More Than A Check-Up: The Complete Roof Inspection
Getting more than its fair share of exposure to sunlight, rain, and seasonal changes every day can take a toll on your roof. Yet, too many people overlook the need for regular roof maintenance and inspections. With prompt repairs, you can add years of service life to your roof.
What You Don’t Know Can Cost You
Some signs of roof damage are easily discernible, such as loose shingles. Others require a lot more than the untrained eye, and can lead to major damage without proper roof repair and maintenance. Leaks, for instance, can remain undetectable for years before revealing itself through water spots and damaged paint or wallpaper.
When qualified roof inspectors come to look at your roof, they’re doing more than just a simple check-up. What you’ll get is a comprehensive diagnostic report on your entire roof’s condition, which includes the entirety of your roof, flashings, gutters, and downspouts, as well. This way, you can be made aware of any routine maintenance or repairs you’ll need to get completed, as well the remaining years of your roof’s service life.
When To Conduct Professional Roof Inspections
Roof inspections should preferably be done a minimum of twice a year, usually once in the spring and once in the fall. A spring inspection will help you identify problems with enough time to properly schedule maintenance and repairs. Meanwhile, in the fall, you’ll be checking to make sure your roof is ready for the winter.
Aside from seasonal checks, you should also have your roof inspected in the days following severe weather such as hurricanes, hailstorms, and heavy rains. This will alert you to any damage your roof may have sustained, and also allow you to make your insurance claims within the recommended period. The sooner you repair any roof damage, the smaller the cost.
Last, read your warranty’s fine print for any stipulations regarding professional roof inspection as part of the required roof maintenance. Otherwise, you may not be able to rely on your warranty when you experience problems with your roof.
What Your Roof Inspector Will Look At
Roofing inspection is not a job for the untrained. Walking on your roof can be dangerous not only for you but also for your roofing system. Leave the job to professional roofing inspectors, and make sure these items are on their checklist:
- roofing material: loose or missing shingles, wear and tear, damaged fasteners, and excessive granule loss
- exterior roof structure: sagging and deformation, staining on the exterior walls, rotting to the flashing, soffit, or fascia, and problems in the gutter such as clogging or inadequate pitch
- interior roof deck: cracks, stains, moist areas, and leaks (as seen from the attic)
- flashing: punctures or rust in the flashing material around roof pipes, chimneys, vents, valleys, and mounting of HVAC units
A moisture survey can also be done to measure moisture in the roofing system, heat retention and loss through insulation, and conductivity of the roof material. Different testing methods can be used depending on its applicability to the roof in question. Some inspections have up to 23-point checklists to report on the current condition of your roof.
Inspection & Maintenance Program
After the inspection, you will be provided with a written report on any problems that may have been found, with recommendations for any follow-up action you may need to take. If extensive work is needed, a detailed written estimate of the cost of repairs may follow. It’s best to consult your roofing contractor about their inspection and maintenance program so that you can make regular minor repairs and stay ahead of the damage.
Scott Siegal, owner of Maggio Roofing, is also president of the Certified Contractors Network. Scott is an industry veteran with decades of experience solving roofing problems for homeowners in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. He occasionally takes the time to share his industry knowledge through writing guest blogs.