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Orange County Home Inspector on Roof Inspections

Does my Orange County Home Inspector get up on my roof to inspect it or does he just look at it from the ground? It depends.


I don’t think most home inspectors do but this Orange County Home Inspector usually does. I bring along a collapsible sixteen-foot ladder and I go up on roofs that it will reach. This includes most single story houses. The ones with breakable clay or concrete tiles I do not walk on. On two story houses, if they have a second story deck, I put my ladder on the deck and I look at the top roof.


What this amounts to is a ‘limited roof inspection’. As a licensed general contractor doing home inspections I have an advantage over less experienced home inspectors who only have experience as home inspectors with paper credentials from a home inspection association. Some of these home inspectors can be good so I don’t want to broad-brush them as all bad but generally speaking, a licensed California General Contractor doing home inspections is better.


I look at the roof carefully from as many vantage points as I can; my ladder, the ground, second story windows, views from decks, and in the attic. I look at the edges of the roof where the tiles meet the fascia board, I look at the ridge caps, I look at the valleys, I look at the metal flashings, and I look at the field of tiles to search for irregularities in overlapping tiles and shingles. In the attic, I look for water stains and I look for daylight shining through where water could intrude.


By doing this visual examination, I can usually tell how old the roof is and I can usually tell if it has leaked or if it may be subject to leaking.


I take lots of photos and I include relevant photos in my report so that you can understand what I’m talking about when I do find deficiencies.


The only way to get a better roof inspection on a home inspection is to hire a licensed roofer and have him inspect the roof. He will charge about $300 and he almost always finds some imperfections. He will give you a price on the repair and will only guarantee a leak-free roof if you make the recommended repair(s). This can work out fine but the problem I find with this approach is that many roofers just say, “You need a new roof” if the roof is older than 10-15 years. If they are right then it’s best to get at least three bids on the roof. Don’t give the competing roofers any info on the defects sited by the other two roofers. Keep in mind that leaky roofs can often times be repaired. I see roofs from the 50’s that have been maintained and repaired and that still remain leak-free.  


What to do? Have a general contractor look at the roof first! My inspection will tell you if you even need to call a roofer.






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