Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Gopher Inspection Service at your service!

Attics can be very challenging to home inspectors.

There are all kinds of dangers from things like wild animals (although gophers are likely rare) to falling through ceilings. However, nobody except home inspectors even get close to “wanting” to go in attics, so they are often a source of great information that might be important to a home buyer.

Attics are perhaps second only to crawl spaces in this respect.

The attic I want to talk about today had a difficult access to say the least and any home inspector would have been justified in not entering it.

There used to be a more appropriate access to the attic at a point where there was much more clearance inside the attic, but this had been covered over in relation to a furnace installation in the garage.

Anyway, this is what the access looked like.


If the insulation had not already been trampled, I likely would have forgone messing up all the insulation to gain access to the higher area of the attic. I would have recommended they have me back when proper access was made. I made my way along the tunnel into the main attic area and found several issues that would not have been found had I not entered.

These first two pictures were of active leaks dripping into the insulation.

 Roof leak


This next picture is of a cut rafter where the plumbing vent stack runs through the roof.

 Cut rafter

 There is an approach to inspecting attics called the “gopher.” It involves sticking one’s head up inside the hatch at looking around all 360 degrees and then quickly disappearing before being whacked by the things that were missed.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector


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Comment balloon 6 commentsCharles Buell • January 22 2016 01:54PM


Wow!  We just had our insulation done again in our house, and our rentals too

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 3 years ago

I have rarely pulled a "gopher" but I must admit there have been a

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

 I see way too many of these projects both in the attic and in the crawlspace Charles Buell 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 3 years ago

Hi Charles - That's definitely service above & beyond. I have to admit I've never seen what's in my attic, and I'm not even really sure where the access is - probabloy in a closet somewhere.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 3 years ago

You got me - that was not what I was expecting when reading about "gopher service."  ;-)

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 3 years ago

Well, you could make your way around!

Did you crab walk?  Monkey walk from hand to foot like on tree limbs?

Or did you do the drone with the camera floating around the attic?  (Like that day will come...)


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago