Your home’s roof is a crucial component of your home. It shelters you and your home’s interior from harsh weather conditions like extreme temperatures, wind, rain and snow. It also allows air to circulate, all while under constant exposure to the elements.
If you want to ensure your roof continues performing at its best, add regular inspections to your home maintenance list. These inspections are the best way to stay on top of your roof’s overall condition. Read on to find out and learn more about roof inspections.
What Is a Roof Inspection?
A roof inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of all the components of your home’s roof. While you may give your roof little thought, it’s a mechanical system that requires regular inspection for top performance.
A trained roofing professional conducts a roof inspection to identify the roof’s current functionality and what measures, if any, are needed to optimize it. Licensed roof inspectors are best for this job because they take a detailed approach to assessing the quality of your roof and can help you navigate many roof-related aspects of home ownership.
Roof inspections are also necessary to certify a roof. Roof certifications are a way for homebuyers to ascertain the condition and expected life span of a home’s roof.
What Is Looked at During a Roof Inspection?
Your roof inspector will determine the status of the following critical roof areas and components to uncover any issues and how to fix them:
The roofing professional will survey the condition of your roofing material to gauge its integrity.
Soffits, fascia and drip edges
Soffits lie beneath the eave where the roof’s edge meets the house’s exterior wall. The fascia is the long, straight board that forms a perpendicular angle with the soffit and runs along the roof’s lower edge. Drip edges are metal sheets along the edge of the roof that direct water away from the fascia. Your inspector will check the state of these components and whether any moisture has compromised them.
Your inspector will ensure the gutters aren’t holding water and the drainage pipes are securely attached and functional.
The holes in your roof created by installing accessories such as vents, vent pipes and media equipment are sealed by various coverings. Your inspector will survey these coverings to ensure their effectiveness. They’ll also inspect the conditions of the roof penetrations themselves.
The flashings are thin strips of material, usually galvanized steel, installed around roof features to channel water away from critical areas. Building codes strictly govern flashing installation, so your inspector will check that it meets regulations and recommend modifications if not.
Windows and chimney
While chimneys and skylights aren’t considered roofing components, a thorough inspection will take them into account. Determining their condition before a roof replacement can help you avoid the costs associated with extra work later.
Your inspector may elect to survey your roof from inside the attic if accessible. This way, they can easily spot leaks and other damage indicators to determine exactly where an issue exists.
How Often Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?
Use the following guidelines to plan your roof inspections:
At least annually: You should have your roof professionally inspected at least once per year, although twice yearly is ideal. Scheduling inspections in the spring and fall is a great way to ensure your roof is prepared for the harsher seasons that follow.
After a major weather event: In addition to bi-annual roof inspections, other situations may arise that call for a roof inspection. Inclement weather that brings about high winds, heavy rain, hail, snow or ice can damage a home’s roof. Even small hail can tear the roofing materials. While you may not see exterior damage, there may be loose shingles, missing granules or leaks. If a major weather event occurs in your area, follow it with a roof inspection to determine how your roof held up.
If you notice damage: If you happen to see signs of roof damage any other time, schedule a professional inspection. A missing shingle or dented siding may indicate a more serious problem. Whether the damage is due to weather or wear and tear over time, you’ll want to act before it compromises the inside of your home.
Benefits of Regular Roof Inspections
An annual roof inspection will benefit you and your home in the following ways:
Helps identify damage: A damaged roof can allow moisture to build up in your home, affecting your paint and wallpaper and introducing the potential for mold and fungi growth. A professional roof inspector can protect your home by identifying damage and recommending repairs.
Saves money in the long run: You may be tempted to skip regular roof inspections to save money, but this can allow minor roof problems to become major repairs that will cost more in the long run. Regular roof inspections will help you save money by catching problems before they escalate.
Makes filing an insurance claim simple: A professional roof inspection following severe weather will provide you with a thorough account of the damage and estimated repair cost. You can use this report to support your insurance claim.
Offers peace of mind: A seal of approval from a professional roofing contractor can eliminate any worries you have about your roof.
Prepares you for a roof replacement: While roofing materials have an average life span range to give you an idea of when you’ll need a replacement, various factors can shorten those ranges, such as improper ventilation, heat and strong wind. Regular roof inspections can give you a more accurate picture of its life span.
Ensures proper drainage: Debris that accumulates in your gutters can clog your home’s drainage system, allowing water to collect on the roof and soak into the roofing materials. Regular roof inspections can detect drainage issues and remove problematic debris.
Protects your roof warranty: Roof warranties typically require homeowners to get an annual roof inspection. A professional roof inspection can help you avoid problems that could void your warranty,