Rubber roofing systems, or EPDM, have been successfully used on residential roofs for over 40 years. Low sloping or flat roof surfaces that provide challenges for traditional roofing system are easily overcome by a rubber roof. Take ponding for example. A traditional roll roof or tar build up roof can suffer adversely from water that lays (ponds) on the surface whereas a rubber roof can withstand this condition.

Much of what goes into a quality rubber roof installation is dependant upon the professional who installs the system. As with most premium products, the manufacturer provides detailed instructions on their product. Adherence to these instructions will make the difference between a roof that performs well and one that fails under real-life conditions. More often than not a residential system has been installed by someone who does not follow the manufactures instructions.

I have seen many rubber roof installations installed poorly. These roof installations will fail early and be a constant source of leakage over time, entailing expensive repairs. The pictures below were from a recently inspected roof where the installation was particularly poor.

Below: The rubber here was not glued down, the seams were not sealed, and the edges were not sealed.

In the next photo: The rubber here was not terminated properly at the wall, and not sealed at the joint.

Below: The rubber edging was not sealed and the joint at the corner was left flapping in the wind.

 

The new home inspection law HB1001 addresses an important issue regarding the confidentiality of the home inspector’s report as it pertains to the buyer and his/her agent. The letter of the law reads:

Confidentiality

  1. Except as otherwise required by this subsection or by law, a home inspector may not deliver a home inspection report to a person other than the client of the home inspector without the client’s consent.
  2. The property owner shall have the right, upon request, to receive without charge a copy of a home inspection report from the person for whom the home inspection report was prepared.
  3. If immediate threats to health or safety are observed during the course of the inspection and if the premises are occupied, the client hereby consents to allow the home inspector to disclose the immediate threats to health or safety to the property owner and occupants of the property.

Key take-away — the buyer maintains control of who sees the home inspection report. If anyone else receives the report it should only come directly from the buyer who is the home inspector’s client. Typically, the buyer grants permission in the contract for his/her realtor to receive a copy.

For a more in-depth treatment, see the article by Matt Steger of WIN Home Inspections – The Home Inspection Report — Who Does It Legally Belong To?

When HB1001 enacted it will call for home inspectors to be licensed to inspect homes in Pennsylvania with the goal of raising the bar on professionalism in the industry. Here are some of the requirements for obtaining a license to inspect homes in PA.

The applicant must be:

  1. Of good moral character.
  2. At least 18 years of age.
  3. In possession of a high school diploma or equivalent life or occupational experience.
  4. Completed a board-approved training program consisting of 120 hours of instruction.
  5. Completed no less than 75 mentored home inspections under a licensed home inspector.
  6. Passed a board-approved exam.
  7. Paid an application fee.
  8. Not addicted to the habitual use of alcohol, narcotics or habit-forming drugs.
  9. Not been convicted of a felony.
  10. Maintain proper insurance coverages.

Existing home inspectors will be granted licensure if they apply within 2 years of the effective date of the law and they have met the qualifications of steps 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 above.