A roof inspection is quite helpful in determining the current condition of your roofing. It can help you detect any existing issues or potential problems, allowing you to address them before a roof emergency occurs. Of course, a roof emergency can be stressful and expensive, so it’s best to avoid it at all costs.
Residential and commercial roofing experts usually recommend scheduling roof inspections during the fall, spring and after a major storm involving hail, high winds or flying debris. The age of your roof is also a factor in determining the appropriate frequency of inspections, but homeowners typically receive a roof inspection at least once a year.
Furthermore, it is important to have a professional handle your roof inspections. Find a contractor that you can trust to carry out the proper maintenance and inspection of your roofing. Make sure that you are familiar with the process as well. You don’t have to know everything about roof inspections, but it would really be helpful if you know the basics. This way, you can ask questions about your roofing and be able to have peace of mind after the inspection.
Here are the various things that roofers do during a roof inspection.
Interior Roof Inspection
An interior roof inspection involves checking the attic for proper ventilation and insulation. A roof inspector also looks for moisture, molds and other structural problems.
Proper ventilation is crucial in any roofing system. Without good ventilation, moisture can build up in your attic space. This can quickly escalate to mold, mildew and rot problems – which can compromise the structural integrity of your roofing.
Your attic must be properly insulated, so the roof inspector will have to assess the R-value and current condition of your insulation. If your attic has poor insulation, this can cause heat to rise into the attic – which can be especially dangerous in the winter since the heat can cause snow to melt on your roofing. This can potentially result in leaks.
The roof inspector will check to see if the roof is sagging or if natural light is penetrating through your roofing. They will also look for cracks or loose interactions between roofing pieces, which are often due to damaged or loose screws and could potentially create drafts in the attic. Any of these cases could mean a structural problem in your roof and may require a roof replacement.
Leaks are also one of the top things that a roof inspector checks. It’s important to identify any leaks early because they can worsen over time. Before you know it, you are already dealing with serious water damage.
Rot and Mold
The growth of mold and rot is usually an indication that there is a leak in the roofing or there is inadequate ventilation. This needs to be addressed quickly so as to preserve your roofing system.
Exterior Roof Inspection
Exterior roof inspections involve climbing onto the roof in order to properly check the shingles, flashing and roof penetrations like chimneys.
Roof inspectors typically check the condition of the roofing to see if there are any loose, rotting, buckling, curling or missing shingles. Damaged shingles often require replacement because they can leave your roofing exposed and vulnerable to the elements.
Flashing prevents water from leaking into the open areas in your roofing, such as those near the vents or around the chimney. The roof inspector ensures that your flashing has been properly installed and is still intact and functional.
Roof inspectors make sure that the gutters are in good shape, too. Typically, they look for any shingle granules that could be accumulating in the gutters because any excessive amount of these granules could mean that the roof shingles are wearing down and need replacement.
Pooling of stagnant water on a roof could mean poor drainage, and it can increase the likelihood of damage. Stagnant water is often the result of leaves, debris, trash and other objects that have accumulated on your roofing. Of course, when water stays on your roofing for a long time, this could potentially hasten the deterioration of the roofing materials and reduce the lifespan of the roof. However, with regular inspections and proper maintenance of the roof drainage, you can prevent water from getting stuck anywhere in your roofing.
Wind and birds deposit seeds on your roofing. When left there, these seeds could eventually result in the growth of plants right on your roof. This could easily clog your gutters, so roof inspectors typically check for signs of vegetation, too. Sometimes, if there are tree branches extending over the roof, roof inspectors may look for scratches as well. It’s a common problem to have overhanging branches swipe through the roof when the wind blows. And, during stronger winds, there could also be the potential for the roof to get damaged.
Wearing and Aging
A roofing system eventually becomes old and weak, especially as it nears the end of its service life. Roofing materials have varying lifespans, so they have different aging rates, too. Of course, this would also depend on the amount of care and maintenance that the roof receives. Typically, wearing and aging cause openings to form in the roof. Even the most durable roofing materials will eventually crack and start to break. The purpose of roof inspectors is to detect such signs and determine if a replacement is already in order.
Keep in mind that this type of inspection is best done by a professional because the task of climbing up onto the roof can be risky, especially for someone who has not been properly trained. A professional roofer typically has the right skills, tools and equipment to ensure safety, so you might as well leave the job to the pros.
Signs That You Need a Roof Inspection
As mentioned earlier, roof inspections should be done regularly, at least once a year. This way, you can stay up-to-date with the condition of your roofing and be able to anticipate and address any problems. However, if you have missed a few recent inspections, here are a few signs that can tell you it’s time for a professional roof inspection:
- Leaks – When rainwater is able to find its way into your home every time the skies open up, you can bet that there are cracks and openings in your roof.
- Creaking sound – When your roof creaks every time the wind blows, it could mean something is wrong with your roof. This typically happens with metal roofs. In other cases, though, broken tiles allow the wind to enter your home.
- Sunrays and moonlight – If the rays of the sun or moonlight is able to penetrate your roof, this is a red flag that you should never ignore.
Perkins All-Star Exteriors and Construction has over 30 years of experience in the roofing industry. Our team is made up of trained and experienced professionals who always strive to deliver excellent craftsmanship. Apart from roofing, we also have expertise in windows, siding and remodeling. You can fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.