Inspection Training

“In The Field” with Jim Hardin – Roof Safety

Welcome to “In The Field” with Jim Hardin, where you can learn about real situations that happened out in the field during a home inspection. This will be a great resource for both new and experienced inspectors to learn about a wide variety of different obstacles that a home inspector could experience while out in the field performing a home inspection. Jim will cover it all… From tough agents to naive clients to difficult defects to angry seller’s. Every week Jim will share an experience that he personally had to deal with while performing a home inspection in order to help educate other inspector’s when they come across the same situations. Please review his second post below:


The most important part of inspecting a roof is choosing the correct spot to set your ladder. Walk the entire perimeter of the property before deciding where to place your ladder. Maybe the rear has a balcony that will give you a better access without having to set two ladders. Make sure that the ladder is on level and solid ground. Look for a valley to go up and try setting the ladder as close to the valley as possible. Valleys are much easier to climb and descend so this will be your best path to safely accessing the roof.

Once you have chosen the best spot for you, set the ladder firmly on the ground and be sure to tie it off at the gutter using a ladder clamp. Even with a second ladder going from the first level to the second level, tie it off and secure the ladder.

Now you’ve gotten to the top of the roof. It’s better to walk the valleys and ridges if you can. So, you’re at the ridge and you look back down and you think to yourself, wow, how am I going to get off this thing. It’s happened to me. The first thing I do is usually sit down and analyze the situation to try to find the best resolution.

Decide on the safest path to the ladder. Remember, the valleys are the easiest to walk. On occasion, I have gone to the peak, sat down, taken my photos for the report and then decided that crab walking on all fours would be the safest way down. Sit and be sure to place the bottoms of your shoes on the shingles in front of you, (do not rely on your heals as they will slip) and having your hands on the shingles behind you. Scoot your rump a little and then reset your feet. Do this until you get to a safe place to walk. In hot weather, always carry a pair of gloves with you on the roof to protect your hands from burning on the hot asphalt shingles.

There may be an occasion when you are not getting down off that roof without some help. If you find yourself in this situation you can check on the group text if there is an inspector close by that might be able to come help you. If you think that you will need more help than that you might need to call 911. It’s better than falling.

I always say this to myself, “The hardest part of inspecting a roof is getting down.” Keep that in mind before deciding to walk that steep roof.

Good Inspecting and Be Safe.


Jim Hardin is a certified home inspector through InterNACHI and was part of the very first Axium Academy class that took place back in January of 2016. He started working for Axium Inspections in March of 2016. Since that time, Jim has performed over 1,000 home inspections by averaging around 55 inspections per month. This high volume of home inspections has turned Jim into one of the most requested inspector’s with the company in a very short period of time and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Prior to working for Axium Inspections Jim worked in the Appraisal and Roofing industries.