What is a Roofing Inspection, and Why is it Important?

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Owning a home comes with several responsibilities, and taking good care of your roof should always be a top priority. Over time, your roof can become damaged, shingles can get loose, or you could simply end up dealing with annoying leaks. A roofing inspection can help to ensure that your roof is in great condition, and it will help you pinpoint trouble areas before they get out of control. Read on to learn more about roof inspections, why they’re important, and how they work so that you can be prepared for every season and know that your home is protected from unexpected damage.

What is a roofing inspection?

A roofing inspection is a visual check performed by a professional to determine the “health” or integrity of your roof. These inspections can be done voluntarily whenever you have concerns about your roof, or they may be a standard part of a home inspection when you’re planning to purchase a new home. It’s important to get a roofing inspection if you suspect that there may be a problem with your roof. Additionally, homes with roofs that are 10 years old or older should have them inspected annually to confirm that there are no signs of serious wear and tear.

A quality roof should last between 30 and 50 years, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any damage or other issues as time goes on. You can choose to inspect your roof yourself, although enlisting the help of an experienced roofing company is highly recommended. They know exactly what to look for and can make specific recommendations to repair any issues they find, which can save you money in the long run.

Why are roof inspections important?

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Getting regular roof inspections is important so you can identify issues before they get out of hand. For example, damaged or missing shingles can be replaced before your roof starts to leak if they’re caught early enough. A roof inspection confirms that your roof, underlayment and plywood, shingles, gutters, and flashing are all in good condition. If these items are missing or damaged, it can wreak havoc on the rest of your home. Some homeowner’s insurance companies also require policyholders to get an annual roof inspection, particularly if the roof is of a certain age. Certain types of roofs also require more frequent inspections, such as clay tile or flat roofs. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, hail, or other severe storms, getting your roof inspected regularly is crucial to ensure that it’s in good condition and structurally sound.

How do roof inspections work?

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Here is some information about how your roof will be inspected for signs of trouble:

Visual inspection. The roof inspector will look for some red flags that may indicate your roof is in trouble. They’ll first look for any signs of leaks, unusual wear and tear, visible damage, or excessive growth of mold and mildew. If you’ve just been through a storm, a roof inspection is recommended so they can check for serious signs of damage as quickly as possible for fast repair.

Structural integrity. The inspector will take a closer look at the roof structure and note any signs of sagging or unevenness. They will also examine the condition of other parts of your roof, including the gutter system, fascia, and soffit. If you have a chimney, the roofing inspector should look for any cracks, missing or crumbling grout, or damage to the chimney cap. Most inspectors will also look closely at attic venting to ensure that your roof is getting proper ventilation. If not, moisture can build up in the attic and cause the plywood and shingles to rot. An improperly vented attic may also increase the risk of ice dams if you live in an extremely cold climate.

Condition of materials. Your roof is made up of several parts, and the inspector will want to confirm that all of them are in good condition. Different parts of roofs include shingles, flashing, and fasteners. All shingles should be free of stains and moss, and they should be straight and flat against your roof. If the shingles are curled, cracked, or missing, they should be replaced as soon as possible. Your inspector may also examine rubber boots and seals around vent pipes to look for visible gaps or signs of rotting and deterioration.

Interior. A leaking roof can cause extreme damage to your home. The inspector should look at the interior of your home including the ceilings, attic, and interior walls. They’ll closely examine these areas of your home to look for signs of mold, rot, or water stains. If these signs are present, there is a good possibility that you already have a roof leak, or that your roof was leaking at some point previously.

Workmanship: Ask your roofing inspector if they’ll also check on the workmanship of the installation. This can include things like improperly installed flashing or issues around roof penetrations like chimneys or skylights. If your roof is under warranty and the inspection can provide proof of errors in workmanship, you might be eligible to file a warranty claim to make repairs.

Once the roof inspection is over, you should receive a detailed written analysis of the findings. The inspector should also recommend specific repairs and inform you of what should be done to get your roof back in good condition. They may also provide estimates for the repairs. It’s a good idea to get at least three estimates from local roofing companies just so you can compare. The sooner you make repairs to your roof, the fewer threats you’ll have to deal with whenever it rains or snows again.

Professional inspectors vs homeowner inspections

The average homeowner can look at their roof and likely pinpoint glaring issues like a missing shingle or granules in the gutter. However, professional inspectors have the training and know-how to find serious issues that are lurking under the surface. In addition to their expertise, the pros understand your roof design, materials, and how it was installed. They also know how to inspect your roof safely. If you’re not experienced with a ladder or you have a fear of heights, it’s best to leave your next roofing inspection to the pros. Look for companies that offer free or low-cost inspections without any obligation to use them for repairs or a new roof, if needed.

Professional home inspectors vs roof inspectors

A professional home inspector is there to ensure that the major components and systems of your home are in good shape. While they’ll typically perform a quick visual inspection of your roof, they do not have the tools, background, or expertise to inspect your roof as thoroughly as you might expect. In most cases, a home inspector will do a quick visual overview of your roof and attic and inform you of the estimated age. Unless there is an obvious red flag (like several missing shingles or a sagging roof), they won’t find more serious issues that could be hiding from the naked eye.

A professional roof inspector has the skills and knowledge to help you find underlying issues with your roof. Many roof inspectors use special infrared sensors that help them pinpoint areas of heat loss in the attic and around the edges of your roof. This tool makes it easier to find where gaps are, and where water and air could be coming in and out of the roof and your home. Professional roof inspectors also know what a properly installed roof should look like, and what exactly can be done to get things corrected. If you’re buying a new home, a professional home inspector should be sufficient to help you find serious red flags. On the other hand, if the home and roof are old or you’re still concerned about the roof’s condition, you should consider hiring a professional roof inspector to come and take a closer look.

Best time of year to do roof inspections

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The best time of year to get a roof inspection depends on your location, climate, and other conditions. However, if your roof needs repairs, it’s best to schedule them during the autumn or spring when temperatures are better and working conditions are optimum. If you’re worried about damage to your roof, an inspection should be done before summer or winter arrives. This will ensure that everything is sealed and repaired before you turn on the heating or air conditioning, which can help you save on energy costs and prevent air from escaping during these extreme times of the year. Any major repairs should be performed in the fall or spring so that your roof is ready for winter’s arrival. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, this is particularly important. Always schedule a professional roofing inspection after a serious hail or wind storm to confirm that there is no damage to your roof.

Getting your roof inspected regularly is a part of good home maintenance. With the right professional by your side, you can be sure that your roof will last for years to come and keep your property and family safe. If you’re ever concerned about the condition of your roof, or if you think there may be damage, it’s a good idea to get it inspected right away.