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Why Roof Inspections are So Important

It’s easy to scrutinize a home during a careful walk through all the rooms and the yard.

What’s not so easy is determining the condition of the roof based on how it looks. Fixing a roof can be the most expensive house repair an owner may face, with a full replacement ranging from $2,000 to $12,000.

That means an inspection can be well the investment.

Your seller may or may not pay the $200 to $400 inspection fee, but be sure to have one before you purchase the home so you can factor the repairs into the cost.

The Process

The purpose of roof inspections is to find any problems as well as gauge the remaining life of a roof. The inspector will look at the roof angle and see how long it takes for water to evaporate. An acceptable rate is around two days but it can vary by location.

Inspectors will walk on the roof and look for weakened areas that indicate rot or leaks. If an area isn’t safe enough to access, the inspector will typically use binoculars. Every inch of the roof should be inspected including individual shingles.

The materials used to build your roof will also be assessed on when it was constructed, the last replacement as well as the materials’ nature of deterioration.

Common Roof Problems

Feel free to ask to see problem spots and potentially vulnerable areas during the inspection. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Loose, broken or missing roofing material
  • Blistered, curled of split shingles or tiles
  • Shingle granules in rain gutters
  • Improper air conditioning or swamp cooler installation
  • Sagging between rafters or near ridges
  • Broken or loose shingles near ridge and hip lines
  • Rusty metal where house meets the roof
  • Loose, missing or corroded flashing
  • Proper ventilation to allow roof to breathe
  • Depressions near vent pipes, clogged drains or separations in flashing that cause water pooling

Roofing Contractors

It’s recommended a homeowner get three different contractor quotes to compare. Comparisons should be made with the estimates as well as the materials to be used and labor costs. Reviewing consumer ratings or talking to someone who has used the contractor before can help with the expectations of timing, clean up and how well they stuck to the contract.

Prior to Repair Work

If your inspection indicates the need for repair, be sure to inspect the chimney before you begin any maintenance. This way you can coordinate your roofing contractor with a mason in order to get repairs that work together rather than become a detriment to the other.

Maintaining a New Roof

Ensure your new roof's long life by getting certified inspections every two years. Because so many factors affect the condition of the roof, you may need to flex your inspections to account for weather damage, direction of the sun and insulation issues. You may have one side of your roof be more vulnerable than the other, so prepare your inspections thoughtfully.

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