Why is it not a good idea to schedule a summer home inspection in the afternoon?There are many systems in the attic that require detailed investigation for a home inspection report. The systems of the attic are trusses/rafters, sheathing, HVAC and exhaust duct work, electrical, insulation, ventilation, plumbing and in some cases HVAC components, chimneys and hot water heaters.
The plain and simple answer is the attic temperatures in Southern and even Northern states can reach extreme temperatures of 140 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher. If you are paying for a home inspection and schedule your inspection for the afternoon; you will, most likely, not be getting a thorough inspection. According to most state standards of practice(SOP) a home inspector does not have to enter the attic if the temperature in their opinion is extreme and dangerous to the inspector.
F. Inspectors are NOT required to:
dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or its systems or
2.10 The inspector is not required to enter any premises that visibly shows a physical threat to the safety of the home inspector or others nor inspect any area or component that poses a danger to the inspector or others.
III. The inspector is not required to:
C. enter or access any area that may, in the opinion of the inspector, be unsafe.
F. do anything which may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to the inspector or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to: walking on roof surfaces, climbing ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. enter the attic or any unfinished spaces that are not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or, in the inspector's opinion, pose a safety hazard.
It is the general opinion of the national associations and many of the states, that it is dangerous to the inspectors health to be exposed to extreme heat for prolonged periods of time. Rules have been drafted into the SOP of each to protect the inspector and the buyer during the inspection process.
A recent discussion regarding inspections of attics in one of the national home inspectors forums:
I do not take random temperature readings of the attics I inspect. I do know that during the summer months attics in my area will hit 130f without any trouble. Once they get that hot I do not spend much time in them! - Inspector from Tennessee
Location: Las Vegas, NV; single family, ranch style, home; south facing; reading of decking was south roof field; roofing material asphalt/fiberglass 3 tab shingles, one layer; approximately 10:30 A.M.; outside temp about 99 degrees. I don't know what the air temp was in the attic but I didn't stay there very long either! - Inspector from Las Vegas.
I was in one last week and it was 189, let me see if I can find the pic. Inspector from Utah
I also have recorded the 180 degree (upper) range in the attic when there has been very little wind movement and exterior temperatures exceed 115 degrees. No, you won't stay up there for long . . . Inspector from Las Vegas.
135 is common for me. Inspector from Illinois.
In South Florida the typically daytime temperature might be 92 degrees to 95 degrees and the attic temperature might vary from 120 degrees for a tile roof to 140 degrees for a dark color shingle roof. - Inspector from South Florida.
As you can see from the inspectors comments that they are concerned about getting out of a hot attic as it can be dangerous to their health. If you are looking for a thorough inspection, schedule it early in the day before attic temperatures reach extreme levels. In the cooler hours of the morning inspectors are more likely to spend the necessary time in the attic investigating the systems you should be concerned with.