The Sky Is Falling
We love our great state of Wyoming, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, wide open spaces, wildlife, few people. But as with many things, we have to accept a bit of the "sour" with the "sweet."
Wyoming's weather might be considered in the "sour" category at times. Two of our casual, off the cuff comments; "We have two seasons in Wyoming, summer and winter, we just don't know what two days summer is going to be." And "Wait five minutes, it will change."
We are having summer now and along with it, what seems to be the norm anymore, some pretty interesting weather happenings. Ninety + degree temps, late afternoon rain, wind, occasional tornado, and HAIL! Recently WYDOT was plowing 3 to 4 inches of hail off the highways around the Cheyenne area. Looked like snow in July. Until yesterday afternoon the hail had been missing my house. Fortunately the hail stones were small and lasted only about 10 minutes.
When the sun made a brief return, I noticed a lot of granules from the shingles lying on the patio. Not a good omen. An omen that inspired a climb up the ladder onto the roof.
There wasn't any serious damage to the shingles, but there were some areas that the granule embedded in the shingles to increase the durability was considerably thinner than adjacent areas. A bit concerning since the shingles are only 6 years old and are supposed to be a 40 year shingle. Looked like the shingles had been on the roof for 10 years or more.
This is a new shingle for comparison.
Doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence in the shingles surviving 40 years. Weather, particularly extreme weather changes, such as -30 degree to +100 degree temperature variation, hail, strong winds, snow, ice (Wyoming weather) all affect the life expectancy of all roofing materials. Does this mean you don't invest in the high quality shingles? No, not at all. The lower (cheaper) quality shingles may not endure the effects of weather as well as the higher quality. Replacement of shingles may be necessary in 10 to 15 years instead of 20 to 30 years.
It is always a good practice to inspect your roof in the fall and spring and after any severe weather events. Look for granules on the ground or patio, missing or loose shingles, cracked or torn shingles, indications of premature wear. Make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. Avoiding or prolonging roof repairs can lead to water damage to roof structure, insulation, ceilings, walls, mold and fungal growth.
None of us are particularly fond of going up on the roof. If you can't or don't like being on the roof, use binoculars from ground level, you can see a lot this way. Or hire a roofing contractor or home inspector to walk the roof. It will be money well spent that can prevent or catch roofing defects that will lead to more serious problems.
The short answer is YES, the home inspector is a code inspector.
I imagine in the few seconds it took to read that sentence, some folks are becoming excitable and conjuring up some very interesting expletives.
The first known written building code was implemented by King Hammurabi in Babylon in 1758 B.C. The code established that people who are designing and building for others are accountable for the quality of their work. Very harsh penalties were levied as a means of enforcement. Let your imagination determine what those penalties might have been.
It is noteworthy that after over 4000 years the purpose of established building codes remains the same, the protection of the people who live or work in a building.
If established building codes had no part in a home inspection, what would be the standard for determining the proper installation, function, and safety of all the systems and components of a home? The inspector's Opinion? Experience? Preferences? Whims? Not unlike scientific research, there must be an established basis and approach. The basis being Building Codes, the approach being the Standards of Practice established by your state or association.
The 100 to 150 hours of training required by many states and the two major national Home Inspection associations, ASHI and NACHI, rarely discuss Codes, but is based on Codes to establish a basis to evaluate a system or component. I am not sure that many of us going through the training really realized this. By the way, that 100 to 150 hours of training is the minimum entry level requirement. Good Home Inspectors have considerably more and are always studying and learning more.
Is a Home Inspector a Code inspector? Yes. Is a Home Inspector a Code enforcer? NO, absolutely not! Code enforcement is the job and purpose of your local or state AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdication). It is the AHJ's purpose to enforce Codes and approve or disapprove new construction, remodels, roofing replacement, HVAC replacement, and the list goes on, based on Code compliance.
This brief discussion is not an exhaustive dissertation by any means, but is meant to provide some insight into what is the basic standard for what should be a uniform approach to provide a uniform result. If this has stirred some thoughts or ideas. please feel free to comment. Open dialogue is always welcome and always productive.