Inspections are better in the rain

Rain during a home inspection

It does not often rain here in Southern California. Every year when it does rain, we get calls asking if the inspection should be rescheduled due to rain.

The answer is no. In fact, if you can get your inspection done while it is raining, it is like hitting the inspection jackpot.

Here is why:

The Roof

The visual roof coverings, be it shingles or tiles, are not actually water poof. What is waterproof is the membrane UNDER the shingles or tiles (commonly called felt paper, though it’s neither felt nor paper).  So while the inspector in a typical inspection is viewing the shingles or tiles for signs of damage or wear, it is impossible to view the condition of the membrane. But when it rains, the roof is put to the test, and the inspector can look for leaks.

Do not cancel your inspection due to rain
Do not cancel your inspection due to rain

Roof penetrations, flashing and sealants

In addition to the roof itself, a roof often has many items sticking through the roof, such as exhaust vents, vent pipes, chimneys, and such. In addition, flashing protects where the roof meets other materials. While these should all be sealed, failures in the seal are not always visible to the naked eye. In the rain, sealants are put to the ultimate test and failures that may not be visible become apparent.

Moisture stains noted in attic.
Moisture stains noted in attic.

Attic Stains

Just about any older house or 30, 40 or 50+ years old is going to have stains in the attic. The problem for inspectors is once a stain dries, there is no way to tell if the stain is from a leak 30 years ago, or from last week. But when it rains, the inspector can test to see if the stain is dry (old) or current.

Grading, gutters, and yard drains

The fact is many homes in the Los Angeles area were built without much regard to what happens if it does rain. Many homes, even newer homes, simply do not have yard drains or any method of shedding water away from the home in a rains storm. While an inspector will make observations during an inspection about what might happen if it does rain, it simply not the same as observing what DOES happen in actual rain.

To book your home inspection, Rain or shine, call 818-298-3405