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Another good reason to climb roofs...


fyrmnk
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Here's a picture of a light gauge extension cord laying in a gutter on the roof and tightly wound around the gutter nail sleeve. It had even been damaged and taped up in the area where it would be laying in water. This was running out over a sharp metal edge onto the roof below, then tucked into the wood shakes and entering the home near the eave.

Never could locate where it went inside, but it appears to have been hard wired in. As soon as I saw this I expected multiple other electrical problems, and there were.

I try to always climb the roof. This one I could barely make it up, but glad I did. This couldn't be seen from the ground.

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Not really,

It's all a matter of perspective. When you climb them every day it's just another day at work. Of course if you're afraid of heights, and going more than 10ft. up a ladder starts a little guy in your gut yellling at you to go back down, you shouldn't walk any roof.

You have to use the valleys for really steep ones, wear clean Hush Puppies, keep your soles absolutely flat on the surface and make sure the roof is absolutely dry. Don't ever walk on shakes when they are damp or have green algae on them or you're going for a ride. These are 4 that I walked with ease.

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I'm up w/that. One just has to know how to walk on roofs. It should be required training for any aspiring home inspector (haha, can you imagine that?).

Develop strategies for access. Wear the right shoes. Bring big ladders that will get you to a dormer w/a shallower pitch (like in Mike's pic's) that will allow you to survey the main roofing from a relatively safe (flat) perch. Learn how to walk a ridge. Make sure that you are in line w/plumbing vents or penetrations that could provide a handhold, or in a worst case scenario, a "brake" so that you could stop a slide down the roof. Understand the variables when walking up metal valleys, and you can get almost anywhere on any roof.

If one talks to professional roofing inspection companies, they find it both amusing & dumbfounding that folks imagine they can inspect a roof w/out getting on it. The baseline for roofing inspection is having the right ladders.

How many folks carry an extension ladder? Far as I know, I'm the only one in the whole Big Dirty. Can't understand why(?), other than thinking folks in this business don't know squat about inspecting roofing.......

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Hi Kurt,

I don't have an extension ladder. Used to but after I bought my two gorilla ladders I found that I had to use my extension ladder only about once or twice a year and that I could usually get to most roofs using one ladder to get to lower roofs and then from there to the upper roof.

Now I can park anyplace that my little truck will fit, which is every place that any Subaru Outback will fit.

Anything that's too high to reach I'll do from the eaves or with bino's. I just tell the clients that I won't inspect anything that I can't safely get onto with my 21ft. gorilla and tell them that I'll be happy to return to inspect with a longer - rented - ladder, but that they'll be paying for my time to return plus the cost of the ladder rental, drop off and pickup. I've had two customers take me up on that over the past 3 years out of only about a dozen or so roofs that I was unable to get up onto somehow. Just about everyone else was happy with what I was able to do from my ladder or from the ground with binos. Those who weren't and didn't want to pay to have me come back ended up getting the roof disclaimed as unviewable in the report.

Frankly, with this friggin herniated disc I'm not even certain I'd be able to lug a 30Ft. + extension ladder around and set it up by myself anymore.

This was this morning's house. Normally, I couldn't do the roof on a house this high. Hell, even with the 21ft. Gorilla I couldn't reach the upper roof from the 2nd level deck at the back. However, this one has a walkout rooftop deck notched out of the front slope that takes up about 30% of the roof footprint. I was able to get up onto the roof by climbing up onto the parapet and from there onto the roof.

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A view to die for. You could see Rainier to the southeast, about 170° of the sound and the Olympic pennisula and the Olympic mountains clear as can be. Looks right down on a huge marina with a bunch of sea lions raising hell with the rich farts.

The point here, Mike, is that one can usually find a way up and as Kevin pointed out when he began this thread, you can see a whole lot more from the roof than from the ground.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

. . . You have to use the valleys for really steep ones, wear clean Hush Puppies, keep your soles absolutely flat on the surface and make sure the roof is absolutely dry. Don't ever walk on shakes when they are damp or have green algae on them or you're going for a ride. These are 4 that I walked with ease.

I don't understand the Hush Puppy thing. If I wear soft rubber-soled shoes on a shake roof, after I've gone about 10 steps, the soles become coated with a layer of dusty dead wood cells and I begin sliding around. How do you avoid that?

I won't set foot on a shake roof, wet or dry, without corkers on my feet.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by hausdok

. . . A view to die for. You could see Rainier to the southeast, about 170° of the sound and the Olympic pennisula and the Olympic mountains clear as can be. . .

Hey, what a coincidence, I was on a roof this morning where I could see Mt. Rainier also. (Except, for some reason, it was to the northeast. Go figure.)

