Does a home inspector walk on the roof?

Monday, April 13, 2020

“Are you going to go on the roof?” That’s a question we get often, and the answer is yes...well, most of the time. The Standards of Practice of InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) do not require that the inspector actually walk on the roof. “The inspector shall inspect from ground level or the eaves” is the way it is stated. Also, the standards note that “the inspector is not required to walk on any roof surface.” ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) has essentially the same standard.

    The State of Florida has more specific exceptions for an inspector walking a roof that are outlined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR):

(4) The inspector is not required to walk on the roof surface when, in the opinion of the inspector, the following conditions exist:
(a) Roof slope is excessive to safely walk on;
(b) There is no safe access to the roof;
(c) Climatic conditions render the roof unsafe to walk on;
(d) Condition of the roofing material or roof decking renders the roof unsafe to walk on;
(e) Walking on the roof may cause damage to the roof covering materials; and
(f) Walking will place any liability or danger to the homeowner or other representatives involved in the home inspection process.

    But we walk a roof whenever we can, and most home inspectors do the same. If a roof is too steep, wet, has loose granules or shingles, or is a material like barrel tile that is easily damaged by walking on it, we examine the roof from a ladder at the eaves. It’s a personal decision for each home inspector as to what roofs he or she is comfortable walking on, and which ones do not feel safe. 

    Sometimes we walk part of a roof, then examine the rest from a ladder at the edge or the ground. Being able to get on the roof, touch and examine it close-up, always provides valuable insights for an inspector. Binoculars and a camera with a long lens can help when access is limited, and each inspector has personal limits as to what is considered safe and acceptable.

    Also, see our blog post What makes a house fail the home inspection?

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garage door opener •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring  

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to some of our other our blog posts about "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…?":

Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?

Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection? 

Does a home inspector lift up the carpet to look for cracks in the floor? 

What are the questions a home inspector won't (or shouldn't) answer?

Does a home inspector make sure the house is up to code? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

• Does a home inspector check for permits? 

• Is a home inspector allowed to open an electrical panel?

 Does a home inspector go into the crawl space under the house?

• Does a home inspector go in the attic? 

Does a home inspector specify repairs? 

Does a home inspector reinspect to verify repairs after an inspection? 

    Visit our HOME INSPECTION  and “DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…?” pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Wells

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation Form

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls & Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

About Us