Roof Inspection 101
A roof inspection is a vital part of maintaining your home or commercial property. A roofing inspection can help you identify potential problems early on before they become costly repairs or a complete roof replacement. But what exactly is a roof inspection? And how often should you get one? Why should you care about your roof? Read on to find out everything you need to know about roof inspections.
What is a Roof Inspection?
A roof inspection amounts to a comprehensive analysis of your roofing system, including each component from the shingles and flashing to the gutters and downspouts. A roof inspector will evaluate for any damage or early stages of wear as well as any potential weak spots that could turn into problems if not addressed soon.
What Does a Roof Inspection Include?
Roof inspections can vary from company to company but at its core is a visual, non-intrusive inspection that will cover several topics including:
- A rough estimate of how much life is left on the roof.
- What type of roof system do you have.
- What issues may need to be repaired.
- If repairs are needed, it should cover the type of repair including cost and timeline.
- If there is enough damage to your roof or its pass its typical lifespan, they may lay out options for a complete roof replacement.
All this should be presented in an easy-to-digest report with included pictures in case the roofer’s verbiage is not understood. Make sure to ask any prospective roofing company what’s included in their roofing inspections or if they offer to differ inspection services.
Reasons To Get a Roof Inspection?
Although there are numerous benefits to getting a roof inspection, we will focus on specific situations where it is an absolute necessity for homeowners or those considering buying a home.
Selling Your Home
Home inspections can often be stressful for sellers, as buyers may find potential issues with the home that were not previously known. To avoid any surprises or headaches during this process, it is smart for sellers to address any possible issues ahead of time. This way, the entire inspection process will run more smoothly. Some roofing companies even offer roof certifications and warranties (provided all issues are addressed), which can add value to your home sale.
Buying a Home
Always have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof instead of solely relying on your home inspector. Home inspectors are excellent at their jobs, but they might not be as familiar with issues that could lead to leaks or other problems in the future. Usually, home inspectors won’t get on the roof for safety reasons. In these situations, they can only guess from what they see from the ground or standing on a ladder at the eaves. If repairs are needed before escrow closes, a lot of time would be saved by having this information beforehand.
Also, if you only get a home inspection and the inspector finds problems with the roof, you’ll have to find a roofing company anyways. This is because home inspection companies usually cannot give hard quotes or do the repairs that you need.
Notice a Leak or Roof Issues?
Don’t let problems with your roof fester—if you’ve started to notice roof leaks or any type of issue, get an inspection as soon as possible. The sooner you address the problem, the less chance there is for extensive (and expensive) damage like rot and mold.
It’s Been a Long-Time (Or Never) Since Your Last Roof Inspection
At the very least you should have your roof inspected every 3-5 years. The more the better though. A yearly inspection would be ideal. A few things that may increase the frequency of inspections are:
- Is your home located in an area with extreme weather conditions? Storms, snow, severe heat? All these can increase damage and wear on your roof.
- Is your home is surrounded by large trees? Debris like leaves and branches can clog gutters and damage shingles.
- Do you have pigeons or other birds spending a lot of time on your roof? Bird droppings are corrosive and will eat through the shingles over time.
Get your roof inspected more regularly if you experience any of these issues. Letting too much time go by without inspection risks undetected damage, which will cost you more money in the long run.
Your Roof is Older than 10 Years
The typical asphalt shingle roof can be given a longevity rating of 20 to 50 years, depending on the quality of the shingles and how much wear and tear they experience over time. However, it’s important to note that these upper age ranges are not realistic. Shingles come with different lifetime guarantees from their manufacturers, most of which fall in the 20, 30, 40 or 50-year segments.
It is rare for a shingle roof to last as long as the manufacturer claims it will. For example, a 30-year product’s expected service life with proper maintenance and no major weather events is only 25 years. If not maintained properly, installed correctly or if there isn’t enough attic ventilation, the roof might only last 10-15 years. That is why it is so key to get a roof inspection, a inspector can carefully examine your roof and tell you the true age of your roof and if any issue can be fixed or if you will need a complete roof replacement.
Do Roofing Companies Charge for Roof Inspection?
Usually, the answer to this question is no. Many roofers will come out and do a free roof inspection to sell you either a new roof or repairs for your current one. Some more honest companies will give you an accurate evaluation of your needs and let you know if it’s truly time for a replacement or if some simple repairs would suffice. To avoid any potential issues, always use a reputable roofing company that has been in business for years and holds up well in customer reviews and feedback.
Ready To Get Your Roof Inspection?
Make sure to schedule regular roof inspections to keep your home in tip-top shape. By catching problems early, you can save yourself time and money down the road. So, if it’s time for an inspection, reach out to a trusted local roofing contractor today.