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Partial Inspection, Ice Damage


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I did a roof-only inspection this afternoon for a homeowner who is fighting with their insurance company about damage to their roof.

Brief history: The winter was harsh here last winter, and there were ice dams everywhere on practically every house in Lincoln. The owner states that the asphalt shingle roof is 5 years old. She says the curling shingles were not like that before last winter. Owner also states there was a great deal of water infiltration into the house.

So... She wants a letter from me basically stating that there is damage to the roof. I know the pix are hard to view well because of the lighting, but my feeling after being there in person is that this roof needs some help. A roof that's only 5 years old should not have any curling. There were multiple tabs that have lost their tar strip adhesion, perhaps you can see them near the plumbing vent.

I'm only going to charge a minimal fee, and I can't (and won't) state things I'm not certain of (because I wasn't actually there in Feb when this happened). I am addressing the letter to the homeowner, and it will basically state that I feel this roof covering has aged prematurely, and could have been caused by ice damage. I explained very politely that I'm not there to represent her, I'm not her attorney, I'm simply going to report on exactly what I see today.

I'm still new to inspections, am I approaching this with the right philosophy? Does the roof look premature to you? Comments welcome.

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Originally posted by rfarrell


Philosophically speaking,hell yes. She values your opinion. Just give it to her for a fee. If she is looking for ammunition to use on her insurance company, she should hire a hit man.

We work a lot cheaper than a hit man[:-bigeyes]

BTW Konrad, roof pics always read better from the top side [:D]

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I think your approach is pretty much on the mark, that of the objective generalist working with what's available after the fact. Clients will sometimes try to involve you emotionally in their problems, but you can't let that happen if you want to be credible.

The curling looks slight from the photos, but I agree that there really should be none after only 5 years. With only the photos and no direct experience with ice dams, I can't say much else.

She says there was a lot of water infiltration; did you see signs of that? I would think documented evidence of that might help.

Brian G.

Southern Ice Dam - that damned piece of ice on top that always turns sideways in your glass and blocks the sweet tea from your lips [:D]

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I think its' kind of a stretch. We get major ice dams every winter in the Big Dirty, & my cottage ices over because there is almost no insulation. Never seen it mess up shingles unless someone gets out & tries to remove the ice w/ an axe or similar tool. I suppose it can, I've just never seen it.

My own roof was iced to the max; I must have had 10,000 pounds of ice on my eaves. Thank god for WR Grace. My shingles came through looking brand new(?).

Personally, I wouldn't get in the middle of her snit fit; she wants to use you for her lever on the insurance company. Doesn't sound worth the money.

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I basically stated what I saw at the time, that the roof appears to be aging faster than it should. I wrote that it's possible that this is from ice dams. I didn't say it was from ice dams, so hopefully I'm not sticking my neck out.

I do know this: My roof on my house is 14 years old and looks a lot better than this one at 5.

She called me while I was at Davis, and I explained to her that I could show up in two hours, but I wouldn't have any tools or a ladder or be wearing the proper clothing to enter the attic. She seemed more gratefull for the quick turnaround rather than me bringing my stuff. They did have a ladder there, but one look at it made my spidey-sense tell me not to use it. (I may be developing that low-grade radar warning that you vets are always refering to)

So anyway, that's why I wasn't actally on the roof.

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