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Troubled Houses - The Home Owner's Resourcesm - Roofs

We see many interesting adverse conditions during our inspections, partly because of the unlimited number of ways people can mess up a house, but also because we do a thorough inspection to reveal these adverse conditions. We hope these stories help home owners avoid these costly conditions by learning about causes, preventions, and remedies. A home purchase can create opportunities for the new owner to improve the home, possibly increasing its value, durability, and usefulness.

NOTICE TO BUYERS & SELLERS: This site does NOT encourage or discourage the purchase of any individual house, or style, age, location, or condition of house.  Conditions shown and/or described in the following articles may have been remedied at the house where these conditions were found.  These conditions typically can be remedied by qualified contractors. The presence of these conditions in any house is comparable to any other real estate consideration such as price, size, or location.  Consult a qualified home inspector before purchasing any house, and consult a qualified real estate agent for more information on how to handle a real estate transaction where adverse conditions are reported in a home inspection.   This site does not describe any house by address or knowingly show a readily identifiable exterior image.  Further, no home actively listed for sale  will be described on these pages at the time the article is posted.

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"Troubled Houses - The Home Owner's Resource" is a SERVICE MARK of Hankey & Brown Inspection Service Inc.  List of topics and all articles in this resource. (Also includes Photos of the Month.)  Also see our Ice Dams page.

Roof Topics

Raccoon Chewed Flashing   Roof Forest   Squirrel Entry  Improper Nailing = Shingle failure 

                 Improper nailing leads to premature roofing failure

Asphalt shingle roofing with holes due to improperly driven nails.  Photo by Roger Hankey, Winter Park, CO ASHI Certified Home Inspector

This roof failed in less than 10 years because the nails were not properly driven.  The nail heads were not flush with the roof and cut through the shingle applied over the nails. Due to the widespread distribution of holes on this roof, a tear off and reroofing was advised.

Roof Forest

 Roof Forest - Troubled Houses Minnesota Home Inspection by Roger Hankey, ASHI Certified Inspector in Winter Park, CO

This seedling has several years growth in the leaf mulch accumulation on the roof.  Contrast this with the Agent Remarks shown below:

         Agents remarks

 Unwanted occupant

       Squirrel at roof ridge vent Troubled Houses, Minnesota Home Inspection by Roger Hankey

Not all adverse conditions found in houses are man made.  However, this squirrel had easy access to the roof because the trees had not been kept pruned back.  The squirrel entered the roof through the roof ridge vent (loose from wind damage, lack of nails, or from squirrel action) and was heard running inside the rafter spaces of the finished vaulted ceiling.  Our customer, the owner, was advised to take immediate steps to have the squirrel trapped and removed to reduce the potential for further damage to interior components.  

Raccoons Damage Lead Flashings

We have seen numerous instances of damage to lead collars on plumbing vent stack flashings.  These cases have been found to be raccoon damage.  The animals chew off the sweet lead collars.  Sometime they remove so much of the collar that the counterflashing sleeve drops to reveal the opening in the roof for the vent pipe, creating a potential leak.  The counter flashing sleeve can simply be replaced, however the permanent remedy for raccoons on the roof is to eliminate or prune back any low hanging tree limbs over the roof.

 Raccoon chewed lead flashing collar on plumbing vent. (C) 2010 ASHI Certified Inspectors in Winter Park, CO  Raccoon damaged lead flashing collar on plumbing vent. (C) 2010 ASHI Certified Inspectors in Winter Park, CO