Action 9

‘Absolutely shocked’: Homeowner captures what should have been a roof inspection on camera

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — A local homeowner claims a building permit failed to protect him when the city sent an inspector who never did his job and he’s got the hidden video to prove it.

Bob DeFilippo felt blindsided when an inspector sent by the city of Port Orange checked out his home’s new roof.

“Absolutely shocked, I just couldn’t believe what I saw,” DeFilippo said.

Not only did he see it, DeFilippo’s security camera recorded what the inspector failed to do.

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“Didn’t walk around the house. Didn’t do a thing but walk to the permit and walk back to the vehicle,” DeFilippo said.

The inspector worked for Universal Engineering Sciences, a company hired by Port Orange to make sure contractors follow building codes before new roofs get passing grades.

But this inspection lasted just one minute and five seconds. DeFilippo, who is a former building inspector himself, said the inspector never even went near his roof. “I don’t know why anyone would do that. They’re out to protect the public.”

“What did you think of that inspection?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“Well, it wasn’t an inspection. It was a sign off on a permit,” Doug Wallace said.

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Wallace owns a roof consulting company. He watched the video and said the inspector failed to do the basic job of getting on a ladder for a closer look.

“You can tell if the starter shingles are sealed to the eave properly, as required by Florida Building Code,” Wallace said.

Homeowners also pay permit fees that include inspections for new electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, and pool installations. Permits can cost hundreds of dollars, and are supposed to protect homeowners from contractor mistakes. Many homeowners withhold final payments if contractors fail an inspection.

“You rely on the city and the building inspector to do the right thing,” DeFilippo said.

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Action 9 contacted Universal Engineering Sciences. The company said it reviewed the inspector’s actions and handled the issue directly.

After DeFilippo contacted Port Orange administration, the city sent another inspector who got on the roof, and it passed inspection.

If you suspect a drive-by inspection, contact the chief building inspector and send a written complaint. You paid for that basic consumer protection. Insist on it.

City of Port Orange response:

The inspection services vendor arrived at the home of Mr. Bob DeFilippo on April 8 and spoke to an individual on site. The city addressed Mr. DeFilippo’s issue with the vendor that provided the inspection services at his home. On April 12, the city sent one of our Building Inspector’s to Mr. DeFilippo’s home for a final inspection. The city holds our contract inspection services at the same high standard as the city’s own inspectors. If they fail to meet these standards, the city will re-evaluate the services they provide.

Universal Engineering Sciences response:

Since becoming aware of the incident, Universal Engineering Sciences has been in regular contact with officials at Port Orange, from whom UES’ inspection services are subcontracted, as well as the customer. An internal review of the site inspector’s actions was also undertaken and handled directly.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich,

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.

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