Beware of vague advice in home inspection report

Hidden defects could've been discovered pre-purchase

DEAR BARRY: Our home inspector failed to disclose that our roof is in deplorable condition. The inspection report says, "Due to the steepness of the roof, we were unable to walk on the roof and inspect the flashing, stacks and vent covers. We recommend having a qualified contractor evaluate further if desired." This week, I walked on the roof with a roofing contractor and was astounded at the bad condition of the shingles. The roofer said the inspection report was worthless. Does the wording in the report absolve the inspector of liability? --Douglas DEAR DOUGLAS: Most roofs can be reasonably inspected without walking on the surface. If it is a one-story roof, the inspector can go around the building with a ladder, placing it against the eaves in various locations, to view as much of the roof as possible.In most cases, this enables the inspector to see visible defects. If the roof is on a two-story building, it is often possible to see defects by using high-power...