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Hi All,

I'll be going back to a job today at the request of a client to inspect a nearly 4 story high roof that was initially unreachable from the ground with my 22ft. LG clone. It's brand new construction. I did it with my binos as best I could and explained to the client that I walk 99% of them, but occasionally get one that is too high to reach.

It looked pretty good from the ground with binos, but, those of you who walk most roofs, like I do, know that what looks good from the ground is often not actually the case. So, I disclaimed in writing any potential issues not viewable through the binos and told him to ensure that he's got a good roof warranty, just in case.

Yesterday he called me back and asked if I would return to reinspect the roof. I said sure, but the rental cost for a 40ft. ladder, and for delivery to and from the site, was his to bear and my minimum charge for a reinspection is a two hour minimum. Plus, he was going to have to be there to help me manhandle that monster into place and to brace the bottom of it for me. He agreed.

So, I'm on the way this morning to look at that roof. Guess it had to happen sooner or later. I know most of you don't carry 40ft. ladders - except Rob Amaral or Jimmy Morrison perhaps - but I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had to do this before.

What say you all?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Wow, you sure go the extra mile Mike. I carry a 22 ft Little Giant and handle it just the way you do, using binoculars from the ground or viewing from the eaves if possible when it doesn't reach, which only happens about once a month for me. Sometimes, thanks to the postage stamp sized lots out here, I can't see a lot and note it as partial only. I recommend further evaluation by a qualified state licensed roofer and have never even considered renting a ladder.

You should have negotiated for lunch and a massage too [:-mischievous]

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32 foot extension (fiberglass, non-conductive) is the largest that I can reasonably handle by myself. Even that takes significant focus & proper body mechanics to avoid disaster. 40' by yourself is not smart; I've done it many times in the past, & it's really stupid. My day to day on board setup is a 28' fiberglass extension, 22' LG, & 12 foot telescope.

I got a buddy w/a 40'; when necessary, he goes on the payroll to help. I always offer the service for pay. It's a great way to make more money per job. I'd rather get on a ladder than go in a rathole crawlspace.

I love getting high, ahem, I mean, I love being up in the air. Bouncy is fine if the sucker is tied off like it should be. I've hung my ass out over 10 story abyss' on the roof access ladders that are set off to the side of the old steel fire escapes. One never knows just how hard one can grip when your 10 stories up.

Here's a cool little facade I saw the other day; someone say "Ludovici"?

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"Plus, he was going to have to be there to help me manhandle that monster into place and to brace the bottom of it for me"

Come on Mike, I've seen your picture. You mean to tell me that you can't handle a 40 ft ladder?

I have a roofer friend that is about 5'2" and he packs them around like it's a step-stool.

Of course his arms are about as large as my legs.[:-bigeyes2]

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Originally posted by hausdok

...I think that being married to the Korean Konnection and visiting a massage parlor would be akin to driving my truck into an abutment at 1000 miles per hour. Very messy! Nope, I'll pass.

Fear, or wisdom? You make the call!

(Hint: The two are sometimes indistinguishable from each other.) [:-mischievous]

Brian G.

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Mike, if he's going to help you raise it and then steady it, then who's gonna carry your gonads? I can imagine it'd be rough with them banging off of each rung as you climbed.

I sometimes get request to go on top of 3 and 4 story townhomes. I agree as long as the client is willing to pay the rental on a bucket truck or cherry picker. I've had no takers. I don't know of anyone around here who goes on those types of roofs.

I don't like heights. You don't like rats. Are we even?

Good luck on the climb.

Donald

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Mike,

Your got better genes than I did!

I will walk that garage roof, but not the house. Sticky feet ain't the problem...it's the balance man! I'd look like a weird golf ball as I came rolling off that roof.

Down here a 22 foot ladder is just about a foot shy for most two story houses. You have to have a 24 footer to reach the roof, and the transition can be scary.[:-hot] As I've said before, 24 foot is about all I can handle safely.

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If it's steep enough to be scary I try to walk the ridges and valleys, then work other spots with a ladder at the edges if needed. Getting on one like that just isn't worth the risk to me. If you ever start sliding you probably won't be able to stop, and grabbing for the gutters at the edge just isn't my idea of fun. I don't get paid enough to risk serious injury and I'm allergic to pain. [:-splat]

I refer back to my earlier "Fear, or wisdom?" comments.

Brian G.

Never Had a Broken Bone, Like It That Way [:-hspin]

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Originally posted by hausdok

People say that we as inspectors have no business schooling people about caring for their homes during our inspections, and it's a waste of time. However, I find that when my clients listen their homes really stand out. Guess that's another one of those 'to each his own' issues.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I happen to agree with you on that one. I do a lot of homes for first time buyers and others who don't have a clue what it takes keeping one up. If their willing to listen, then I'll take the time to give 'em my two cents. Some actually implement my suggestions!!

Glad your climb went well Mike. Some of us would have learned after falling off of the first one [b)] [V] [:-headache]

Chad, I've been 50 feet in a Snorkel lift. That was a little over my limit. If I'm next to a building or something else that I perceive that I can grasp on the way down, I don't get upset. Stick me up in the air with nothing around, then I'm trying my best to sprout wings! [:-angel]

Donald

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Originally posted by hausdok

People say that we as inspectors have no business schooling people about caring for their homes during our inspections, and it's a waste of time. However, I find that when my clients listen their homes really stand out. Guess that's another one of those 'to each his own' issues.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

The most satisfying part of the job for me is in educating the homeowners. I even include "Home Maintenance for Dummies" with the written report.

