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The Importance of Roofing Inspections

A roofing inspection is a way to catch potential problems with your roof before they cause major damage to the inside of your home. If a problem goes unnoticed, it can quickly worsen and require a lot of money to repair. A roofing professional at will typically begin with a walk-around from the ground to check for signs of damage or wear on the structure of your roof. They will also examine your gutters and soffits.


Keeping up with regular roofing inspections can prevent the development of structural problems that require major repairs or even roof replacement. Identifying and addressing hiccups during the inspection process can prolong the lifespan of the roof, increase home value, and allow homeowners to make more informed decisions about roof maintenance.

A professional inspector will begin by visually assessing the entire roof, paying special attention to areas that might be susceptible to leaks. The inspector will also examine shingles, gutters, and vents for any signs of damage or deterioration. A close examination of the roof’s underlying structure will also be made. This involves looking for spongy spots and checking for rot, cracking, and wood infestation. Inspectors will also pay close attention to roof valleys, which are commonly the source of roof leaks.

Since most roofs contain penetrations, such as pipes, vents, and media installations, they will need to be inspected for condition. These holes are normally covered with boots, seals, and flashing to keep water from intruding into the structure. Over time the seals can degrade, allowing water to seep through and damage the underlying structure. Inspectors will check the condition of these seals and make recommendations if necessary.

Gaps or cracks in the flashing can cause a similar problem. These thin strips of metal are installed to redirect water away from critical areas, such as walls, dormers, chimneys, and skylights. The inspector will also check the caulking around the flashing edge for damage or missing.

Once the inspector has assessed the overall condition of the roof, they will get up on the ladder and look at it from the ground and at different angles. They will inspect the soffit materials for any signs of moisture and may use infrared imaging to look at the structure. This allows them to check for hot spots that are indicative of a leak and can be difficult to detect from the ground or using a binoculars.

After a thorough visual inspection, the inspector will prepare a detailed report including photographs, explanations of any identified issues, and recommendations. If the inspector finds any structural problems they will recommend that you contact a licensed roofing contractor to repair them.

Material Issues

A roof inspection involves much more than looking at the condition of shingles. Inspectors will look at the underlying materials and structural support to make sure everything is in good shape. They will check soffit boards, which cover the underside of roof overhangs, and fascia board, which runs along the edges of a roof, for signs of rot or warping. If they notice any of these issues, they may recommend a contractor for repair or replacement.

They will also inspect the material used on your roof, including shingle type, color, and granulation. They will look for loose or curling shingles, as well as stains, moss, and rust. They will also check the flashing, thin pieces of metal that direct water away from penetrations, such as skylights and chimneys. Inspectors will look for rust or cracking, and check that the caulk around the edges of the flashing is intact.

Because roof leaks can cause significant damage to the inside of your home, the inspector will check the attic and interior ceilings for moisture stains, mold, fungus, and other problems. They will also look for sagging or rotting areas of the attic floor and soffit, as well as deteriorated wood on the decking of the roof.

The inspector will also examine the gutters, downspouts, and associated roof drains for any clogs or other damage. They will also check the vents, including gable, soffit, and ridge vents, for proper operation and airflow. If you have a gas appliance, they will also check the gas vents for leaks and fasteners that may have loosened due to expansion and contraction of the metal.

Even high-quality roofing materials will not perform as intended if they are not installed properly. That’s why inspectors will check the attic and interior ceilings of your home for workmanship problems such as uneven or sagging areas, improperly fastened components, or other problems that could affect the performance of the roof. Inspectors will also check for faulty ventilation, which is necessary to prevent moisture and mold from affecting the interior of your home. In addition, they will look at the chimney and masonry to ensure that they are in good condition and not showing any signs of deterioration.

Workmanship Issues

As a homeowner, you have probably read that choosing high-quality materials is crucial to getting the most out of your roof. But even the best materials can fail to perform if they are not installed correctly. That’s why a thorough roofing inspection also includes a workmanship inspection. During this portion of the inspection, inspectors look for shortcuts, oversights, or omissions that may cause major issues with your roof in the future.

One common workmanship issue is faulty flashing. Flashing is strips of metal that line penetrations in a roof, such as skylights, chimneys, and vent pipes. Inspectors will look for signs of rust or cracking in the flashing, which can create leaks and allow water to seep into the home. They will also check to make sure the flashing is properly installed around these penetrations.

Another thing inspectors will look at is the condition of the fascia and soffit boards. These are the horizontal boards that run along a roof’s edges. They will look for rot, warping, and other types of damage. They will also check to make sure that gutters are free of debris and working as they should. Inspectors will also examine the soffit vents to ensure that they are not blocked or overflowing.

Inspectors will also check to make sure that the shingles are in good condition. They will look for loose or curling shingles as well as stains and moss growth. In addition, they will look at the condition of ridge vents, gable vents, and other vents to ensure that they are functioning as intended.

If your roof is new or recently repaired, the inspector will review any warranties that may be in place. This will help you understand what maintenance tasks are required to keep your warranty in effect. Inspectors will also look for any problems that could void the warranty, such as the presence of mold or fungus on the roof surface.

Inspecting a roof can be dangerous, so it’s important to use a qualified professional. Using a drone eliminates the need for inspectors to climb on the roof and expose themselves to fall hazards. It is also a safer way to conduct thermal scans. A quality drone can fly close to the roof without causing any damage and with the added benefit of having obstacle avoidance technology that will automatically stop the drone before it collides with an object.

Interior Issues

Because roof leaks can eventually damage the inside of a home, inspectors will also take a close look at the interior of your house during a roofing inspection. They will check ceilings, attics, and walls for signs of water penetration. They may also inspect bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents to ensure that they are properly venting to the outside.

The inspector will also inspect any other add-ons to your roof, such as chimneys and skylights. These features will often require additional materials and can lead to problems if they are not installed properly. Inspectors will pay special attention to roof valleys and other areas that are prone to leaks. They will examine the condition of the flashing, which is the thin pieces of metal that direct water away from critical areas of the roof (valleys, dormers, walls, chimneys, and skylights). Inspectors will look for rust, corrosion, or missing caulk around the flashing. They will also check the condition of gutters and downspouts, ensuring that they are free from clogs, and that the eaves have proper shingle overhangs.

Inspectors will also look at the condition of your roof decking and frame, ensuring that it is intact and not rotting or damaged. If any sections of your decking are sagging or cracked, they will recommend replacing them to prevent further damage. They will also inspect the rafters and joists for signs of moisture or mold, which could indicate that you have a ventilation problem or a leaky roof.

While you can do many of the inspection tasks yourself, it is important to have a professional perform a thorough evaluation. Having someone with you during the inspection will help you ask questions and address any concerns that you might have. An experienced inspector will be able to provide valuable insight and recommendations for maintaining your roof. The length of time it takes to complete the inspection will depend on the size and slope of your roof and the ease with which it can be accessed. In general, a small house with a shingle roof can be inspected in about an hour, while a larger and steeper roof will take longer.


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