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Roof Certs are Scams!


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There is a guy running around our city handing these out for $250.00. (which is actually cheap; I've seen some for as much as $800). He spent 15 minutes on site and didn't warranty anything, unless he got an extra $475 or so.

The roof cert itself is badly written, full of misspellings, bad grammar and inaccurate information (wrong house number). It doesn't say anything meaningful.

What this guy's doing is bad, unethical and is a scam on the uninformed homebuyer and , in this case, the homeseller (they bought the cert to start with).

Its not my style to bash others' business, but I've seen this guy's name quite a bit and I think has been active in some home inspector circles in our area. In fact, he may be reading this right now.

Short of naming names, I want to expose him and purge the profession of his type. I'll charge the hill on this one.

He perpetuates the negative views our profession already has.

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Yeah, Randy,

If I understand what you're saying, there's a home inspector running around town providing roof certs for a fee. Is that correct?

If so, is he following behind home inspectors who've written up roofs, contradicting their reports, and then providing a report for a fee, in order to help the reel-tours put the home purchase that the inspector might have derailed, back on track?

If that's what you're saying, you're right, he does need to be exposed. Send me what you know via e-mail to hausdok@msn.com

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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There's an HVAC company in my area that tends to provide horrible service, more so than the average horrible HVAC company. I have no trouble passing their name out and telling people what morons they are. Now of course the company could get upset with me which is fine since I can document their performance record. What I don't do is put such info on a public medium such as this forum.

I'm an equal opportunity inspector. I give out the names of both the idiots and the top drawer people.

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House is 19 years old.

Percentage of rot? Maybe 30-40%.

When I turned in to the development, I knew what I was going to find. 75% of the homes in the development have already had their roofs replaced.

I wasn't even going to walk it, but opted to get up there anyway.

There are a couple dozen areas where the underlyment is exposed.

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Originally posted by hausdok

So what happened, did this roof cert turkey provide them some documents stating that it would go another X years or so?

OT - OF!!!

M.

No. That's my point. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the stupid piece of paper said!! I read it three times.

It didn't guarantee or warranty anything. It didn't make any "statements" about the condition. It had the wrong address, the wrong age of the home, everybody's signature and one paragraph full of convoluted legalese which is where I kept stumbling. Nothing.

There was some more checkbox stuff; type of roof and all but it was irrelevant.

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Originally posted by hausdok

If so, is he following behind home inspectors who've written up roofs, contradicting their reports, and then providing a report for a fee, in order to help the reel-tours put the home purchase that the inspector might have derailed, back on track?

No.

He did the cert before I got there.

My guess is he suckered the ill-informed sellers and in-experienced listing agent in preparation for getting the house on the market.

I guess there's a chance there was a prior inspection that exposed the roof issue and then the folks decided to get the cert. Maybe like the scenario in your question.

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Hi,

John, believe it or not, that one wouldn't be too bad to walk on. Some of them are so rotten that the occasional shake end will break off, though.

Randy sent me an email telling me who the gentleman is. I hadn't realized that he was doing roof certs. He's a long-time home inspector in this area. A couple of years ago I was hired by a fellow to inspect a home about 2 months after that gentleman, who'd been recommended by the homeowner's reel-tour, went through it. A few things had started going wrong, the roof had begun to leak, and he'd noticed that the ceiling was cracking and sagging little by little. There were enough things wrong in that home to write two of my normally voluminous reports. Don't know what the eventual outcome was, but the last time I drove by there I noticed that the roof and second floor had been torn off and redone.

I doubt if he visits here, Randy. Anyone that misses that much stuff after being in this game for so long definitely isn't interested in getting better at this business.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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You're probably dead-on, Mike. But just 'cause you find problems in a house recently checked out by another, doesn't mean the other missed a bunch of stuff. I recently checked out a house that I'd inspected a couple of years ago, and the stuff that had been issues were still issues. I don't know if the buyer didn't care, or if the realtor convinced him he was getting a great deal or what, but no action was taken on all the flubs I'd found the first time around.

Someone with no sense who gets a check for two grand at closing to cover repairs oftentimes will buy a new fridge rather than address the problems his inspector points out. Sad, but true.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi,

Randy sent me an email telling me who the gentleman is.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

One thing bothers me...if you watch episodes of COPS, you almost always hear the police referring to the suspect as a "gentleman." (Yeah, Mike, I know your background!)

I'd say that's misguided courtesy -- although done with good intentions. Almost never does the man in question fit the true definition of "gentleman."

I'd say that "gentleman" doesn't apply here either.

What Bain said is absolutely true based on my experience:

"Someone with no sense who gets a check for two grand at closing to cover repairs oftentimes will buy a new fridge rather than address the problems his inspector points out. Sad, but true."

Any one of us who has done this for very long has probably noticed this...unless you work in a VERY large metro area and never see the same home twice.

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Originally posted by Bain

You're probably dead-on, Mike. But just 'cause you find problems in a house recently checked out by another, doesn't mean the other missed a bunch of stuff. I recently checked out a house that I'd inspected a couple of years ago, and the stuff that had been issues were still issues. I don't know if the buyer didn't care, or if the realtor convinced him he was getting a great deal or what, but no action was taken on all the flubs I'd found the first time around.

Someone with no sense who gets a check for two grand at closing to cover repairs oftentimes will buy a new fridge rather than address the problems his inspector points out. Sad, but true.

