Roof Inspection: Homeowners Guide


Last Updated on July 26, 2022 by Steffi Nell

The main purpose of houses is to protect its occupants from external factors like weather.  And for most of the part, your roof receives most of the battering from these elements. This is the reason your roof is more often damaged. This also necessitates regular inspection especially during changing weather.  For that, here are some steps you can take to keep your roof in great condition.

DIY Roof Inspection

Check the surface

The very first step you can do here is to check for lights that are coming through. This is a good indication for possible damage on your roof. The light coming through signifies a hole in your roof which can leak when the rain comes.

Look for loose shingles

One common give away for damaged roofing is loose shingles.  Yes, there can be instances wherein there’s no water leaking from your roof. One good reason for this is maybe your roof was only damaged after a change in weather.  Snow or rain causes your roof to be soaked with water for some time. Then comes the sun.  Changes in surface temperature causes materials to expand then shorten. After a few years, this can cause stress to the material. This results in cracks or loose shingles.

Cracks caulks

The most common area for roof leaks is in joints and gaps. The practice is to use caulk along the gaps on the roofing system.  But over time this will eventually crack creating entry point for water. This can become prevalent after 5-10 years.  At such, you need to check for cracked caulking as this is a huge indicator of possible water leak which can cause huge problems when not taken care of.

Rusted parts

Steel is a common material used for home roofing.  One reason is versatility.  You can use steel in almost any part of the house.  It can even be used as your external wall. But even though how versatile and reliable it is, it still has to cope with forces of nature.  One trouble with steel is rusting.  Rusted roof is a common problem if you’re close to the beach. This is caused by evaporating salt water. At such, if have steel roofing on your beach house,  yearly painting can be a good thing.

Mosses and lichens

roof with moss

These are the organisms that thrive in moist areas.  If you see mosses, algae or lichens on your roofing it is a good indicator that water has been logging in that area longer than it should. This is a sign that rust or corrosion could be present and that damage might have already set in. If you can, clean it up an check it.

Check the gutters

Your gutter is the ones that collect the water from the roof.  This means it also accumulates dirt and rust faster over time. In average, roof gutter are more prone to damage than your roof.  The reason is water logging. This is especially true for long gutters with fewer downspouts. With this, water will have longer time traveling and with longer intervals in between downspout, water logging can become a commonplace. And while you inspect the gutters, check the condition of the downspouts as well.

Benefits of roof inspection

Most homeowners only ever think about their roofing system’s condition once water starts dripping from the ceiling. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), however, highlights the importance of proper roof maintenance, which ensures a longer life for your system. All of these start through regular inspections–the only true way to determine your roof’s integrity.

NRCA recommends having your system inspected by trusted roofing contractors twice a year, once after the coldest weather and once after the hottest weather. It’s also a great idea to have it checked for damage following a particularly harsh storm. This way, you can keep your home sturdy and free from water damage. To detail, here are five excellent reasons to invest in scheduled roof inspections by a professional:

1. To Prevent Issues from Worsening

damaged roof

As with most exterior home components, your roofing can be prone to a number of issues, including leaks. While minor annoyances, roof leaks can worsen over time and leave your home vulnerable to extensive water damage. However, having your roof examined by a premier roofing contractor can:

  • Help trace the leak sources. This allows them to patch any gap or hole quickly to prevent further water penetration.
  • Stop roofing problems from forming in the first place. That favorite health slogan, “Prevention is better than cure,” extends to roofing work, as well. A comprehensive inspection doesn’t just deal with burgeoning roof problems–it also eliminates the potential for actual damage.
  • Ensure that your roof remains in top form all year round. With preventive roof inspection catching the early warning signs of damage (and dealing with them), you can keep a sturdier, healthier roof no matter the season.

For the untrained homeowner, finding the leak’s origins may be tricky. That’s why you shouldn’t take the DIY route when examining your roof’s condition. It’s more than likely that you’ll miss one or two leaks after your own inspection, compromising the repair work you intend to do. You won’t have this problem when you turn to a reliable roofer for the job. With their trained eye, they’ll be able to spot even the slightest hint of a roof leak and deal with it promptly.

2. To Save You Money

Because a comprehensive roof inspection can help head off possible issues, you can also avoid costly repair work, or even early roof replacement. A majority of homeowners, in fact, may pay up to $1,083 on extensive repairs. With a thorough roof examination revealing possible weather damage before it becomes serious, you’ll only need to spend up to $695. The bottom line is: the sooner a problem is caught, the easier it will be to deal with and the less you’ll spend.

3. To Facilitate Insurance Claims.

Aside from determining the extent of damage to your roof following a major weather event, a professional roof inspection can also help with the insurance claims process. It provides the required documentation you’ll need so your insurance company can cover some of the repair expenses. With solid proof in hand, you’ll increase your chances of having your insurance claim approved with minimum fuss.

4. To Extend the Life of Your Roof

bungalow with sturdy roof

While you may need to replace your roof eventually, it doesn’t have to be this season. A comprehensive inspection from your trusted contractor can prevent early roof failure, ensuring you get the most of its service life. The average shingle roofing, for instance, may provide more than 20 years of weather protection. Metal may last up to 40 years, slate up to 60, and tile, 100. Just make sure to follow your scheduled inspection with proper maintenance.

5. To Maintain Your Home’s Weather Protection   

Given the role your roof plays in keeping a dry and damage-free home, you need to make sure your roof inspection covers all of your system’s most essential components. After all, your roof isn’t just the part with the shingles–it’s made up of a complex system of units working together to head off the harshest elements. Make sure your roofer examines the following:

  • Excessive attic heat buildup, which can wear down the roofing materials above prematurely. This also leads to high levels of moisture, encouraging the growth of mold and rot which can weaken the roof structure. A roof inspection may determine if your attic ventilation is failing, allowing you to get the appropriate solution.
  • Along with ventilation, this helps maintains a stable temperature in your attic space, keeping your roof in shape and your home more energy-efficient. A roof inspection will reveal if you’ll need more insulation or a replacement.
  • Gutters and Downspouts. This component plays support to your roof, channeling rainwater away to where it can’t do any harm. A professional roof checkup will cover your gutters, making sure they aren’t clogged or severely damaged, which can hinder their draining performance. A closer look at the downspouts is also a good idea since they are connected to your gutter system.
  • Flashing and Chimney. They cover some of the most vulnerable spots on your roof, including the area around skylights, chimneys, vents, and windows. Your roofing contractor may deal with torn or loose flashing after the inspection to eliminate the potential for water penetration.

Final Words

Maintaining a sturdier and well-performing roof doesn’t have to be a taxing process. To keep damage to a minimum and fully benefit from your roof’s protection, have it inspected thoroughly by a reliable roofing contractor in your area.

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