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Podcast: What Should I Look For When Hiring A Roof Inspector?

Posted December 13, 2017 by Daniel White

In this episode, Daniel shares his #1 tip- or #1 thing to look for- when you’re hiring a roof inspector. Find out what it is on our blog today.

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB029-204

Shayla: You are listening to the Roof Life of Oregon podcast and I’m talking with Daniel today. Daniel, why should we hire not just a home inspector, but an actual licensed roof inspector before we buy a home?

Daniel: You know, it depends on the home inspector. Depends on what they’ve done. So you know in every single industry, I don’t care if it’s roofing, concrete, home inspectors, you got really good ones, and you’ve got really bad ones and trying to figure out who they are and what they’re going to do and the quality work they’re going to do is really difficult. But one of the things you can do to safeguard yourself, when a home inspector is there, it’s a really good idea to be there. See what he’s doing. See if he actually climbs on the roof. Did he do a ladder inspection? Was the roof too steep? Did he just put his ladder up, climb to the top of the ladder, kind of do a visual go “yep, this good,” and then climb back down? Because that is not sufficient.

Depending you know if it’s a 4-12 a 6-12, you know that’s pitch of the roof, those are pretty easy. Most inspectors will climb up on that and walk around no problem. But once they start getting more steep, some of the really good ones, they’ll do it anyway. They know how to do it. Some of them are like you know what, I’m just going to do it from the ladder. You’re just not going to see everything.

Case and point, in the last month I’ve had three homes where they were inspected, the home inspector said “Roof looks good. It can be certified but you have moss problems so you want to hire a roofer to come out take care of the moss.” Comes back to us. They call us they say, “Hey, can you come out look at the roof and tell us what it needs for moss control?”

So I go out put my ladder up, climb on the roof, and my first question is did you just buy the house? And they’re like, “Yeah, we had it inspected.” OK. Well, there are some problems. And literally this has happened three times in the last month. There are some shingle manufacturers that had bad asphalt get into their shingles, quite a few years ago, between 10 and 15 years, causing all the granules to fall off the roof prematurely. You’re not going to see that unless it’s on the southwest side. If the home inspector put his ladder up on the north side, went to the top of the ladder and looked at it he’s going to go yep, that looks good. He never walked over to the other side that the weather’s hitting. All the granules on one of these roofs were completely falling off. This roof is shot.

And unfortunately they’re already in the house. They’ve already purchased it. They’re the next homeowner. They have no warranty on that roof. The shingle manufacturer’s basically going to tell them, I’m sorry you’re the second or third homeowner, we’re not covering that. So now I’m giving them this bad news that their roof is shot, maybe not shot, doesn’t need to be replaced right this second. But it’s at the end of its life. They could have negotiated that price. There are other issues if it’s steep. Did the inspector get up there and make sure the valleys were correct, that it wasn’t missing shingles? That the pipe flashings were correct? And it really comes to that one thing. Did he do a ladder inspect or did he really get on the roof? Be there at your home when the home inspector does it and physically look at what he does. If he physically didn’t get on the roof, maybe ask that question: do you want to have a roofer come take a look at that with harnesses if need be?

Shayla: And beyond just getting on the roof, I mean, it sounds like there’s information that you, as an experienced roofer would know that a regular home inspector just wouldn’t know, right? I mean, they would know about the bad asphalt batch.

Daniel:  That’s correct. Unless they’ve been around for a while. So if you’ve got a home inspector that’s been doing it for 10 years or so, he might know that. He would have seen that on the market. But if he’s a new guy, if he’s only been on the market for a year or two, he may not have any idea that that was a problem 10 to 15 years ago. So yeah it depends on the roofer. So I can’t stress enough: be home when the home inspector’s there. See what he’s doing.

Shayla: OK. And if you would like a licensed roofing company to do your roof inspection before you purchase a home I reach out to the team at Roof Life of Oregon.

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