Why Get a Roof Inspection, and When?

May 23, 2020

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Keeping a roof in good repair begins with a high-quality roof inspection. A proper inspection followed by timely repairs and maintenance extends the life of a roof while also adding to a home’s overall insulating properties and protecting its curb appeal and value!

Every home needs a regular roof inspection, as often as twice per year. It’s also vital to call roofing contractors near you after severe storms move through your area, if your roof is more than 7 to 10 years old, and if you notice dark spots or sagging along a roof’s surface.

While a roof inspection allows for timely roof repairs or a full-scale reroofing as needed, homeowners often put off calling roofing companies until they notice interior water leaks, missing shingles, and other signs of severe damage. No matter your roof inspections costs, however, it’s vital that you schedule this work regularly and especially if you notice any signs of potential roof damage.

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To ensure you keep your home in excellent condition throughout the year and avoid otherwise unnecessary roofing repair costs, note a few reasons why it’s good to schedule roof inspections even for a new home or roof, and when to schedule this work as well. You can then discuss your options for roof repair or a new roof installation with a contractor as needed, and know that your home is always protected with a solid, secure roof overhead!

Why a Home Needs a Roof Inspection, and When

A home needs a roof inspection if you notice obvious signs of damage, such as sections of missing shingles or sagging areas along the roof’s surface. However, even if your home or roof is new and appears to be in excellent condition, it’s still vital that you call a roofing company near you for regular inspections!

  • Roofing shingles and tiles, as with other building materials, have an expected lifespan. After this time, those tiles or shingles might dry out and become brittle and crumbly, suffer rot, or otherwise need replacing. A roof inspection allows for timely reroofing, avoiding costly structural damage and interior water leaks.
  • While most tradespeople are extremely careful when working on a roof, a careless contractor might cause severe roof damage, sometimes without even realizing it! Dropped tools, improper footwear, and other such issues might result in torn or damaged shingles or bent flashing. If you’ve recently had anyone on the roof or working around its eaves and gutters, consider a roof inspection so an experienced roofer can check for potential damage.
  • Flying debris increases the risk of roof damage, as homeowners typically already know, but remember that this includes materials from neighboring homes! If your neighbor has recently had trees trimmed around their property, called a contractor for power washing, air conditioning repairs, or reroofing, or if you’ve noticed anyone working outside their house and especially at an elevated height, consider a roof inspection for your home. A roofing contractor near you might spot damage to your home from scrap materials, trimmed branches and twigs, and other airborne debris.
  • Storms and high winds are famous for felling tree branches and debris but note that dry, arid weather also results in fallen twigs, branches, Spanish moss, and the like. If your area has seen an especially dry summer, consider a roofing inspection for your home!
  • Roofs need proper drainage to avoid excess weight and the risk of leaks. Leaves, twigs, seeds, moss, bird’s nests, bird droppings, and other debris often get in the way of drainage, leading to standing water on a home’s roof. Regular roof washing removes that debris so if you haven’t scheduled pressure washing for your home and especially the roof in some time, consider a roof inspection.
  • Tree branches scraping roof shingles often cause damage, even loosening those shingles over time. Overhanging tree branches also provide an spot for birds to roost and allow for seeds, twigs, leaves, and other debris. If there are tree branches hanging over your home’s roof consider trimming them back and then schedule a roof inspection as well.
  • A roof is a major factor in a home’s overall insulation. Roofs in disrepair allow heated and cooled air to escape while letting in outside heat, cold, and humidity. Annual roof inspections ensure the surface is solid and secure and offering the home maximum energy efficiency; a homeowner might also schedule a roof inspection if the home’s interior spaces suddenly seem drafty during wintertime or warm and stuffy during summer months.

Should You Buy a House That Doesn’t Pass a Roof Inspection?

Potential homebuyers often wonder if they should buy a house that doesn’t pass a roof inspection or that needs major roof repairs. There is no easy answer to this question as a homebuyer might be willing to invest in a new roof or roof repair costs for a variety of reasons.

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However, note that roof damage often leads to interior water leaks and resultant framework damage and mold growth. These damages are often costly to repair and airborne mold spores are downright unhealthy for a home’s occupants!

It’s also vital to note that mortgage companies typically require homeowner’s insurance, to protect their investment in that house. If roofing damage and interior damage are extensive and especially if there is added mold growth, a potential homebuyer might not be able to obtain an insurance certificate and, in turn, a mortgage!

If you’re unsure of the extent of damage to a home’s roof, consider an independent roof inspection by a local, reputable roofing company. One reason for this added step is that a property inspector often doesn’t tell a potential homebuyer the cost of needed repairs but only notes a structure’s overall condition. A roofing contractor near you, however, might also offer a quote or “ballpark figure” of roof repair costs, so you can make an informed decision as to that potential purchase.

Hidden Signs of Needed Roof Inspections and Repairs

Never wait until you notice water dripping from inside ceilings to schedule a roof inspection and needed repairs! Timely repairs ensure roof damage doesn’t get worse and also helps avoid potential damage inside the home, whether from holes in the roof, water leaks, or a weak roof unable to support a home structurally. Note a few hidden signs of needed roof inspections and repairs:

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  • Holes in a home’s roof allow in outside heat, humidity, and cold. If you notice your home is suddenly cold and drafty during wintertime or hot and stuffy during summer months, and especially if you can feel heat and humidity gathering around a home’s upper stories or attic, consider a roof inspection.
  • Along with keeping out heat and cold, a solid roof in good repair keeps in your heated air during winter months and cooled air throughout the summer. A sudden spike in energy costs or your home’s HVAC appliances cycling on and off more often than usual might indicate roof leaks, worn or missing shingles, or other signs of needed roof repairs.
  • Asphalt shingles have granules over their surface, providing traction for anyone walking on the roof and to prevent standing water. Over time, those granules might wear down and fall away from the shingles. If you notice granules in a home’s gutter or collecting along your lawn underneath roof eaves, it’s time for a roof inspection!
  • Clay tiles are made in a curved or C shape but other shingles and tiles should sit flat and even along a home’s roof. If you notice curved edges, buckling, or individual roofing tiles seeming to pull away from adjacent shingles, this often indicates water damage or excessive wear and tear, and that it’s time for a roof inspection and potentially reroofing!
  • Squirrels and other pests use roof holes to access your home. If you hear squirrels or any pests in the attic or crawlspace, or if you see signs of an infestation such as droppings or nests, call a roofing company near you as well as an exterminator!

Note, too, that a home’s roof has an expected lifespan; after that time, asphalt shingles tend to dry up and crumble away while other tile materials might also crack and crumble. Connectors also tend to loosen over time, creating gaps that allow in moisture and other damaging elements. If your home’s roof is nearing its expected lifespan, call for a roofing inspection even if those materials appear to be in good repair.

Related Questions

How much should a roof inspection cost?

Roof inspection costs vary from contractor to contractor and according to your home’s size, slope of the roof, number of obstructions such as vents and dormers, if a contractor is looking for something in particular such as storm damage, and the like. Most roof inspections cost no more than a few hundred dollars while many contractors even offer free inspections.

Why schedule a roof inspection for a new home or roof?

No matter roofing material quality, remember that storms, overhanging tree branches, and other such factors often cause roof damage. An annual roof inspection allows for timely repairs, as needed, ensuring your home and roof are in good condition no matter their age.

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