Doing a home inspection on a roof in the Chicago land area can be hard to say the least.  I advise to have your roof inspected on every home inspection  even if your inspection is in the winter.  Why?  So many issues can start because of roof issues.  That was definitely the case at the Prairie View home inspection.

The Prairie View home I was inspecting looked very nice from a common view.  When I started probing around the property I noticed that some of the work was done below standards.  The roof was my biggest concern because it was covered with snow and I noticed from the ground that there were areas that where missing shingles.  Because of the pitch and snow covering of 60% of the roof I  had to reposition the ladder in various areas to inspect the roof as a whole.  There were major components that were missing and were causing water infiltration to the building components of the home.

  • Ice Shield  was missing through out the roof of the home.  The ice shield is a 36″ long material that is rolled out from the edge of the roof up toward the ridge of the roof.  The ice shield is installed to protect the roof sheeting from possible ice damning water from entering the building components of the home.
  • Apron flashing was missing and protects the fascia board from wood rot and water penetration.  The apron flashing generally is installed under the shingles and into the gutter of the roof.
  • Roof Drainage system was not installed.  You might know this as the gutters, downspouts,  and leaders.  When these components are missing you open your home up to possible foundation issues, water issues in the basement and so much more.
  • Chimney flashing was  the wrong type.  I suggest using galvanize metal, copper or aluminum.  The Prairie View home inspection had a rolled roofing material as the flashing for the chimney.   There was areas that were open to the environment and were definitely causing water damage to the interior walls of the home.  How was this found?  We use Fluke thermal imagers and Tramex moisture meters on the exterior walls and all ceilings of the Prairie View home inspection.

As you now can see that the cards are stacked up against a home buyer that does not hire a diligent home inspector that does not try to the utmost to protect you from possible hidden issues.  My client from the Prairie View home inspection said he hired The Thermal Home Inspector because of the great reviews he saw on line and the great videos we have on our website.

If you are still unsure of what to look for on a roof when shopping for your home then contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or call me at 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

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

How important is the inspection of a roof?  I believe it is probably one of the most important items of an inspection.  I’ll explain in detail why I feel this portion of a home inspection is so important.  I performed a home inspection in Western Springs, Illinois that we will use as an example of why roof inspections are so important.

When you go to inspect a roof you want to educate and inform your clients of many important details on that will concern the roofs integrity. This is exactly how I performed the home inspection at the Western Springs property.

First of all, you want to go on the roof of every home as long as the roof is walk able and safe.  There are roofs that should not be walked on due to their material.  These roofs are made of slate, wood shake, wood shingle, concrete tile, clay tile and any material that has the probability to crack.  When you walk on the roof you will be able to identify the possible issues on the roofs material.  While walking on the roof you will also be able to test the structures ability to hold any type of weight.  Most home inspection reports should give you documentation of the material used to cover the roofing structure, how many layers, possible issues, age, lifespan, possible cost.  We have a cost page on our web site to help our clients understand how much a new roof will cost them.  You can see this site at Repair costs.  The Western Springs home inspection did not have any issues with the roofing materials.

The next portion of a roof inspection is the inspecting of the drainage.  Flashing’s, gutters, leaders, downspouts, valleys are all part of this portion of the roof inspection process.  You want to make sure that all these items are installed properly and will not fail and cause water damage to the home and its contents.  You can watch me do a roof inspection at  All of these components need to be inspected and documented to your home inspection report.  The Western Spring home inspection did have issues with the flashing that needed to be tended to to prevent water from entering the building envelope.

As you can see there are many areas that can cause issues that can cost you real money if not properly inspected.  If you have questions about home inspections please contact us at ~ 312-961-4228.

Thank you for stopping by.

Jim Kolke

Most single family homes have a chimney for exhaust of gases or smoke from the water heater, furnace and/or the fireplace.  These chimneys need to be inspected diligently.  The only proper way of inspecting a chimney is by getting on the roof.  This means sometimes you have to go on very high roofs.  I go on every roof I can with the exception of tile, slate and shake.  The reason I do not go on these type of roofs is due to the possibility of damaging them.  Only a professional roofing contractor that deals with these types of roofing material should attempt walking on these types of roofs. You can see how I walk on different styles of roofs on our site at ~    The home inspection in Lincolnshire, Illinois had a very high roof that needed a 36′ ladder to inspect the roofing material and chimney.

When I got to the top of the roof of the Lincolnshire home inspection I noticed a couple of possible issues.  The first issue that came to my eye was  the roof had 3 layers of roofing material.  The top layer was in good shape but the coverings do not allow the attic to breath and it also puts added stress on the structure of the property.

The other item I found in immediate repair at the Lincolnshire home inspection was the chimney needed repairs at the crown.  This crown happened to be made of brick.  A brick crown requires more  maintenance that a monolithic poured concrete crown.  There is less permeable areas that could allow possible issues to develop.  The crown of the Lincolnshire home inspection would require repairs to be done by a mason contractor.  The repairs were minimal but the safety and set up is what takes all the time hence the costs.  This crown was covered with a rolled roofing material to prevent further damage from the elements.  The home owners of the property were smart enough to access the possible damages and prevent further damage by wrapping the crown.  This definitely secured the area until repairs could be done properly.

If you think you have issues on your roof or a roof of a home you are interested in buying please contact us at ~

Please leave a comment or a question we can assist you with.  Thanks~Jim Kolke