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Why I'm walking more roofs lately....


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I use to be a stern opponent of walking roofs. I'm still not crazy about walking them, but since I've started walking more and more, I'm finding more and more!

I didn't walk the roof of the home in the pic below. My LG wouldn't reach the roof. However, I had a bad feeling about the tree at the side of the home and scheduled another of my inspectors to look at it two days later.

Good thing I did. How would you have worded your statement if you hadn't walked this roof? I feel it would have been a cop out to simply state "Didn't walk roof due to height, have a roofing specialist further evaluate this roof"


This bad boy was sounding all kinds of alarms...

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Glad I have an inspector with a 28ft ladder!

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Sometimes I wonder if I pay him enough...

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This is all I could see from the ground....

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I try to walk every roof and usually get on 95% of them.Sometimes if I can't get on a roof I try to find a high spot and set up my ladder and use my binoculars. I have even set my ladder up next to tree and used it to get in the tree and look from there.But even with real good binoculars,which I have, I think there is real potential to miss something.Once in a while I find no way to see all of the roof and I hate that.

John Callan


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So Donald, you want to see round 473 of the roof walking debate? [:-crazy]

I've always walked all I could, and a few I shouldn't have. Both kinds were learning experiences.

I Walk The Line (HI version)

I keep a close watch on these feet of mine,

I keep my eyes wide open all the time,

I keep my hands free so I can grab a vine,

Because you're mine(client), I take the time


I find it very, very easy to walk slow,

This is one thing you sure don't want to blow,

One wrong move here and brother down you go,

Because you're mine(client), I walk the lineid="maroon">

Brian G.

The HI in Black [:-cowboy]

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So many defects up there to be found,

Construction that looks anything but sound,

And shingles that look like they've been ground,

I'm so sublime, I make the climb


Don't let your silly self get crazy-bold,

The ground is plenty hard or so I'm told,

I sure as hell hope those gutter spikes can hold,

But there's still time, to grab for Pineid="maroon">

Brian G.

Call Me Butter 'Cause I'm on a Roll [:-dopey]

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Well Bob, I'd rather crawl! I hate heights!

I don't walk every roof, however, if I can't see the entire roof from the ground, I start getting worried.

Take for example this 1 year old roof, I couldn't see one side and then I found two fresh cut tree stumps on the side I couldn't see.

So up I went.....

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Needless to say, I felt I'd done my job!!

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I don't know if you mentioned it or not but the shingles in that photo have way too much reveal. It's called "high nailing" and as a disaster restoration contractor, I had to deal with the consequences of such an installation a lot. Insurance companies would usually try to go after the installer to recoup their money if they can. The nails won't catch the top edge of the shingles which puts too much stress on the sealed shingle tap and the tabs will eventually start cracking across their length. That is much of why they are blowing off and flipping up. Any time you can see the top of the key of the shingle it's a problem. 5" maximum reveal.

Bad job altogether. String up the installer!

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For walking on I love the older houses around here, from about the 40's forward through the 70's. We don't get snow and steep wasn't in style yet, so they were sloping them down at 4 or 5 in 12. Some of 'em I could play Frisbee on, just run all over the place. [:-propell

Brian G.

Former Frisbee Freak [^]

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Well, for what it's worth, as a mason before home inspecting, I concluded that OSHA was not realistic about ladder set up! A ladder that is extented several feet past the edge of the roof is a nightmare to get around and mount. You feel like you'll fall for sure because you're off balance!

I only extend the ladder about 18" past the edge.

The benefits:

1.) I may go directly over the top and and onto the roof, which is a cinch.

2.) When mounting, from a side seated position I may cautiosly ease myself directly over and onto the ladder which permits one to stay centered throughout the entire process.

3.) My first step onto the ladder is a good two feet down from the edge allowing me to also pinch the ladder and gutter together for stability

4.) It permits me to not transfer full weight to the ladder until I'm convinced it is safe to do so.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I just loath the feeling of leaning around a ladder at the top of a downtown row house. I'd rather go over a ladder than around it any day!

Now if you're securely lashing your ladder to the roof or gutter then it's safe to push, pull and lean as you transfer weight to a ladder with no real sense of center or balance until you're fully on the ladder.

Sigh... The ladder is one piece if equipment everyone must make their own peace and find harmony with.

Caution! The views expressed in this post do not reflect upon the management, the web hosting service, their employees or agents, and the author's employers etc., Etc., Etc., Furthermore the author "to the best of his recollection" has no memory of having ever written it. :-D

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I walk many. But the more I do this, the more I ask "..is it worth the trip?". In other words, could this all have been figured out easier without having had to get on that roof? Roof mount does help you with referrals (new guys). Many chimney issues are only verifiable from the top looking down and if you have a digital cam shot in your report of that stuff, you are a notch-up on the guys who won't go up there and don't use the cam.

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I walk 'em all unless the pitch is just to steep for me to get up at the valleys. The number of times that roofs looked great from the ground and turned out to have significant issues once I got up onto them is probably better than 50%. That's enough to convince me I need to do it, but that's only me. Walking roofs is a personal decision. Nobody can make it for you and if you gut tells you not to make the climb - don't.

OT - OF!!!


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Originally posted by hausdok

Nobody can make it for you and if you gut tells you not to make the climb - don't.

That reminds me of the philosophy of the kayakers I used to paddle with. If you looked at a rapid and your gut said "don't", you didn't; no stigma attached.

Brian G.

Still Here to Talk About It, So the Gut Must Know Something [:-mischie

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