should  know, then that's all that matters.

Jul 27, 2009 12:49 PM #16
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

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