As the days get shorter and winter appears around the corner, there are certain preparations homeowners take to maintain the integrity of their home through the cold months ahead – and a roofing inspection is one of those preventative tasks. Fall is an ideal time to inspect your roofing and gutter systems, and take care of any minor repairs that may be necessary.
Why Have Your Roof Inspected Now?
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, your home’s roof should be inspected twice a year—once during fall months, and again in the late spring. Regular roof inspections are especially important for residents who live in areas with severe seasonal storms or harsh climates. They help to identify recent storm damage, prevent termite invasion and ward off leaks—in addition to protecting your home’s investment.
Clear signs of roof damage can be difficult to spot. Even small problems can lead to major headaches when your roof is forced to handle snow, ice, sleet, rain and strong winds. These elements put a great deal of pressure on your roof and introduce high levels of moisture. Snow is deceptively heavy, and after a major snowfall, your roof could be forced to support dozens of extra pounds in weight. If your roof is suffering from even minor weaknesses or structural problems, the weight of that snow could trigger a catastrophic collapse that will cost a lot more to fix than you’d have paid to fix the problem prior to winter’s onset.
Even if your roof is structurally sound but has minor gaps and leaks, rain and melting snow and ice can cause big problems. You risk experiencing not only indoor leaks, but also damage to the wooden beams that support your roof. Ultimately, this could weaken your roof and create potentially dangerous instability later on.
Gaps and leaks in your roof also make it harder for your home to retain heat, and can cause a drastic spike in winter heating costs. It’s far more cost-effective to invest in some preventative maintenance now than it is to deal with the potential problems that result from negligence. Your attic should be checked for any signs of moisture, any that the vents are efficient and adequate for the amount of space they’re maintaining.
Additionally, an inspection is advised when:
- You are considering the purchase of a new home.
- You are selling your home.
- Your roofing is more than 20 years old.
Extend The Life Of Your Roof: Fall Roofing Inspection 101
Since your roof is the most weather-exposed part of your home, a comprehensive roof inspection will include an interior and exterior evaluation of the roof’s structure. Rain, snow, hail and even extreme heat can cause shingle damage, including: blistering, peeling, curling, loss of granules, cracking and rotting. The exact nature of the shingle damage to your home’s roofing may vary according to recent weather events and shingle materials.
5 Components of The Roof Inspection Process
While each roofing company is different, there are a number of things you should expect when an inspector arrives at your home. Here’s a brief overview of a typical inspection process:
- INTERIOR CHECK – Roof inspections often include a walkthrough of your home. During this portion of the evaluation, inspectors can examine ceilings, walls and attic areas for internal evidence of wind, water or hail damage. If you’re concerned about electrical or drywall problems, let your inspector know immediately.
- EXTERIOR CHECK – A quality roofing specialist should walk the perimeter of your home, noting the location of chimneys, gutters, vents and flashing points. Later in the inspection, these elements will be evaluated more extensively for maintenance/repair requirements. External roof inspection should include a careful examination of the home’s siding and eaves. During this portion of the roofing evaluation, your inspector will check for external water stains, hail dings and indications of dry rot.
- ROOFTOP CHECK – After a thorough look at your home’s interior and exterior, a skilled roofer will ascend the roof to examine its construction, flashing, vents and chimney. Common problems reported by your inspector may include missing shingles, broken shakes or tiles, cracked flashings, damaged chimney bricks, open seams or wear from extreme sun-exposure.
- GUTTER CHECK – While on the roof, a qualified inspector should also assess the condition of your gutters. Improper installation, debris buildup or warped metal may cause drainage problems that could lead to structural damage or interior leaks if not addressed.
- ATTIC CHECK – Ask for attic inspection (if it’s not already included) to make sure your attic has an adequate amount of ventilation space. Attic ventilation is a significant part of a healthy roof system yet it’s often overlooked. While you may know that attic ventilation helps control indoor temperature and saves energy costs, you may not realize that improper ventilation can damage your roof, create ice dams and reduce your roof’s overall lifespan.
During your inspection, a roofing professional may also photograph damage from the interior or exterior of your home. You can request copies of these photos for your records, along with a comprehensive copy of the roofing report. The report should contain information about replacement or maintenance requirements, in addition to detailed estimate for each recommended repair.
Always Hire a Professional Contractor
A professional inspection is always advised over a DIY exam. While some roofing problems are obvious—missing shingles, weather damage, rot—others can be very difficult for a layperson to identify. A professional inspector will not only asses the condition of the roof’s surface, but also check the sub-surface structural integrity – it takes a specially trained eye to spot problems below your shingles and tiles. Additionally, you’ll get expert advice on how to go about correcting potential problems.
Call LGC Roofing at (609) 712-8157 in NJ or (215) 932-7850 in PA to schedule a comprehensive roof inspection & ventilation check! We are a family owned and operated NJ & PA roofing contractor since 1985. Whether your roof needs an inspection, a little patchwork or an overhaul, our insured and licensed professionals are trained to get the job done right—and our work is always guaranteed!