Roof Inspections – Are They Necessary?
In many states, especially those that see a higher amount of snow and hail, when buying a home it is usually requisite to have the roof certified from inspection. Matter of fact, many lenders required this to be done before they will cut a check. In most states, a properly ventilated roof can last 20 years or more. In states where the snow is heavy, they often have to be replaced every five years. While having a secure roof is one of the most important parts of a home, it can also be a very expensive investment, especially if you bought a home under the guise that everything was on the up and up.
Roof inspections are simply inspections that determine the integrity of a roof, how long it may last, and when it will need to be replaced. Roof inspectors are not going to climb up on your roof or the roof of a home you are thinking of buying and pull up shingles or tiles. Roof inspectors have special procedures wherein they can determine the lifespan of a given roof without tearing into it. At first glance it might seem that roofing inspectors would have to pull up part of the roof to do a thorough examination, but if you consider your own roof, you would not want anyone tearing holes in it just to see if it was in good shape.
Are Roof Inspectors Different From Home Inspectors?
Roof inspectors also have super-technical techniques like infrared roof inspections where they don’t even have to touch the surface of the roof itself to determine a roof’s integrity. This process uses infrared rays to locate parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of the roof. These “hot spots” can show a roof inspector just exactly where heat is escaping.
Play it Safe
Because replacing a roof can be quite an investment, insurance companies and lenders require that this has been checked off. It makes sense for these companies to protect their investments, but you as the homeowner should want this to be secured as well. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill that you weren’t expecting, and you also don’t want to sell a home to a family and put them in the same spot.
Roof inspections are not all that expensive, and these roofing inspections can give you and your lenders and insurance carriers peace of mind. Because when the rain is coming down or there is a foot of snow weighing down your roof, you want to sleep comfortably knowing that you are secure from above.
What to Expect from Professional Roof Inspections
A roof inspector will be looking for leaks, unusual wear and tear, damage caused by windblown debris, organic growth issues, and problems that may have occurred during shingle installation or subsequent repairs. Ultimately, a roof inspection gets broken into four facets: structure, materials, interiors, and workmanship.
- Structural Inspection: The inspector will check for uneven roof planes and signs of sagging, in addition to examining the condition of the soffit, fascia, and gutter system. Masonry chimneys should be inspected at this time for cracks, crumbling grout, and damage to chimney caps. The inspector may also check the venting in your attic; improper venting can lead to heat and moisture buildup that reduces roof life and increases the risk of ice dams forming at the roof’s edge.
- Material Inspection: Here, the inspector will be looking for loose, missing, or curling shingles; stains; moss; rust; and missing flashing or fasteners. Shingle aggregate that has settled in roof valleys or on the ground at the bottom of gutter downspouts is a sign that the roof could be near the end of its useful life. The inspector will also check the rubber boots and seals around vent pipes, looking for gaps or deterioration.
- Interior Inspection: Because roof leaks ultimately damage your home, the inspector will check interior ceilings, the attic, and interior walls for water stains, mold, rot, and other signs that water is making its way into your house.
- Workmanship Inspection: A thorough inspector will examine your roof for problems in workmanship that could increase the risks of leaks or other roof damage in the future. Incorrect flashing around roof penetrations—including vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys—would all be red flags.
After the inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report about the condition of your roof and what repairs, if any, are necessary to keep it in good shape. If repairs are necessary, schedule them as soon as possible—before the snow flies, if you can. That way, when snow blankets the neighborhood, you can be confident that your roof is in good shape.
5 Benefits of Roof Inspections
Your home is typically the biggest investment you make in a lifetime. Proper home maintenance is a necessity if you want to maintain its value and keep your family and belongings safe. One of the biggest pieces to your home is the roof. Too often, its is overlooked because even though you use it daily, you don’t actually see it.
A great way to maintain your roof and maximize its longevity is through a professional roof inspection. The best roofing contractors offer home roof inspections free to homeowners. Here are five benefits of roof inspections:
- Find Water Damage.
A roofer will check your roof for shingle condition, flashing installation, soft spots, and leaks. In addition, they should review the interior of your roofing system. Roofing contractors check your attic for the right insulation, ventilation set-up, leaks, mildew, and mold. Water damage usually begins long before you see a wet spot on your ceiling. A professional will be able to catch these leaks before they cause major damage to your home.
- Save Money.
Since you don’t check your attic or roof regularly, it’s impossible to know when something is wrong without a roof inspection. Professional roofing contractors can make recommendations for minor repairs that help you save money. If damage isn’t repaired quickly, it continues to fester and cause major damage which can often turn into a full roof replacement.
- Simplifies Insurance Claims.
