A roof inspection involves meticulously checking all roofing materials and how well they’re securely attached to your home. Often done by professionals, the process assesses the roof’s current condition and spots issues that can turn into serious problems.
Periodic roof checks are likewise useful in ensuring that your entire system works as it should. Additionally, it’s a method used in assessing the roof’s lifespan, which runs anywhere from five to 100 years, depending on the material used and the quality of installation and maintenance.
For optimal protection and comfort, it’s vital to have your roof checked at least once every year. If you’re wondering how the roof inspection process goes, check this brief guide to avoid surprises.
Why do property owners need a roof inspection?
Some homeowners may think they can perform roof inspections independently, but it’s easy to miss some important elements. It’s best to hire professional contractors like Braun’s Roofing and similar companies to make the best out of this regular maintenance activity.
Proper upkeep is key to keeping your roof intact and extending its lifespan, saving you costs. Besides ensuring structural integrity, a roof inspection is essential in buying or selling a home or getting insurance.
What to expect in a roof inspection
A roof is not just a roof. It’s attached to your home’s entire structure, and several aspects are included in the roof inspection process. Roofers generally look at the materials, construction, and quality of work out into installing the entire system.
Hence, the roofers will access your property’s roof, interior, and exterior sections for a comprehensive examination. Expect to pay roof inspection fees as well. The national average cost of a basic roof inspection is USD$221, but this amount increases when other technologies like drones and infrared devices are used.
What do roofers look at during inspections?
When looking at material integrity, inspectors will look at potential cosmetic issues like curling, missing, or loose shingles. Besides these deficiencies, contractors will look for other roof parts like fasteners, underlayments, gutters, etc. Apart from personally checking the rooftop or using a drone, a roof inspector will also check the attic, fireplace, interior walls, and chimney.
Inspectors typically focus on these parts inside and outside your home or roof.
- Roof inspection in your home’s exterior
The roofer will walk around your property and look for any abnormalities like gaps in these roof sections:
- Fascia is a long board that extends on the roof’s lower edge and supports the gutter system.
- The Soffit is found under the fascia board and facilitates ventilation on the roof.
- The bargeboard protects and hides roof timbers.
- Gutters are installed to keep water away from the roof and your home. They’re placed along the roof edge.
- Downspouts are pipes connected to the gutters and transport water to the ground.
- Drip edges protect the fascia and are attached to the roof’s edges, like at the rake and eaves, to direct water toward the gutter.
- Eaves are located on the roof’s lower edge and where gutters are installed.
After a visual inspection, the roofer will either climb on top of the roof or use a drone and tap other technologies to examine it.
- Roof inspection
The inspector will check the materials, quality, and structural integrity of the system by looking at the following parts:
- Roofing material quality can only be determined by a closer look instead of a quick view from the ground. Any shape, size, and pattern abnormalities could indicate a potential issue.
- Moss formation on the shingles is a red flag as these organisms cause damage and make your home more susceptible to water damage.
- Penetration seals must be examined to ensure they’re tight to help prevent roof and interior water damage.
- Flashing is a metal sheet usually found around vents and chimneys and is also used to keep water from critical roof areas.
- Fasteners must be installed properly, usually by driving nails straight in most roofing materials.
- Underlayment is placed between the shingles and the roof deck. It’s often made from plywood or Oriented Stand Board (OSB) and protects the shingles by keeping water out and having fire-resisting properties.
- An ice barrier is often a self-adhesive rubberized underlayment that protects the roof decking from ice and water.
- Offset patterns show inspectors how the shingles were laid. Manufacturers have varying offsetting instructions to ensure the roof materials stay robust.
Despite not being part of the roofing system, windows, skylights, and chimneys are included in an inspection, especially before any roof replacement project. These parts create joints on the roof and can be prone to water penetration once the flashing is damaged.
- Roof inspection in the interior area
Besides checking your exterior home section and the rooftop, inspectors will likewise look at your indoor area to ensure that your property doesn’t have problems caused by hidden issues with the roof. Besides signs of water damage, roofers will look at potential insulation and ventilation issues. Inspectors are going to check for the following signs that indicate any of these potentially damaging roof-related problems:
- Interior leaks can be caused by various issues, but also a broken roof
- Water stains on the attic, rafters, or trusses
- Mold formation on the ceiling and upper wall
- Deformations on the ceiling
- Anomalies on the roof overhang
- Moisture formation in the fireplace
Note that moisture buildup can accelerate the deterioration of your roof, cutting its lifespan shorter. Interior ventilation issues must be addressed before they turn into costly repairs.
When is a roof inspection needed?
Basic roof inspections should ideally be done yearly or every two to three years if you’ve just had it installed. More frequent checks are recommended for a roof over a decade old or installed in areas with harsh climates. Roof examinations should ideally be scheduled during the spring or any time before the winter season to give ample time for minor fixes if needed.
It’s especially necessary for homes affected by a recent storm since it is a requirement in every insurance claim. Additionally, roof inspections are helpful in every home buying or selling transaction before adding solar panels or performing specific home improvement projects.
What happens after a roof inspection?
The contractor must provide you with a copy of a roof inspection report detailing what was done and the findings about the system’s condition. Clients must use the document to determine the next steps, like presenting it to the home inspector when buying or selling the property.
The above guide should give homeowners more confidence in ensuring contractors do a great job checking their roofs or conducting simple checks by themselves. In instances where minor issues are spotted, roofers must be contacted immediately to fix the problem before they become serious. Additionally, asking contractors about the process or any concerns is important to avoid confusion and potential problems.