Your roof is one of the most important structures of your home. Regular inspections can help you keep it in working order and catch problems before they escalate into expensive issues. If you have never scheduled a roof inspection before, here are the basics of what to expect from the process. If you suspect a roof issue or have a roofing inspection planned in the near future, you should have some idea of what a roof inspection entails and what to expect.
What Is a Roof Inspection?
A roof inspection may seem like a self-explanatory job, but it requires a thorough look inside and out of a roof and a keen eye for detail. While it’s a good idea to do visual inspections on your own throughout the year, you should enhance this routine by scheduling at least one professional roof inspection per year as well. A professional roofer can catch problems that the average homeowner may overlook. They will have the tools and equipment to perform a thorough inspection inside and out more safely.
Checking the Roof Yourself
You may have picked a specific time of year to schedule your annual professional inspections, but checking yourself a few times between each professional inspection reduces the chances of unseen problems going unaddressed for too long. Checking the roof doesn’t mean being on the roof – leave that to the professionals. Basic inspections are just about noticing.
If you want to perform a roof inspection yourself, be sure to perform the following checks:
● Shingles. Check around your yard and step back to see the planes of your roof. Check for any cracked, chipped, discolored, or missing shingles on your roof. If you notice shingles or pieces of shingles in your yard, these are signs that your roof needs attention as soon as possible.
● Gutters. Have your gutters inspected annually. Remove any accumulated debris you find. If you notice large amounts of shingle granules in your gutters, this is a sign the shingles are nearing the end of their functional lifespan and likely require replacement.
● Attic. Go into your attic or crawlspace during a clear, sunny day. Look for any places where light is entering the attic; these holes are serious problems that can lead to pest infestations and water damage. You should also check the walls of your attic for any discoloration or other signs of water damage. If you notice any spots, contact a roofer as soon as possible before they worsen.
● Roof bed. When you check the planes of your roof, are they all level and even, or do you notice any spots that seem depressed or sunken? If parts of your roof are sagging, this is a sign that water has entered the roof bed and this can easily lead to rot, mold, and other problems very quickly.
● Wood and siding quality. Check the wood trim and the siding near your roof. If you notice any warped, peeling, or obviously damaged areas, these parts of your home’s exterior are especially vulnerable to water damage and require immediate attention.
Major problems should jump out at you during your inspection, but other issues may be more difficult for the untrained eye to spot. If you are unsure about what you see during an inspection or simply prefer a more experienced and more thorough inspection, contact a local roofer and schedule a professional roof inspection.
What Does a Professional Roof Inspection Entail?
However, just because your roof looks okay, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in regular professional inspections. Generally, a professional roofer will look at four different aspects of your roof: structure, materials, workmanship, and the interior. A roofer can spot problems that the average homeowner would likely overlook and help a homeowner determine the most effective and budget-friendly solutions to any discovered problems.
● The structural inspection aims to check the planes of the roof’s slopes and the masonry of the roof. This part of the inspection helps the roofer identify and assess any structural damage and determine the best method of repair. A structural inspection will also include a close review of the roof’s penetrations, such as chimney masonry and vent seals.
● Material inspections generally revolve around the quality of a roof’s shingles and the fixtures attached to the roof, such as roof vents, skylights, and other sealed penetrations.
● Interior inspections take place in the attic, where the roofer will check for signs of physical damage and leaks. In some cases, a homeowner may overlook water damage as discoloration or may fail to notice other interior problems.
● Workmanship inspections help the roofer identify any problems caused by the original installation of the roof. If the previous roofing team or the homebuilder cut any corners, it could take several years for the ill effects to manifest in an obvious way. A workmanship inspection will also involve checking the roof flashings as they are some of the most common sites for leaks to appear.
These four aspects of a professional roof inspection should help an experienced roofer verify the health of a roof and recommend the best possible next steps to the homeowner. If the roofer discovers a leak or small issue, a quick repair job may solve the problem before it worsens. This is especially true of a newer roof less than ten years old. However, if the roof is closer to the end of its expected 20 to 25-year lifespan and the roofer detects multiple issues, it may be more cost-effective to simply replace the entire roof.
Professional Roof Inspections to Protect Your Home
A professional roof inspection can save you time and money. Consider them a regular home maintenance requirement, like changing HVAC filters and cleaning gutters. A roof inspection is a straightforward and necessary process for any homeowner who wants to ensure his or her home remains in good order for as long as possible. Roof repairs and replacements are potentially some of the most expensive home maintenance issues for many homeowners, and regular professional roof inspections can help homeowners catch problems before they escalate into very expensive issues.