John's Blog


What are home inspectors looking for on the roof? INSPECTION PHOTO

Home inspectors look for a variety of things on the roof, here is a photo that shows an issue that we recently found while inspecting a roof.

Skylights are supposed to set up on a curb several inches above the roof as part of a standard waterproofing. This one did not and it leaked, no matter how much they tried to patch with that gray stuff.

Comment balloon 4 commentsJohn LaRocca • January 20 2010 03:55PM


Hi John. I hear that fiberglass might be the next big problem addressed in home inspections. Can you tell me why on earth they would use that awful stuff to line HVAC ducts in the first place?

Posted by Mark L. Ostrovsky, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 10 years ago

Well,  we all have our specialties and different backgrounds which lends to what we are each capable of.  The best way to answer would be say that we look for things that:  1)were not constructed properly to begin with; lack of flashings, incorrect shingle installation, improper pipe penetration boot jacks, any incorrect feature that will allow water damage..etc   2) things that are not currently performing properly or have been damaged; tree rub damage, wind damage to shingles, deteriorating shingles, hail damage, weathered or deteriorating rubber seals at pipes...etc   3) things that do not meet modern standards (code requirements changed since home was built); sealant now required on exposed fasteners..etc.

So, there are features or issues that should be pointed out, but the standards or lack of standards differ throughout the country.  Texas is a licensed state for home inspectors, so there are guidelines that we must each follow as to what is or is not a part of the inspection.

Posted by Glen Kotulek, Austin Home Inspector, schedule online (Home Critique Property Inspections LLC) almost 10 years ago

Glen: Thanks for adding this info to the blog! Great answer.

Mark and Elly: I have not heard specifically that fiberglass heating ducts is the next big thing but we do comment on it in our inspection reports so that our clients know that it is there. Some people have adverse reactions to it especially if they have breathing issues and this can be important information for them.

The building industry has used fiberglass for many years due to its insulating properties.  Virtually every home today has fiberglass in it somewhere. I think the heating ducts you are talking about have the fiberglass exposed on the inside of them and are made of almost entirely of fiberglass.

In the case that the ducts are made of fiberglass and exposed in the attic or under the house they can be replaced for a relatively inexpensively cost.

Posted by John LaRocca (LaRocca Inspections) almost 10 years ago

Great information and photo John.  I have seen so many of these.  Whoever invented the flat roof anyway was definitely looking for trouble.  But to add a skylight, well, they evidently wanted to create some continuous roof maintainence.  Have a great week.


Posted by Eldon Hendrix (Hendrix and sons Home Inspections) almost 10 years ago