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I carry a 28 ft and the Werner Little Giant knock-off; that gets me on 99% of the roofs. I keep a 40 ft by the shed. I can still set it by myself but that won't go on forever. Heights don't bother me but sudden changes of elevation do.

I talk to my first timers like they were my kids..tell em that maintenance is money in the bank.

As an inspector I try to make sure sellers are not rewarded for buying badly maintained property then turning a profit for covering shit with shinola.

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Originally posted by hausdok

People say that we as inspectors have no business schooling people about caring for their homes during our inspections, and it's a waste of time. However, I find that when my clients listen their homes really stand out. Guess that's another one of those 'to each his own' issues.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I also agree with educating clients. The real pay-off is when you get an unsolicited comment like this: "One of the most educational days ever. Paul taught us a very comprehensive lesson on home maintenance, on top of educating us about repairs needed. He delivers what a customer expects, then goes several steps further. We feel we know that house up and down."

That was good day![:D]

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Originally posted by kurt

40' by yourself is not smart; I've done it many times in the past, & it's really stupid.

Ouch.

I'd put it this way and I think my Uncle Kurt would agree. Carrying and working with just about any piece of equipment you aren't real comfortable with isn't smart. I think any inspector who "tests their limits" on a roof is essentially risking their life for a little coin. And I agree...that's just dumb.

You know the sticker you see on the top of a stepladder that reads in big honkin' letters "DO NOT WORK OR STAND ON THIS PLATFORM"?

My Dad used to tell me whenever I saw someone standing on that sticker to stop what I was doing and be very quiet. "You are about to witness the process of natural selection first hand."

I don't mind big ladders and high heights, but none of us belong where we don't belong. You gotta make those calls yourself.

Paul and Mike make an excellent point about educating buyers. That has been my most effective marketing tool, by far...

End of sermon.

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To climb or not to climb - that is the question. To each his own.

From 1976 until 1992 I drove pick-ups with camper shells and ladder racks. I carried a 21' fiberglass and a 28' aluminum extension ladder. I also packed 1st a 13' Versa Ladder (never again) then swapped it for a LG 13'.

Anyone that tells you they walk all roofs is a liar and hopes you're dumber than he is. I walked 90% of the roofs - I say 90% because you have to count the snowy, rainy days; the 20 year old VERY BRITTLE wood shake or shingle roofs; the 10/12 metal, slate or tile roofs; the days that the roof is ice covered, etc, etc. Only a total moron would try to walk a roof at those times.

Those first 16 years I was so proud of myself. I was real creative. The house had a widows walk with no access. My 28' wouldn't get me to the 2nd floor or 3rd floor. NO PROBLEM. I've dragged my 13' LG up to a 2nd or 3rd floor window - opened the window - removed the screen or storm - climbed out dragging my trusty LG with me - - inched my way up the side of the dormer - balanced myself precariously and put the LG so it straddled the peak of the dormer gable - then I climbed up and pulled myself up on the widows walk. What a rush - real scary!

Damn, was I a hero home inspector.

Then in 1993 I started having friends or people I knew getting really forked up by falling off roofs, having ladders collapse, or slide out from under them. I've had 2 good competitors have shingles or tiles come loose on them and slide them off the roof. All in all, I know 9 really good inspectors that have been really messed up this way. Because of the downtime or severity of the injuries no longer, several of them no longer have an inspection business.

One man broke his leg in 7 places - has had 4 surgeries and 20 months later is still on a walker. One broke his back (he was out of work for 9 months and had to file bankruptcy - still considers himself lucky to have lived and walk).

Dan's Personal Rules Since 2001. I carry a 13' and 17' LG (the inside ladder and the outside ladder). If the 17' won't get to the roof, I inspect with binoculars or ----.

Yesterday, I had to inspect a 2-story on a very steep lot. The roof was a 9/12 or 10/12 pitch wood shake in the front (8 years old) and the rear of the house had a low sloped dormer. The back yard had a heavy tree growth and I couldn't get back far enough to see the roof. I imagine its roll roofing or single ply membrane.

My report ended up saying that the wood shakes at the front of the roof showed no signs of major defects and appeared to exhibit wear typical for their age. However the rear of the roof was not visible or accessible due to the height and style, etc. I recommended they have a licensed roofer with a tall ladder inspect it prior to closing. I took $25 off my fee because of that and because I'm a heck of a nice guy.

My safety is worth a lot to me.

Dan Bowers, CRI

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Originally posted by DLRambo

Anyone that tells you they walk all roofs is a liar and hopes you're dumber than he is. I walked 90% of the roofs - I say 90% because you have to count the snowy, rainy days; the 20 year old VERY BRITTLE wood shake or shingle roofs; the 10/12 metal, slate or tile roofs; the days that the roof is ice covered, etc, etc. Only a total moron would try to walk a roof at those times.

Dan,

I'd just like to go on the record saying I'm not a liar, not a total moron, but I do hope you're dumber than I am.

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