Is it a Requirement?
It is not a requirement for home inspectors to walk a roof. Most Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors do not require them to ever walk a roof. This may be very puzzling for most clients as it is such an important system of the home. The standards do this, so the inspector can use their best judgement before stepping on a steep, unsafe pitch. Unfortunately, due to this standard many companies drive small SUV’s or even Sedans that do not have the capability of carrying more than a small ladder.
Should They Walk the Roof
Should a home inspector walk the roof? ABSOLUTELY. On our work van’s we carry 28ft extension ladders. This allows us to access most second story roofs. As we mentioned above, one factor is our safety. As long as it is safe to climb we will walk them. There are so many minor items that would be extremely difficult to spot if not seen while on the roof. There is no alternative to the information available from getting on the roof.
People could argue that a leak can be found from within the attic inspection. I agree with that statement, though once a leak is found in the attic it’s done more damage to the sheathing and possibly the materials below than if found early on. When I walk the roof I can find problems before they cause significant damage. These issues may include missing shingle tabs, exposed nail heads, and flashing concerns. Protect your home with someone who’s willing to go further then just the required.