The Complete Guide to Roof Inspections

You should take care of your roof as best as you can. The best way to meet its needs is to know its current condition. It is a good idea to have your roof inspected each year to assess its health and performance. It may seem intimidating to have an expert inspect your roof, but a professional roofing inspection is your best option to avoid costly roof repairs. 

The Complete Guide to Roof Inspections

In this post, we discuss the things you can expect during a roof inspection.

When to Schedule Roof Inspections

Following a hailstorm or other extreme weather event, homeowners should call a roofer to conduct a comprehensive roof assessment and determine whether their roof has been damaged. However, this should not be the only time to evaluate the condition of your roof.

Fall is perhaps the most important time of year to have your roof inspected, before the cold of winter starts. Timing is crucial when scheduling a roof inspection. Since new shingles don’t seal properly when it’s too cold outside, the freezing temperatures during winter can jeopardize the success of roof repairs or replacement. Furthermore, performing repairs on frozen roofs can be dangerous. Roof problems discovered too late in the season may have to wait for spring before they can be addressed. This means your roof won’t be able to deliver optimal performance during such a crucial season.

Fall roof inspections are also beneficial because certain roofing repairs can be started in the fall and completed in the spring. For example, treating moss and lichen should be started in the fall because both of these invaders can take months to be eradicated. When a fall roof inspection uncovers moss or lichen, there’s still time to start the treatment before winter arrives. The treatment can then start working during winter, and by spring, the dead lichen can be easily swept or rinsed away.

The longevity of various roofing materials also varies. It is critical to regularly check your roof so that you can anticipate when you’ll likely need a replacement. Generally, if half of the estimated lifespan of your roof has elapsed, you should have it properly inspected every three to four years. Consider doing this more frequently if you live in a harsh climate and less frequently if you live in a milder one. A good rule of thumb is to arrange roof inspections long before the colder months begin so that you have adequate time for any necessary repairs.

What to Expect During Professional Roof Inspections

An experienced roof inspector checks the roof’s interior and exterior thoroughly. The team will examine the entire structure for leaks, damage and organic growth. Besides assessing the roof structure, materials and workmanship, they also evaluate the workmanship. 

Here are some things you can expect during a roof inspection:

  • Structural Inspection

As part of the inspection, the inspectors will look for uneven roof planes and signs of sagging. They will also examine the condition of the soffit, fascia and gutter system. Masonry chimneys are also inspected for cracks, crumbling grout and damage to chimney caps. The inspector may also assess your attic venting. Poor ventilation can cause heat and moisture accumulation, reducing your roof’s lifespan and increasing the risk of ice dams forming at the roof’s edge.

  • Material Inspection

Experts will also inspect the condition of the roofing material. Every shingle that is loose, missing or curling will be noted. The inspector will search for organic growth, such as moss and fungi. Having them on your roof is a bad sign. Moss growth usually indicates that moisture has become trapped on your roof. This could result in sagging and further deterioration. Shingle aggregate that has accumulated in roof valleys or on the ground at the bottom of gutter downspouts indicates that the roof is nearing the end of its useful life. The inspector will also search for holes or deterioration in the rubber boots and seals around the vent pipes.

  • Workmanship Inspection

It is important to have your roofing inspected thoroughly to ensure that there are no problems with the workmanship that could result in leaks or other roof damage in the future. An incorrect flashing around roof penetrations – such as vent pipes, skylights and chimneys – would be an indication of a problem.

  • Interior Inspection

The inspectors will check your home inside and out. Your attic and walls will most likely show signs of roof leaks. Inspecting your house will reveal signs of water infiltration, such as mold, rot and other signs of water entry. 

Can You Do Your Own Roof Inspection?

It is strongly advised to hire a professional to ensure a thorough inspection. The pros are trained and experienced, so they can easily recognize potential problems and identify them before they become serious concerns. If you intend to file an insurance claim after a storm, keep in mind that your insurer will likely require an official report from a professional inspector or reputable roofing company.

Immediately call a professional if you notice signs of damage on your roofing. Improperly sealed, cracked and broken shingles can cause water damage to your roof, allowing pests to enter and significantly decreasing its lifespan.

Is Your Roof Inspected Correctly?

You can watch the inspector perform their work to ensure every component is going to be checked. A written report should also be provided by the inspector after the inspection has been completed. Every aspect of the inspection should be described in the report. Details in the report will likely reveal how thorough the inspection was.

Nowadays, inspectors utilize drones and infrared cameras to improve the accuracy of their assessments. However, these should not be used in place of an up-close roof inspection. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to ask the inspector if you have any questions or concerns regarding your roof. A qualified roof inspector who has done a thorough assessment of your roof should have no trouble answering more specific questions concerning your roof and the inspection procedure.

Schedule Your Roof Inspection Today!

When it comes to professional roof inspections, you can trust Sterling Exteriors. We offer a range of residential and commercial roofing services, including maintenance, repairs and replacement. Call us at (513) 685-8055, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Cincinnati, Loveland and Newtown, OH.