Roof Inspections

When to get a roof inspection

Photo of Main Street GC Inc roofer performing an inspectionThink of the roof as the house’s first line of defense against all the weather elements. Naturally, over time the roof begins to weaken from continued weather battering. A structurally sound roof does not crumble all at once but instead falls apart piece by piece along its weak lines.

Roof inspections detect these weak spots early before they spread and cause severe damage to part or the entire roof. Detection of weakness on the roof may be an indication of a larger underlying problem. Roof inspections at regular intervals root out roof problems before they can even manifest themselves; extending the lifespan of your roof.

Most homeowners only pay attention to their roofs when there is noticeable damage, such as leaks and structural failure. Truth is, with regular inspection such problems are usually evaded. Besides, the cost of roof repairs that would otherwise be avoided by roof inspections is much higher and takes more time than roof inspections. Roof inspections save you both money and time and are one of the most basic roof maintenance practices.

 


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What causes progressive roof damage?

There are several factors that can cause a roof’s condition to deteriorate with time. These are the effects homeowners are least aware of because the signs are subtle and take time to show.

Weather: Weather elements are the primary cause of roof damage. Roofs continuously take a direct beating from rainwater, snow, and ice, wind, and sunlight throughout the seasons. The weather slowly corrodes and erodes the roofing material, and put strain onto the roof structure.

Poor roof maintenance: Poor or lack of roof maintenance practices such as cleaning, painting, mold removal and snow scraping contribute to the wearing down of the roof.

Improper installation: Not all roofing experts are as good as advertised. Due to lack of skill or simply negligence, a roof is improperly installed, affecting its effectiveness as a roof and its resilience to damage.

Birds and animals: Wildlife that plays, hunt and builds their homes on rooftops are a menace to homeowners. These animals tear away into vents and shingles and sometimes even manage to get beneath the roof. They not only bring unwanted material onto the roof but seal up vents and cause mold infestation from their waste matter and food.

 


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How often should your roof be inspected?

Ideally, a roof needs an inspection at least twice every year. During autumn before the onset of extremely cold weather – the rain, wind, and snow. Afterward in the spring, especially if the roof was laden with snow or hailstones; a quick inspection is necessary just to be safe. This is a standard recommendation by the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Roofs should also be inspected after any unforeseen severe weather event, such as strong winds, heavy rains, and hailstorms; with no exceptions for new roofs. The roof should also be inspected before and after renting out your house, or after a long-vacant period with no residents. Also before buying or selling a house, it’s a good idea to have the roof examined.

 

Can you do a roof inspection yourself?

Hiring a professional roofing service is highly recommended by the National Roofing Contractors Association, as opposed to carrying out the inspection yourself. To the untrained and inexperienced eye, most fine and crucial details indicative of the condition of the roof may go unnoticed. However, for the handy homeowner here are a few tips on carrying out a basic roof check.

Remember to take every safety precaution such as wearing a helmet and gardening gloves; as this involves climbing onto the roof sloping and posing in precarious positions. What you’ll need is a tall enough ladder, viewing aids and probably a hand brush or scraping tool.

• Look for indications of blistering, curling and buckling on the shingles; such signs indicate worn shingles that may need replacement.

• Look around in gutters and pipes for deposits of loose material from the roof that may indicate erosion especially on brick roofs.

• Identify darkened or decolorized spots for possible water damage on wooden roof parts.

More detailed and deductive scrutiny is best left to the roof experts.

 

Roof inspection process and checklist

Roofing professionals have a downed path when it comes to roof inspection. They carry out a detailed analysis of the roof and leave no stone unturned. In addition, they offer recommendations based on their observation, and in most cases carry out the necessary repairs or modifications upon your consent. A professional roof inspection can be summed up in for categories.

Design inspection: The inspector examines the design features and how they may contribute to roof degradation through leaks and accumulation of moisture and debris. The workmanship on roof penetrations such as vents, pipes, and chimneys is carefully inspected for correct flashing.

Interior inspection: The internal section of the roof is checked for potential damage emanating from above. The ceiling, attic and the internal walls are checked for signs of leakage, such as staining, molding and rotting; these are indications of a leaking roof. Sometimes it’s much easier to spot small leaks while looking at the roof from underneath.

Material inspection: The inspector looks for signs or worn material from the surface of the roof. Debris from eroded shingles collects and settle in roof valleys and gutters; an indication of the end of useful shingles’ life. The surface and the material making the roof is checked for stress, cracks and expected lifespan is determined. The examiner also checks the seal on vent pipes for effectiveness.

Structural inspection: The structural integrity of a roof is inspected for sturdiness and strength. The signs of a weak roof structure include; sagging, dipping, creaking and in the worst cases swaying. The inspector also examines the condition of the fascia, chimney, soffit and the gutter system for strain and cracks. The venting in the attic and ceiling is checked to avoid heat buildup which damages the roof structure through bending and buckling.

After an extensive and careful examination of the entire roof, the inspector gives his verdict; recommendations and all the necessary repairs, including advice on how to prolong your roof’s life.

 


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How long does a roof inspection take?

The time it takes for a detailed analysis of a roof heavily depends on the size of the roof. Typically, average-sized roofs take between 40 minutes to an hour to complete. Large roofs require more time since there is more surface area to cover. Regular inspection with a single team of professional every time drastically reduces this time because they are already familiar with the layout of your roof, and the key areas to look at.

 

How much does a roof inspection cost?

Most roofing companies offer relatively inexpensive roof inspections. But prices can range anywhere from $0 to $1,000 depending on the size of the roof & contractor. In the long run, roof inspections save you money by avoiding rushed costly repair, and by prolonging the roof’s life as well.

Final word

Roof inspections on a regular basis save you a fortune when it comes to unexpected roof repairs and replacements. It also keeps your roof healthy for the well-being and of the house’s residents. An unidentified leak, for instance, may grow mold and lichen; which will not only spread to walls and curtains but also bring diseases to its home dwellers.

Regularly having your roof checked is the least you can do to maintain excellent roof standards.

 


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