Did you see me waving?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Not sure. Were you the guy in the pink Tu-Tu with the Mickey Mouse ears and the green leotards?

Tomorrow I'm going up to San Juan Island, staying overnight in Friday Harbor on the client's nickel and inspecting his vacation home on Thurday. Look for me waving from a rooftop on Thursday morning. I'll be the guy wearing the propeller beanie.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Kurt,

Here in the south a 16' Little giant knock off serves me well on 95% of the roofs I play on. A weekender rack and a fiberglass 28 cover most others. Don't tell anyone (Jim M) but I have a 40 that collects dirt behind the shed. I have carried it on the weekender but the ladder is a bit much for the rack. Like most the combination of toys will get the job done.

Charlie

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Originally posted by kurt

Develop strategies for access. Wear the right shoes. Bring big ladders that will get you to a dormer w/a shallower pitch (like in Mike's pic's) that will allow you to survey the main roofing from a relatively safe (flat) perch. Learn how to walk a ridge. Make sure that you are in line w/plumbing vents or penetrations that could provide a handhold, or in a worst case scenario, a "brake" so that you could stop a slide down the roof. Understand the variables when walking up metal valleys, and you can get almost anywhere on any roof.

I wear soft rubber soles for the wood roofs and I also wear Mechanix gloves with rubber portions on the fingers so I can also reach out palm down on shakes and get extra grip. Actually helps out a great deal.

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Extension ladders are pain in the butt, but I never know when I'll need it so it's always on the truck. Plus, the subliminal marketing effect of showing up w/a big ladder always impresses folks.

Cougar paws are awesome good shoes for walking on roofs. I also have some old 5.10 rock climbing shoes that work superbly.

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I get on every roof that's 'safe' to get on. Here near Charleston SC shakes are a real rarity so I'm on nearly every one.

I too, find valleys the safest area to ascend. It may look a tad funny but on a steeper roof I'll sometimes 'back' up the valley to keep better foot pad contact...

I wear Northface low rise hikers with an exceptional amount of grip. They work great on asphalt shingles.[:D]

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Timberland hiker's grip well for me. My first choice is good footing for the ladder (concrete). Valley and ridges make it a lot easier here also. It must work the same.

I'm training a man now and he is not very secure in my method of ascent. Usually I can make one step up on the roof off of a step ladder configuration. For him it will require dropping one leg section off the Cosco to attach a stand off. This allows proper technique of having a few feet above the roof. I require the stand off to prevent shingle damage. .... Most homes do NOT have gutters here. I still would not want to damage them. Thinking about it I need to incorporate tying off the ladder. I did get caught on that one once [:-dunce].

Good gloves are a must in the summer. I'd hate to need to carry the extension everywhere! I'll be changing to a SUV soon and that will further complicate things.

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  • 1 month later...

Here in southern Ohio, a shaker cover is very uncommon and I've never seen one...and was told to NEVER walk on one.

They are TRULY not as fragile as I was told?

I definitely do not want to write that it's best I stay off the wood covering, if you're saying I should proceed...

Thanks in advance,

Haubeil

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Originally posted by Haubeil

Here in southern Ohio, a shaker cover is very uncommon and I've never seen one...and was told to NEVER walk on one.

They are TRULY not as fragile as I was told?

I definitely do not want to write that it's best I stay off the wood covering, if you're saying I should proceed...

Thanks in advance,

Haubeil

If they're in anything resembling good condition they're not all that fragile. You can walk on them without harming the roof. On the other hand you might harm yourself. If you're used to walking on composition shingles you'll find that shakes are very treacherous.

Sooner or later you'll run into one. If it's steep or wet I think it'd be best for you to stay off of it for your own safety. Walking on these roofs takes practice. If the first one you run into is shallow and dry go ahead and walk it. If you're going to go on more than one in your career invest in shoes or boots with spikes in the soles.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi,

That's just it. If the roof is servicable, you won't damage it by walking on it. If a shake roof is in such bad condition that walking on it will damage it, it needs to be torn off anyway.

The idea that walking on a shake roof will damage it is just another one of those home inspection myths that's been perpetuated by some trainer who works in non-shake country who is talking about something which he knows nothing about. I say again, take it from someone who lives in shake country, simply walking a shake cover will not damage it, but climbing onto a shake roof without knowing what you are doing or onto one that is damp or slick with algae and it will damage you.

The picture below is a typical shake roof for me - walked without difficulty and without damaging the roof:

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Another important aspect of wood and tile roofs is how damaged shingles are repaired. Typically the old shingle is removed, a copper strip is nailed to the decking, and the new shingle is slid into place and anchored by bending the copper strip into a "u." Stepping onto a shingle replaced in this manner is akin to playing Russian roulette with a loaded .45.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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