What Should I Expect From a Roof Inspection?
We all get checkups. A trip to the dentist, an exam at the doctor’s, or your yearly routine eye exam. The same goes for all the important, working features of your house. Your roof is at the top of the list, being the first line of defense against the elements and serving as a critical solution to the most basic human needs: protection.
What’s a roof inspection like? What should you expect?
What Roofing Professionals Look For
Schedule a roofing inspection with a professional roofing company, specializing and trained in conducting inspections. Your inspector will come out on the day of the appointment. Roofing inspections fall into four parts: structural, material, interior, and craftsmanship. All of these aspects are investigated during your inspection thoroughly.
This part of your roofing inspection will examine the structural integrity of your roofing system. The inspector will search for any uneven roof planes or sagging, both evidence of the supporting layers being compromised. During the structural inspection, your gutters will also be checked to ensure they aren’t dented, obstructed, broken, or missing.
Checking your roof doesn’t just mean inspecting it’s exterior—although many homeowners assume that’s the case. It makes sense to think your roof’s health is simply what it’s showing on the surface, but beneath the roofing system is just as important.
Your attic and the roof’s underbelly can sometimes show direct signs of an issue before you even notice it on the roof’s surface. Your roof is made up of several layers and a tear, missing shingle, or exposed portion of the underlayment can quickly become evident in the attic and its rafters.
The roofing inspector will walk through this portion of your home, checking the attic, the rafters, the interior walls, and the ceilings for signs of water damage. This can include stains and discoloration of paint and walls, peeling wallpaper, and warped wood.
Checking the workmanship of the roofing system is crucial to determining the overall health of your roof. Sometimes, contractors can get in a hurry or make mistakes (which is why it’s so important to have a well-rated and established company replace your roof), so inspectors will investigate if there are any workmanship errors that could be detrimental to the roofing system.
This includes examining how the shingles are secured, if roofing nails aren’t in place, are missing, or are jutting upward in an irregular fashion, and if the shingles are correctly laid overtop to prevent leaking and underlayment exposure. In most cases, the craftsmanship inspection isn’t so much about incorrect installation, but rather the age of the materials and if they’re faring well against the elements.
The physical material of your roof will be inspected. Specifically, inspectors will examine the shingles, looking for any signs of wear and tear. Shingles can curl, become loose or missing, or sometimes have broken or chipped edges. Shingles, while durable, aren’t impenetrable. Strong storms, heavy debris, gusts of wind, and snowy winters can take their toll on shingles, especially if your roof is older and they’ve been exposed to these factors over long periods of time.
Checking Your Roof Yourself
While it’s best and highly advisable to have a professional come out at least once a year because of their training and expertise, you can conduct a brief inspection yourself. You will need to follow the safety protocol and make sure you have the proper equipment to safely go up on the roof.
Here are some tips when conducting an at-home roofing inspection:
- Always have a family member or friend present to spot you.
- The ladder should be firmly ground level, in good condition, and held by a partner.
- Maintain three points of contact when climbing a ladder, always using both hands.
- Wear appropriate shoes with heavy treads and the correct safety gear to prevent falls.
- Never climb on a wet, icy, or snowy roof.
When inspecting the roof yourself, you should look specifically for shingles that are curling or buckling. Check if there are any missing shingles or shingles that have been torn or damaged. Look for soft spots on the roof, an indication of water damage. Check the flashing, the metal sealing around chimneys and other corners of the roof.
Like a professional roofing inspector, you’ll want to inspect the gutter system for signs of damage or missing components. Look at the masonry of the chimney for damages as well as the pipes.
When to Call a Professional
Get in contact with a professional inspector if your home is hit with a serious storm that has done damage to your roof. Don’t inspect the roof yourself if it has been hit with debris. You should be encouraged to conduct a do-it-yourself roof inspection often, but have a professional come out at least once a year. Your roof is an investment, protect it and it will last a lifetime.
When the time comes for your roof to be inspected, there’s only one name that can get the job done best in the Chicagoland area – Feldco Roofing. Over 500,000 Homeowners trust us because we offer high quality products at an affordable price and unbeatable customer service.
Start your roofing project today with a free quote online.