Well,

I've had the same experience, numerous times, and I do live in a large metropolitan area. Did one less than three weeks ago that I did last spring. Different buyers, same house. The owner had been claiming for the past 6 months that he'd done lots of work in the crawlspace after the previous inspector (me) had called a bunch of stuff. Multiple offers and inspections and folks walking away - guess he never figured that I'd show up after he'd dropped his price way down. No "thousands" in crawlspace work, just a $300 sump pump installed wrong.

However, in the case of the house inspected by this guy Randy has encountered, it had only been two months since the inspection and the stuff that I found wasn't new - it had been going on for years and none of it was in the other guy's report. I saw the report. It was the biggest piece of suckupism one could imagine. The stuff that the guy didn't write a guy one day out of a 5 day home inspection course would have written. So, either they guy hadn't learned a thing after more than a decade in the business, he is legally blind, he saw that stuff and didn't write it up, or he saw it and was so impcompetent that he didn't know those things were issues.

I'm not kidding when I say that the number of issues would equal two of my typical 24 - 30 page reports. The house was a POS and the report read like it needed about $500 dollars worth of typical maintenance, not major structural and electro-mechanical repairs.

The simple fact that he's certing a 19 year old shake roof in this climate is a red flag for anyone from around here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by homnspector

I have never heard of "certifying" a roof, what does it mean?

It means nothing, really. It's where a reel-tour goes out and gets a roofer to come and look at a roof and then provide something on paper that says the roof will last at least the 5 years that the bank wants it to last in order for them to finance the purchase of the house. The problem is that they don't guaranty longevity - only state their opinion of how long they think it will last, in order to refute what the home inspector has said.

The reel-tours use it for damage control, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who fall for it. I once had a client's agent try to mitigate my report by hiring a roofer to 'cert' a roof. The client called me up and was upset. I arranged to meet the client, agent, and the roofer at the house. Then I took the roofer and client up on the roof and showed them the big hole in the deck made by a raccoon, made them pay me for my wasted time, and left.

The certs almost never come from well-established reputable companies and are almost never obtained by reputable agents. I do know of one reputable shake maintenance outfit, though, that has been around for a long time. They will provide a cert in writing guarantying the roof for a specified period, but only after they go over it with a fine-toothed comb, replace all of the rotting or missing shakes, and then apply real preservative shake oil instead of the rust-colored dye that the $250 one-bundle companies apply. They aren't cheap - they get about $2.5K minimum to clean, repair, and oil a roof.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Scruples are not part of the human genome, unfortunately.

Local inspector finds no problem with gas furnace.

Buyer calls two weeks later saying, "An HVAC guy was here ten minutes ago showing me a crack in my heat exchanger!"

Inspector says, "Have the HVAC guy come back out so we can all see it. If there is a crack, I will refund my fee and pay for the HVAC guy's visit."

Later, all are in the basement. HVAC guy has a borescope up the furnace. "There's the crack."

Inspector says, "Take the scope out and put it back in."

"The effin crack is right there! You missed it!" replied the HVAC guy.

Inspector shoves the HVAC guy about five feet. Scope came out, but the screen still showed the crack. The HVAC guy was playing a tape from a different heater he had recorded.

The HVAC guy is very successful in Buffalo. Sickens me.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Oh,

Before W.J. and Bonnie swoop in, let me ask. Does he perpetuate the negative view that our profession has of something else, or does he perpetuate the negative image our profession presents to consumers? [;)]

OT - OF!!!

M.

I probably would've written, "negative perception." Perception is reality, y'know.

"View" or "image" get the message across, though.

Y'know, if you guys keep thinking this much about words, you're going to have to get a job writing.

Kurt could make money just writing about how to eat a sandwich. Not much money, though. That's the problem with being in the literature bidness...

WJid="blue">

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  • 2 weeks later...

Huh,

Well, at the time I didn't know about the link you posted Scott. I'd heard via email from someone else about the roof certification scheme franchise.

I just don't get it. Folks have to scrape and scratch to get up enough for a down payment on a home and to be able to make their mortgage and insurance payments. The home they buy needs to have a good roof - one that's going to last more than just a few years. Here these folks are, helping to facilitate the sale and enabling folks that want to sell homes with questionable roofs by "certifying" that they'll get two years on the cover.

Two years? What good does that do a buyer? If the roof only lasts two years, that means spending a whole lot of money - money that is pretty darned hard to save in this economy - only two years after shelling out most of what they've got saved for a down payment. What if a kid comes down sick and they don't have medical insurance (a LOT of people don't) and they've just spent their savings to put a new roof on because these chuckle heads "certified" it two years before? What if the poor schmuck has to drive 40 miles one way to work and the car craps out and the money that could have kept the car going just got spent for a new roof? Then it's a choice of either lose your job or start putting stuff on a credit card. Once that happens and they get into that cycle it's a bottomless pit and they're liable to find themselves in serious straits.

Seems like folks don't want to purchase homes with borderline roofs, yet these folks are helping agents to sell them just that. If home inspectors are encouraging enablers they should be ashamed of themselves. What's next, companies called "Caulk and Sell" that will come in and goop up the exterior to keep out rain when the siding needs to be replaced? I suppose there will be a certain segment of bottom-feeding inspectors that will endorse that too.

Jeez.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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