The roof is your home’s first line of defense against all external elements. And to make sure it’s doing its job right, all it takes is a little maintenance.
Conducting regular roof inspections is one of the best ways to prevent future damage to your roof. Detecting major problems at an early stage can improve the longevity of the roof and help you avoid significant repair expenses in the years to come.
An inspection involves several practices, including identifying problems with roofing materials, making sure the roof is free of dirt and debris, plugging leaks, and more.
To discover and prevent some of the most common roof problems, take a look at this handy checklist.
What is included in a roof inspection?
Depending on how recently the roof was installed, the climate in your area, or how much debris falls onto it, there are several things you could look out for:
Too much debris can have a devastating impact on a roof. This is why the first step on our residential roof inspection checklist is removing all dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris that might have been collected on it.
This debris could be stuck in the gutters or drains, blocking the flow of water. It may be scratching the surface and leaving dents on your roof.
Too much moss on the roof may also signal that the gutters will soon be clogged or that your roof’s materials are in danger of being damaged irreparably.
Debris can also block sunlight from reflecting off the surface and instead be absorbed into your roof, which can also lead to severe damage in the long run.
Another critical thing to look for during an inspection is the presence of puddles of water. This could indicate that your gutters or pipes are not functioning optimally.
It could also suggest that you have been a victim of improper residential roofing installation, and that the angle or slope of the roof is not ideal. This will require immediate correction to maintain your roof’s structural integrity.
A sagging roof suggests that there are some serious structural problems that need to be addressed. Sagging could be a result of improper installation, wear and tear, or excessive weight caused by snow or other debris falling on the roof.
During a roof inspection, you shouldn’t just look out for noticeable sagging. Thorough and careful observation may lead you to spot cracks in your walls and ceilings. This may indicate that it is time to contact a professional roofing company for extensive repairs.
A missing tile or two may not seem like the most dangerous issue, but it can cause a lot of problems in the future. Most shingled roofs are installed in an overlapping pattern, with small spaces left in between. When strong winds get into these spaces, the tiles can break off, exposing the decking below.
Tiles that are exposed to too much moisture or heat could also swell up or contract, causing them to curl up. This phenomenon also exposes the sheathing below.
Missing and curling roof tiles could allow moisture to seep through, damaging your roof and causing problems down to the foundation of the building. This is a serious issue that must be remedied as soon as it is spotted.
Flashing refers to the material that prevents the accumulation of water. Its primary purpose is to divert moisture away from critical areas of the roof, such as where it meets a wall, chimneys, or skylights.
Flashing that is covered in rust or has corroded can lead to water damage, which, in turn, can harm the structural integrity of the roof and the whole house.
Any algae, mold, mildew, and moss is an alarming sign for a professional during a roof inspection. Apart from making your roof look like it hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, they collect moisture and cause decay in the roof structure.
These organisms are also known to have adverse effects on your health, especially the respiratory system. Their growth could also indicate that your roof isn’t properly ventilated.
Not all roof inspections take place solely on the roof. Some professionals may even check the inside of your home, such as the attic area, for signs of dampness. A wet stain on your ceiling indicates that there are issues with structural integrity.
Similarly, they may also inspect the underside of the roof—particularly two areas, the soffits and the fascia—for signs of water damage.
New roofs are also prone to problems, especially if installed incorrectly.
A new roof inspection checklist generally includes looking for the following:
Depending on the size and age of your roof, the time needed for a thorough inspection can significantly vary. Residential and commercial roof inspections can take 45 minutes to several hours, or even a few days, depending on the extent of damage and how easy the roof is to access.
A roof inspector can provide a more precise timeline and figures for roof repairs based on your needs. They will likely follow the checklist outlined above and then inform you of what has to be done.
If you still find that there are issues that cannot be easily fixed, it might be time to replace your roof. Find out how much that will cost you by checking out this roofing cost calculator.
If you’re looking for a professional company that can help maintain your roof's structural integrity and ensure all points in this checklist have been thoroughly covered, look no further than AMECO.
With 50 years of experience providing roofing solutions, we are happy to help ensure your roof lasts as long as possible.