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
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:
How To Look At A House
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