Your roof may seem like a passive object, like your walls or windows, but it serves an important function in keeping your house safe from the elements. It keeps rain out, helps mitigate the impact of hail, and serves an important role in ventilating your home in the warm summer months. When your roof isn’t up to snuff, you’ll see a variety of issues, ranging from increased utility bills to expensive water damage repair. Roof inspections help ensure that your roof is up to the task of keeping your home and your family safe, no matter what weather you face.
Why Do I Need a Roof Inspection?
You know you need a roof inspection in two common situations. First, you’ve done work to your roof or you’ve had work done on your behalf. Or, there’s been a recent severe weather event like large hail or extremely high winds. In both cases, a key reason you need a roof inspection is peace of mind. A good roof inspection will ensure that your family is protected and the next rainstorm won’t result in a severe and costly leak.
What Does a Roof Inspection Include?
Roof inspections include a thorough examination of the roofing material, connections with the structure, as well as a search for any penetrations, or issues with the windows, chimneys, or attic. An inspector will generally start by examining the soffits, or the material underneath a roof overhang, from the ground. Next on the list is the fascia, or any vertical areas near roof lines, and drip edges, which help reduce water infiltration under the roof from the edges in.
Roof inspections should also include an examination of gutters and downspouts, as blockages there could cause issues down the line. Likewise, the flashing around the chimney and windows should be examined for damage or improper installation. The inspector should also check for any penetrations to the roof, such as those caused by hail or plants.
While not part of the roof proper, the inspector will likely examine the chimney and windows, and possibly the attic. Because the roof interacts with these parts of a home, examining those areas can help uncover issues with the roof, even if they aren’t visible from the roof itself.
Overall, seasonal roof inspections usually include the following items:
Examining the condition of the roof from the ground
Determining the appropriate materials for your roof by examining the pitch
Counting the number of roofing layers that will need to be removed
Looking for nail pops
Inspecting and counting all skylights
Checking for waviness in the roof
Observing and noting any weak areas in the decking
Checking gutters for granular deterioration
Noting any moss or algae growth
Examining the ventilation system
Checking flashing around chimneys or walls
Inspecting the condition of any pipe boots
Checking for buckled, blistered, or curled shingles
Inspecting the attic for any damage to the bottom of the decking or rafters
Checking for mold on the decking
Checking for moisture in the attic
Who Do I Contact to Schedule a Roof Inspection?
Many roofing companies advertise free roof inspections. These are sometimes little more than an excuse to try to sell a homeowner a new roof. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from an inspection from a roofing company. At Honest Abe Roofing, we offer a 16-point inspection that covers all the most common issues that local homes face. And, when we offer a quote, we always honor it. That holds true even when we discover more extensive damage or other issues that require more expensive repairs. This provides homeowners with peace of mind that their roof will be taken care of, while their wallet is also respected. If you’ve just done work to your roof or had another company it’s good to call a third-party for an inspection to ensure that there are no surprise issues with your new roof.
What Could Happen if I Don’t Get a Roof Inspection?
A variety of problems can occur if you don’t get your roof inspected. Here are a few common issues that emerge from a roof that is uninspected.
One of the most damaging outcomes of an uninspected roof is a leak. Improper installation can lead to gaps, while hail or other damaging events can degrade materials and create spaces for water to infiltrate. In these situations, you’d want a roof inspection for the same reason you get home insurance. The odds aren’t great that your house will burn down, but insurance gives you peace of mind that if it does, you’ll ultimately be protected. Likewise, without a roof inspection, you’ll always be wondering if the next rainstorm will be the one that floods your house.
Higher HVAC Costs
Ventilation is a critical part of your roof’s performance. Without sufficient ventilation, your attic and home will be far hotter, and the cost of running your HVAC more will lead to higher energy costs, and more wear on the system. As with leaks, the problems with ventilation won’t always be obvious to the untrained eye, even as the costs mount over time.
Inability to Sell a Home
When buying a home, you want to have as accurate a picture as possible of the structure’s current health, to avoid nasty surprises down the line. One of the most frequently requested documents is a copy of the latest roof inspection. Without a recent roof inspection, it may be difficult or impossible to close a home sale. However, with a clean bill of health on your roof inspection, you can recoup upwards of 60 percent of the cost of the roof as an increase in the overall value of your home.
Inability to get Home Insurance
Insurance companies, like any other company, want to make money. To make money, these companies need to accurately assess the risk of each property they insure. The house’s roof is a huge part of that risk calculation. Without a recent roof inspection, you may find that you’re facing much higher home insurance rates, and in some parts of the country, it may be difficult to find an insurer willing to cover you at all.
How Do I Know if My Roof Was Inspected Correctly?
As with all work, the best way to ensure your roof is inspected correctly is to hire a reputable company. You’ll also want to watch the inspector work. If they physically get on your roof to inspect it, you can be more confident in the results. While drones with thermal and other imaging systems are improving the overall quality of inspections, they’re at best a secondary measure. It’s important that inspectors closely personally examine the roof before creating their final report.
If you’ve had work done on your roof, or even done work yourself, it’s important to get your roof inspected by a trained professional. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late with these inspections, as they can lead to serious trouble, like inability to close on a home sale, or a flooded home. Contact Honest Abe today to schedule your roof inspection, and get the peace of mind you need to know your home is safe from the elements.