Cleaning and Maintenance

5 Things to Know About Roof Inspections

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The roof is a critical part of any home because it protects it from harsh weather conditions such as powerful storms and heavy snowfall. Many homeowners don’t realize that the roof can degrade over time and unwanted structural problems can appear suddenly after long periods of neglect. Instead of waiting until the first serious signs of damage, it’s highly recommended to consider a roof inspection.

Proper roof maintenance is essential to ensure its long-term integrity and to gain some peace of mind when facing hazardous weather. Keeping the roof in top shape starts by inspecting its vulnerable points and discovering potential issues that require special attention. A roof inspection is a solid prevention solution that can save you a lot of hassle. You can also make considerable money savings on future repairs by tackling problems early on. Let’s see what are the most important things worth knowing about roof inspections.

1. Are Roof Inspections Necessary?

Lots of homeowners wonder whether roof inspections made by a contractor are truly required for their home. This is a valid question in many situations. Obvious signs of degradation can make it pretty clear that a roof inspection is in order. However, sometimes the roof appears to be fine and undamaged. That could make you neglect it and think that a roof inspection isn’t really necessary.




An annual roof inspection can make a big difference when it comes to the health of any house. The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether you can spot signs of damage or not. It’s recommended to get the roof correctly inspected for your peace of mind. Some indicators of potential problems may not be that obvious but are still incredibly important. If you notice any drafts, for example, perhaps a roof inspection would be able to detect ventilation problems.

2. Professional VS DIY Inspections

Can you do the roof inspection by yourself or is it absolutely required to hire a professional? It’s certainly possible to tackle the job of inspecting your roof by yourself. This is usually done for basic maintenance purposes. You need some level of expertise to know what to look for but there’s also the issue of getting up on the roof safely. Even if you have a keen eye and pay attention to details, it’s still required to climb up there and check any damage signs more closely.




Another thing to consider about a DIY inspection is that you may still need to find a contractor anyway if you discover problems. Chances are high that a professional opinion is required for less obvious signs of damage. A comprehensive roof inspector will perform a much more thorough analysis of the roof and create a detailed report to figure out which potential problems need to be prioritized for repairs.

When it comes to mortgage and insurance roof inspection purposes, there’s usually a strict requirement for a professional inspection report. DIY inspections are mostly useful just to assess immediate damage after severe weather events. For any other purposes, you’re better off choosing the services of a licensed roof inspector. There are small roof problems that can become serious and they’re simply undetectable to an untrained eye. Professionals can also analyze the roof’s condition with specialized tools like thermal scanners.

3. Scheduling an Inspection

If you’re convinced of the need for having your roof inspected, there’s also another detail to consider. Timing is important when it comes to maintaining your home’s roof in good health. Many homeowners schedule roof inspections only after an intense weather event when it’s likely that the roof has been damaged. While that’s understandable, you should also consider periodic roof inspections just for general maintenance purposes.




Technically speaking, you can inspect the roof at any point during the year. However, it’s strongly recommended to plan your roof inspection before the winter season, ideally in the fall. Cold temperatures can make reparations much more difficult while icy roofs can be extra dangerous to work with. If you discover problems, they will most likely need to be fixed in the spring.

Fall roof inspections can be critical for other reasons as well. Certain roof repair jobs can require a long time to work. The treatment for getting rid of moss is a notable example. You can apply removal solutions that can effectively clear the roof from mossy growth letting you start the next year with a healthier roof in the spring.

4. What to Expect in a Roof Inspection

Some roofing issues are more common than others. Inspectors will primarily check for them during residential roof inspections. The construction materials of the roof can sometimes pose more specific issues to look for. All roof inspections are typically separated into different categories such as structure, interior, workmanship, and material. Here’s what can you expect in a roof inspection:



  • Structural inspection

Aside from clear signs of damage like broken shingles or leak discoloration, roof inspectors will carefully analyze the entirety of the roof’s exterior to figure out potentially critical structural issues. Some of the things that will stand out the most are sagging roof planes, poor condition of the gutter system, and chimney cracks. The dormers and sidewalls will also be taken into consideration. The roof inspector checks for mold rot, the presence of moss, and other signs that suggest roof decay.

  • Interior inspection

The interior part of the roof is just as important as the exterior in a roof inspection. Some less obvious signs of damage could be present inside that can’t be noticed from the outside. The quality of the insulation will be inspected. The inspector will also determine whether you have any ventilation problems. Your attic and interior ceilings will be thoroughly verified for anything that indicates the presence of moisture. This is very important because leaks no matter how small can incur huge roof repairs.



  • Material inspection

The shingles of the roof need to be checked properly for various signs of damage. Inspectors know to look for loose or curling shingles but also issues with fasteners. They will often check the gutter downspouts. The accumulated shingle aggregate here might indicate serious structural issues with the roof. The vent pipes will also be verified for any seal gaps.

  • Workmanship inspection

Finally, roof inspectors need to figure out whether poor workmanship in certain parts of the roof can cause long-term problems. Only the most thorough roof inspectors check the workmanship in key areas of the roof to assess the risk of leaks or other types of damage. Improperly installed flashing is usually a major red flag when inspecting roof workmanship.

5. Reparation or Replacement

Roof inspections done correctly will most likely discover some issues. If that’s the case for your home, it’s time to decide whether it’s better to repair the roof or completely replace it. In some situations, it can be more cost-effective and efficient to ignore small problems and plan for the installation of a new roof. This is usually the case when the roof is close to the end of its lifespan (20 to 30 years, on average).

If you have a relatively new roof, it’s a smart idea to never ignore small issues because they can become serious problems in the future. Depending on the climate of the area you’re living in, you can expect the roof to deteriorate quicker unless it’s properly maintained in top shape. That’s why it’s recommended to deal with any repairs as early as possible and follow the recommendations of your licensed roof inspector after a detailed report is concluded.

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