Reputable roofing companies provide detailed reports with their findings and recommendations from the inspection. These reports make insurance claims easier to file and receive approval for because they explain the type of damage, what is needed to fix it, and an estimated cost.
- Increases the Life of Your Roof.
Getting a roof inspection annually can help extend the life of the roof because you are aware of the damage and can make minor repairs as needed. When roof maintenance is pushed to the bottom of your to-do list, it can cause a premature roof replacement. On average, a full roof replacement costs $10,000 and should last 30 years. If you need a roof replacement prior to that, consider adding an inspection to your yearly home maintenance checklist.
- Rested Mind.
Getting a roof inspection annually gives you peace of mind that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your family and your well-being. Even if a roofing contractor finds damage, you will have a plan in place on how to repair it, the cost, and how to maintain it moving forward.
Having a roof inspection completed annually is a decision that will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Contact the roofing professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors to schedule your free roof inspection today.
A Roofing Inspection Checklist to Get Ahead of Problems
A regular roof inspection can head off expensive repairs.
A roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that’s easy to overlook. Don’t. Add a once-a-year reminder on your calendar to go out on a warm day and address any roof problems you find.
If you’re squeamish about heights, don’t worry. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars.
Or, you can get up close and personal with your roof using a ladder. However, there’s no need to get up on your roof just yet. The less you walk around up there, the better for your roofing — and the safer for you. Work your way around your house, noting any potential problems.
Here’s a roofing inspection checklist:
- Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
- Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
- Missing or broken shingles.
- Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
- Missing or damaged chimney cap. (OK, that’s technically not part of your roof, but since you’re looking anyway.)
- Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.
3 Things You Should Know About the Roof Inspection Process
Having your roof professionally inspected is a good way to learn about current issues and potential roofing problems so you can address both before an emergency arises.
The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends scheduling a roof inspection during the fall, spring and following any major storm that involved high winds, hail or flying debris. However, if you invest in a roof preventative maintenance program, the frequency of your inspections will likely depend on the age of your roof. But, it’s typical for homeowners to receive a roof inspection at least once a year.
If you’ve never had your roof professionally inspected, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about the process.
- What are the warning signs that you may need a roof inspection?
The two most obvious signs that your roof is damaged and should be looked at by a professional are leaks and drafts. In addition to watching for water visibly leaking, you should also check for dark streaks and stains on your ceiling, as they can also be indicators that your roof is leaking and moisture is damaging both your roof and home’s interior.
Cool drafts, on the other hand, are not often 100 percent attributed to your roof, but a faulty roof can lead to problems with proper air circulation and ventilation and cause your energy bills to rise.
However, even if there are no signs that you need to have your roof repaired or replaced, a more thorough inspection may reveal damage that is not apparent to the untrained eye. So, scheduling an annual roof inspection is always a smart idea.
- What is the difference between an exterior and interior inspection?
While an interior roof inspection includes checking the attic for proper insulation, ventilation, as well as moisture and mold, an exterior inspection includes climbing up on the roof and checking for leaks and proper flashing, as well as the condition of your shingles and chimney.
After the inspection is done, the professional should give you a detailed guide of what needs to be repaired and execute a plan so that it can be fixed properly.
- What are roofers looking for during an inspection?
What a roofing professional will look for during an inspection will vary depending on the roofing materials used.
If you have a shingle roof, here are a few common issues that a roofing professional will look for during an inspection:
- Signs of water damage – Water damage can be caused by a number of issues, including water not draining properly due to clogged gutters, improperly installed or damaged flashing and storms that blow shingles off leaving room for water to seep in.
- Mold – Mold growing around the chimney and on attic insulation are signs of excessive water damage. During the interior inspection, a roofing professional will pay special attention to these areas.
- Shingle deterioration – this can be missing or loose shingles as well as rotting or algae growth on the shingles
- Clogged gutters – If your gutters contain an excessive amount of loose shingle granules, this is a sign that your shingles are being worn away. Granules give your shingles added weight and protect them from ultraviolet rays.
When inspecting your metal roof, identifying any leaks and their causes is also a top priority. Here are a few areas that roofing professionals will pay special attention to during an inspection:
- Loose seams – Metal roofs expand and contract, depending on the weather. This can cause screws to loosen and seams to separate. If this problem isn’t taken care of right away, the roof’s underlying structure might be damaged by condensation and the buildup of water.
- Damaged flashing – Flashing that has begun to pull apart and has created a gap can allow water to seep underneath your metal roof. It can also lead to corrosion on the underside of the panels.
- Rust – Rust will eat away at your metal roof, creating large holes that will allow water to leak into your home or worse, cause roofing panels to literally fall apart.