Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspection

Home, Building, Condo, And
Co-op Engineering Inspections
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Roof System Inspections

Pre-Purchase Inspection
Insight Only An Engineer Offers

Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op Inspections
in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland,
Putnam, and Westchester

An Engineer's inspection, a home and building inspection, and a termite inspection.  You receive four reports: an onsite verbal report, an onsite written report, an emailed written report, and a termite report.  Call 800.605.1500 if you have questions.  We are happy to help you.Smile

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The roof keeps rain and other weather elements out of the home, building, condo unit, or co-op unit.The roof keeps rain and other weather elements out of the home or building.  The Engineer evaluates the general condition of the roof and estimates the remaining life on the roof.  Evidence of past or present roof leakage is also assessed.  The engineering report includes an expense analysis of any upcoming roof repair or replacement costs.

Most roofs are made of either asphalt, cedar, slate, or clay tile.  If a building has a pitched roof, the roof can be viewed from the site.  (It is not advisable to climb onto this type of roof as a means of checking it.  Climbing on the roof can damage roof shingles, especially older shingles.  A leakage problem can be created simply by walking on a pitched roof surface.)

When the Engineer finds that a roof leaks, needs repairs, or will soon need replacement, an expense analysis of the needed repairs and replacement is provided.When the Engineer finds that a roof leaks, needs repairs, or will soon need replacement, an expense analysis of the needed repairs and replacement is provided.  This helps you plan for any upcoming roof replacement.

If the building has a pitched roof and an accessible attic, the Engineer looks for evidence of roof leakage or damage to the sheathing.  The Engineer also looks for problems in the attic such as the amount of insulation present, water damage, and insufficient attic ventilation.

The amount of attic ventilation can have a significant effect on air-conditioning costs.  The majority of buildings in the Metro New York area were built when fuel was much less expensive.  Given today's high cost of fuel, checking for attic insulation is especially important.

Some inspectors advocate walking on pitched roofs.  There are inspectors who lift asphalt shingles to determine how they were installed.  While this may seem like a good way to check a roof, it can cause serious damage.  The slates, cedar shingles, or terracotta tiles may suffer damage and cause the roof to leak.

Walking on a pitched roof during a home, building, condo, and co-op inspection can cause serious damageMost asphalt shingles are self-sealing.  Lifting an asphalt shingle can damage the seal and make the roof susceptible to wind damage.  There is also no way to examine the membrane under the shingles.  Some roofing manufacturers will void a roof warranty if they determine the damage was caused by an inspector on the roof.

An experienced inspector can determine the condition of the roof by visual examination.  If an inspector needs to walk on the roof or lift the shingles to examine it, you should ask yourself, Why can't this inspector determine the condition of the roof visually?  Can't this inspector see that the shingles are old?  Can't this inspector tell that the shingles are irregular?

SatelliteIn some cases, it is not possible to safely observe the roof.  The roof may not be visible because of the local topology, because the roof is covered with snow, because there is no roof access hatch or the roof access hatch has been sealed, etc.

If the roof is not visible, satellite images (when available) of the roof are used to assess the roof.  This includes historical satellite images, which sometimes allows the roof history to be determined.  Fortunately, satellite images of most of the metropolitan New York area are available.

Storm And Earthquake Roof Damage

Hurricane Sandy in late October of 2012 caused leaks in even new properly installed roofs.The major storms that occurred during the late summer of 2011, combined with the earthquake during the late summer of 2011, caused roof and chimney problems to develop.  Hurricane Sandy in late October of 2012 caused leaks in even new properly installed roofs.  Roofs that were previously leak-free were damaged by wind and falling branches.  Chimneys were displaced by the earthquake and strong winds.  Cracks developed in chimneys, or between the chimney and the house as a result of the earthquake.  Other damage both inside and outside the building also occurred.

➜ Storm Damage

➜ Hurricane Sandy

Leaks may not show up until months and sometimes years after the storm damage occurred.  If your home or building has suffered such damage, contact your insurance company to see if the repairs are covered.  You can also contact Heimer Engineering if you need a consultation on storm or earthquake damage.

Flat Roofs

Some buildings have flat roofs, which are accessed by a roof hatch.  Larger buildings have a bulkhead and steps to the roof.Some buildings have flat roofs, which are accessed by a roof hatch.  Larger buildings have a bulkhead and steps to the roof.

If steps or a safe permanent ladder is provided (and it is not blocked), the ladder can be used to access the roof.  The coping and parapets are examined, as they are often a source of roof leakage.

It would be advisable to ask the seller or real estate broker about flat roof access.  In many smaller homes, the seller has removed the roof access ladder.  Ask the seller to reinstall the ladder prior to the inspection.

Beware if you are told the roof has had work done on it.Beware if you are told the roof has "had work done on it".  Often, a roof that has "had work done" will need upcoming replacement.  If the roof has had work done on it, ask for a bill of sale and a warranty confirming the scope of the work.

If there is no safe access to the roof, then evidence of leakage is examined.  Recommendations will also be made based upon the probable age of the roof.  Because of the Engineer's experience, appropriate recommendations can be made even if there is no direct access to the roof.  This is important, since many flat-roofed buildings have no roof access.

Trust a Licensed Engineer to assess the roofing system.

Pre-Purchase Inspections

During the inspection, the Licensed Engineer examines, analyzes, and/or reports on (as appropriate based on the building):

Hot Water
Leaders &
And Doors

Contact Heimer Engineering 24/7

Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionsWe are happy to help you.  To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony, click below for a contact form, send us an email, text us at 6602 0091 55, or call 800.605.1500.  If no staff member is in the office, leave a message. Remember to ask about a web discount. 

➜ 24/7 Contact Information

Heimer Engineering serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County), and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).

Heimer Engineering respects your privacy.  Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies.  Some inspection firms sell their client lists.  These practices are unethical.  You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency (fire, building in danger of collapse, facade with loose bricks, debris falling from a building, gas leak, etc.) do not call Heimer Engineering.  If there is a life-threatening emergency or other hazardous condition, call 911.  Emergency situations need to be handled immediately by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, have utilities shut off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.


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Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionInspections are performed only after the client signs a pre-inspection agreement.  The use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use.  This website is made available for informational purposes, and does not represent a professional opinion of your particular situation.

➜ Download A Pre-Inspection Agreement

Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York.  We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York.  We also provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining constructionExpert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.

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Heimer Engineering PC f/k/a Richard L Heimer PE PC
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 230
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947

New York Metro Area800.605.1500
Bronx, New York:  718.547.2000
Brooklyn, New York718.237.7777
Manhattan, New York212.563.4777
Nassau County, New York516.487.2100
Putnam County, New York:  845.638.4900
Queens, New York:  718.544.3000
Staten Island, New York:  718.227.5000
Suffolk County, New York:  631.858.5500, 631.549.2500, 631.288.3900
Westchester County, New York:  914.576.6100
Fax:  631.858.5599, 646.795.4571
Coordinates: 40.8439215, -73.2871259
Email: Info@heimer.com

International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
North American Industry Classification System (SAISC) Classification: 541330, 541350