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Roofs VC 9 and other Roof related issues

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Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
The following thread is intended as a resource on a NATIONAL basis for appraisers AND UNDERWRITERS performing FHA work.

The opinions posted here are that of the individual appraisers and are based on thier individual training and knowlege.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
How about we start on the roof. Realtors are always asking me about this.

I stand back and look at it. If the shingles look at all like they might be old, getting brittle or curled, or looks like there have been repairs or possible wind damage, I call for a professional roof inspection. If the house if less than 10 years old and all appears OK from down below, I leave it be. If the house is 15 years old or more and they don't have a new roof invoice within the past 5 years, I call for an inspection. This really only leaves the 10 to 15 year old houses for me to make a decision on and if at all questionable, I call for an inspection.

If the pitch looks like it might be less than 3/12, I call for an inspection.

If there has already been a documented home inspection that addressed the roof I ask for a copy of it. I will use it, quote it and/or put that part in with the appraisal report and put it on the home inspector's butt.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
A few years ago I went on a FSBO conventional sale appraisal inspection. As soon as I pulled up I noticed the roof looked pretty old and used up. I had a recently expired MLS listing that stated 'almost new roof'. I do my inspection and ask the homeowner/seller for the invoice for the roof. She says something to me about it being almost new, digs into a large envelope of papers and eventually produces it for me.

Dated 18 years ago.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Roof VC-9 --

Look carefully at the roof from the ground. Some of the "newer looks" of layered shingles and/or Timerbline roofs look "thick." On a dark cloudy day or a light rain day they give the appearance of being water-logged. [Latter is a sign of age by virtue of probable de-mineralization]

Binoculars are great for looking at roofs. That way you can look at the roof from the middle of the street, yet get as close a look as if hanging from a ladder!
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Pam has given great info on the roof inspection process.

In addition, here's what I do. As I enter the home, I give a quick look up to view the roof. What I'm looking for is any waving in the roof structure which would cause me to complete a really detailed (over and beyond the HUD "head and shoulders" requirement) inspection of the attic. I'm looking for water damaged or delaminated sheathing which would be evidenced by wavy shingles or visible sags between the roof rafters/trusses-signs the roof may have been installed over bad sheathing or that the attic has excess humidity from improperly vented bath fans or from the excessive use of portable humidifers for little children. You would also want to look for evidence of mold in the attic under this scenario of excess humidity. I am also looking for compostion roofs that may have been installed over non-conventional sheathing which may or may not have enough holding power for the nails-roofs installed over old cedar shakes or metal roofs generally have a wavy appearance from the outside. I also check for water leaks by the chimney and the plumbing vent stacks which indicates failed flashing.

Remember, this is probably the biggest complaint area from the new homeowner that HUD is going to receive so if you see any problems that would cause you to doubt the 2 year remaining life, check the appropriate VC box under (9), then explain the roof deficiency on Page 4 of the VC sheet under 9A,B,etc and call for a certification/inspection by a professional which states the roof has a two year remaining life. That way you're off the hook and the DEU is off the hook also. Learn to word VC conditions to your advantage to lessen your liability. When completing the CIR (repair inspection) for the roof VC, don't comment on the roof repair or the roof certification if they hand it to you, it's not your job. Just state, say under VC 9A: Underwriter to review the required roof certification for acceptability. Now your totally off the hook and the DEU is responsible for the roof certification's acceptability to HUD. If HUD is called with a complaint, you did your job. You called for the cert and made the DEU totally responsible for acceptability via your comment on the CIR.

Of course, we all must learn to look up at the ceiling in every room for water stains which would trigger an automatic roof certification, in my mind anyway. Basically, if the roof looks "sketchy" to you, you're looking for a good reason to throw the 2 year REL opinion onto an expert. Remember, you're not a roofing expert.

Also, the biggest mistake most FHA appraisers make is OK'ing a roof when they CAN'T see certain areas of the roof. Example would be a Cape COD, Salt Box, or Bungalow with a shed dormer. You can see part of the roof but not the dormer section as the pitch is too shallow to observe from the ground. Do not assume that the roof is in the same condition as the rest of the dwelling. If you can't see it, call for a roof certification and tell the DEU that you can not observe the condition of the roof in that area due to the low pitch.

Of course, all flat roofs on the dwelling, porches, etc require certifications.

Also, while viewing the roof, a check of the condition of the masonry chimney is in order, if applicable. Those old, leaning brick chimneys could be a safety issue. Also, I'm looking for attic ventilation via roof ridge vents or gable end vents to make HUD happy......

Anybody care to add to this list????

How do you guys up north handle ice dam problems? Do you check for proper soffit ventilation and require it if not present?

Ben
 

bradellis

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Ben,

That ;ooks like a pretty thorough list to me. About the only thing I would add is looking at the ridge for evidence of sagging, but when it is there it is usually pretty obvious. Does not always indicate an ongoing problem, but I'd call for the cert in such cases.

Ice dams are pretty tough to determine. Mostly it is due to inadequate venting and insulation. One indicator- if you can see it- is a build up of snow at the edges of the roof that is thicker than the snow cover in the central portion. But, when the roof is covered with snow, I use the disclaimer per the FAQ I read.

Brad
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
One thing I will add as a Home Inspector. I don't think I have ever inspected an attic with a masonry chimmney that didn't show water stains onthe masonary in the attic except a new home. Most of these homes show no signs of water damage at the ceiling. no water stains. Yet virtually every one has water stains on the chimmeny.

My best guess is it minor leaks and they soak in the brick or evaporate before it ever reaches the ceiling.

I know this is beyond a FHA inspection but just keep that in mind if you can see the chimmney from the access point.
 

Wally Jones

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
These are great tips! Thank you!

In our area, it's common to find air handlers in the attic which can sometimes leak and cause ceiling stains. Of course, I'm not usually smart enough to determine if the stains are from the handler or from a roof leak, so I take lots of pictures, call for a roof inspection and let the professional make the call.

Those attic inspections can sometimes be interesting. In the last six months I have found evidence of a fire (leaving the support beams of questionable strength), a rat infestation, a tree limb growing through a ventilation opening, a clothes dryer vented into the attic (which had deposited about an inch of lint on the attic floor-probably not a good insulation material!) and what looked like drug user leftovers.

Thanks again for the terrific tips.

Wally
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
This is off topic but after reading Wally's post

>>a clothes dryer vented into the attic (which had deposited about an inch of lint on the attic floor-probably not a good insulation material!) and what looked like drug user leftovers. <<

I just have a share a story. Only time I have ever been scared in a home inspection. This was one of my first Home Inspections and I was crawling the crawlspace in an older home. Everything looks pretty good so far. I came to the central duct work. Someone has dug out under the duct so there is just enough room from me to slide under. Saved me going all the way around house to get to this corner. Now bear in mind that I can not see what is on the other side of the duct work.

I slide under (barely) and get my head and shoulder out and I look in front of me and shine my flashlight. What I saw looked like it came out of a horror movie!! Cobwebs everywhere!!! No joking either!

Now I can handle snakes. But I dont do good with spiders. At that point I was ready to crawl backwards and just forget the fee. They were on their own! I finally decided that it would be better to get out from under the ductwork and then turn around rather than trying to back out. So I crawled the rest of the way out. Curiosity finally overcame my good sense. I decided to take a little closer look. No way could that be spider webs (I hoped!)

Well turned it was 20+ years of dryer lint. It looks like something out of the Munsters TV home though. Worst scare I have had so far.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Wally and Jeff,

Good tips. Remember to repeat them when we work our way into comments on what we look for in attic inspections. I'll give a little snipet: I always look, in older homes, to see of the plumbing vent stacks or as L from MN calls them, soil stacks are extended thorugh the roof. I've seen too many that just stop in the attic which is a safety hazard.

Brad,

I like the tip on the ridge framing but I'll save my comments on inadequate framing until we get inside the attic.

Thanks for everyones participation.

Ben
 
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