Do you inspect roofs as part of your home inspection service?  This is a standard question we receive when a client calls to inquire about a home inspection from Pinnacle Property Inspection Services, Inc..  If you are from the northern portion of the United States you know that we get quite a bit of snow in our winters.  When it snows it creates hindrances to do a proper home inspection on a roof.

I was hired to do a home inspection on a bungalow in Chicago, Illinois.   Luckily for me the roof was a 4/12.  That measurement basically means that the roof has very little pitch and can be walked.  My clients from the Chicago home inspection were concerned if I would inspect their new homes roof.  I explained to them as I do to all of my clients.  Safety first!  I have no problem going on a roof with snow on it as long as there is no ice on the roof.  If there is ice I will not attempt to walk this roof due to possible safety issues.  If there is snow I will broom the roof off in various areas to inspect the roofing material, valleys, flashing skylights, plumbing venting, chimneys, chimney flashing and so on.  Our standards of practice for home inspectors does not require us to climb a roof.  I believe it is hard to give a homes roof a clean bill of health with out landing a foot on it.

Luckily for my clients from the Chicago home inspection I cleared the snow from the roof and inspected the roof properly.  The homes roof had areas of roofing shingles that have been damaged and would require replacement.  Roofing repairs can be costly and thats why we do this type of inspection.

So we find ice on the roof and we cant walk the roof.  I would suggest that you, your realtor or your attorney hold money back at the closing table that would be put in escrow until a proper roof inspection was done.  By doing this you are covered if problem areas are found and are in need of repairs or replacement.

As you can see snow can cause problems in your home inspection process.  Now that you know what to look for it should make your buying experience a little easier.  If you have further questions about roof inspection please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thank you for stopping by and be safe.

Jim Kolke

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