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Friday, June 14, 2013

Roofing and Building Codes

 Over the years the building codes related to roofing have changed and so has the structural requirements for the deck and structure. Yet there is more to it than change. There is procedure.

Worldwide different processes are used. Many countries use central planning, allowing local jurisdictions to modify codes as they see fit due to different conditions like population density, heat , humidity, rainfall and flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes or soil conditions. The United States allows local jurisdictions to accept the model code of choice with addenda as each sees fit. In the past there was a conglomeration of the Universal Building Code, The Southern Building code, the International Standard Building Code, Building Officials Code Administrators International  and, a long time ago The Law of Moses that required a parapet to keep blood-guilt off the owners head because some drunk roofer fell off and got killed. Today the laws we bow to here is the International Code Council (ICC), which sprang from the big three Legacy Codes. I think OSHA came about from Moses crossing the Red Sea. Not to help the Hebrews ( Macho Jewish Beer) but the drowned Egyptian 5th Army. Later they made it past the Red Sea and into Sinai but again were caught circa 1974.

 The ICC is divided into the International Residential Code, International Fire Code, The International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Energy Conservation Code and ICC Performance Code.

Now, let's make no bones about it: when a code is adopted by a local jurisdiction, it is LAW! Code Enforcement Officials are law enforcement officers with the power to arrest and fine people and condemn properties or part of properties. A Red Card is not to be messed with. There is also a special clause at the end of the code we refer to as "The Gawd Clause." This is where the building inspector can make up any code on the spot as he sees fit.

If your home does not pass code during a sale, the inspector might call it out. You don't have to fix it if it were built that way under a different set of codes but if you change something like a roof, a gas lamp, a sprinkler system or a window, and the codes have changed, then you have to meet new codes. Items not changed and not sold are grandfathered in under the old code but grandpa gets up, then he needs to change his shoes to steel toed boots. If you don't follow the code there is no appeal. It is summary execution. Building officials, OSHA, EPA and other regulatory administrations have carte blanche to keep blood guilt from destroying your salvation.

There is no jury. There is no appeal. There is only pain and grief. So whenever you do some remodeling you need to know the codes or hire someone who does. If you have an insurance claim  you need to update the repairs to meet current code (law). If you have code upgrade in your insurance policy, you need to get it right the first time because the insurance won't pay to redo it. And if they won't pay the first time, it is time to rain holy hell upon them for asking to to be a criminal as State Farm has asked me to do by proving that current building codes are "enforced."

Don't get me wrong here because 95% of the time they are outstanding but they must not know who I am if they ask me to break the law. No saint am I but my ethics are intact and I'm incensed. My moral are okay too but that is a matter of judgement. Ethics can be know through pure logic and are not up to debate when scrutinized by enlightened men. Morals change with time, as do building codes. But a nation of laws must stand by it's laws unless they are tested to be incorrect by a jury of peers. That is another discussion that has been lifted from the courtroom and legal precedent by modern courts: the instruction of the judge to deem a law just or not.

No empowered governmental power, like building departments, concern themselves with right or wrong. It is the letter of the law you must follow, despite what State Farm thinks.

Jon Alan Wright
Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows
1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310
Irving, TX 75061
972.251.1818 Office
214.718.3748 Cell
972.554.8090 Fax
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1 comment:

Roofing Contractor said...

I enjoy posts like this. Thank you!