Roof Systems and
Pre-Purchase Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op Inspections in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Putnam, and Westchester
from Heimer Engineering℠.
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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. 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 asphalt, slate, and terracotta tile roofs. There are Inspectors who lift asphalt roof shingles to determine how they were installed. This damages the roof. The slates, cedar shingles, or terracotta tiles suffer damage that can causes leakage.
Asphalt roof shingles are self-sealing. Lifting an asphalt roof shingle damages the seal. Roofing manufacturers will void a roof warranty if they determine damage was caused by an inspector on the roof.
Our Engineers determine the condition of the roof by visual examination. If an Inspector needs to walk on the roof or lift the shingles, you should ask; Why can't this inspector determine the condition of the roof visually? Can't this Inspector see that the roof shingles are old?
In some cases, it is not possible to safely observe the roof. If the roof is not visible, we us available satellite images of the roof to assess the roof. This includes historical satellite images, which can allow the roof history to be determined.
The myth of needing to climb on a roof or use a ladder to view the roof came from roofers who went into the home inspection business part-time. Today, very few Home Inspectors climb on the roof or use a ladder to check the roof.
Storm and Earthquake
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.
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.
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". 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.
Contact Heimer Engineering℠
Heimer Engineering℠ is happy to help you. Senior Staff members are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. After 5 PM, please leave a message. Messages are checked during the day on Sunday, and Sunday evening through Thursday evening. Inspections are performed seven days a week.
Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection fees are competitive with non-Engineer's fees, especially when you consider that many non-Engineers charge extra for termite inspections, swimming pools, etc.
Inspection orders are taken by senior staff members. A real estate purchase is complex and you should be able to speak with someone who can answer your inspection questions.
To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony email Info@heimer.com, text 888.769.6910, or call 800.605.1500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
Ask About a Web Discount
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).
In the event of a life-threatening emergency call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, shut utilities off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.
Standards of Practice
and Code of Ethics
Our Licensed Engineers substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics, to Subpart 197-4 of the State of New York Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, the ASHI® Standards of Practice, and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE®) Code of Ethics. In the event of a conflict, the Licensed Engineer uses Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence. All State of New York Licensed Engineers are bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.
Ask about a web discount. Discounts are also available for referrals (attorney, real estate broker, mortgage broker, co-worker, friend) first time buyers, senior citizens, military (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard), first responders (police, ambulance, fire), municipal employees, security personnel, and union members.
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Heimer Engineering℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
The Heimer Engineering℠ website was designed and is maintained by Harold Krongelb PE. The contents of this website were written by Harold Krongelb P.E. This website is not intended to offer Engineering opinions or advice. Sitemaps and indexing information can be found at Page Sitemap, Image Sitemap, Mobile Sitemap, and Video Sitemap.
©1997-2018 Andrea and Harold Krongelb. All rights reserved. Used under license by Heimer Engineering PC.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: 800.605.1500
New York Metro: 800.640.8090
New York Metro: 646.757.4500
Bronx, New York: 718.547.2000
Brooklyn, New York: 718.237.7777
Manhattan, New York: 212.563.4777
Long Island, New York: 516.487.2100
Long Island, New York: 631.549.2500
Nassau County, New York: 516.487.2100
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
Suffolk County, New York: 631.288.3900
Suffolk County, New York: 631.549.2500
Westchester County, New York: 914.576.6100
Fax: 631.858.5599, 646.795.4571