How often should roofs be inspected?

damaged roof

Keep your roof at its best

When does a roof need an inspection? One example would be when you buy a house. The mortgage company will require several things from the seller and the buyer, one being an appraisal and the other is multiple inspections. This is all in addition to the financial information and records that any loan requires.

There will be an engineering inspection, plumbing inspection, and a wood-destroying insect inspection. A roof inspection when buying a house is typically included with the engineering inspection, but your insurance company may request to do a roof inspection with their own engineer.

After you have bought the house, there are a lot of responsibilities when it comes to homeownership. Besides the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and utilities, there is maintenance and preventive maintenance. Sometimes, those maintenance and preventive maintenance tasks need to be done by a professional, like a roof inspection for insurance purposes.

What is included in a roof inspection?

A roof inspection will include exterior and interior checks. Depending on what type of materials that the roof is made of will determine what a professional roofing contractor will look for. The interior portion of a roof inspection will include checking the insulation and ventilation in the attic, as well as checking for any moisture and mold. The exterior portion of a roof inspection will include the inspector to climb up on the roof to check several things, depending on if the house has shingle roofing or metal roofing.

A shingle roof inspection will include these areas that are known for these common issues:

  • Water damage – If a roof inspection finds water damage, there can be several issues that caused that. Water not draining suitably because of clogged gutters, loose flashing, damaged or missing shingles are the usual culprits.
  • Mold – A roof inspection that finds mold growing around or on the chimney or on attic insulation indicates excessive water damage.
  • Deteriorating shingles – As we stated above, loose or missing shingles is an issue that a roof inspection will note. Shingles with algae or rot will be noted as well.
  • Clogged gutters – A roof inspection will include checking the gutter system, making sure it is clear of any debris or shingle granules.

A metal roof inspection will be looking for areas of concern for leaks, as well as the following areas:

  • Loose seams – Because metal roofs contract and expand with the weather, the screws that are used to install them can be come loosened and the seams to separate. When left unattended, condensation can build up on the underlying structure and create water damage.
  • Damaged or Loose flashing – A metal roof inspection will look for damaged or loose flashing. Water can seep into those areas and begin corroding the underside.  
  • Rust – A metal roof inspection will look for any rust. Rust eats holes into metal roofing, allowing water to leak in, and over time, the metal roof panels will fall apart.

How long does a roof inspection take?

The time it takes to complete a roof inspection will depend on the size of the house being an inspection. A house with multiple levels, additions, or wings can take longer than a basic “box” style house.  The average time is anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours.

Who can do a roof inspection?

Anyone with a ladder and isn’t afraid of heights can inspect a roof, but that doesn’t make them a roofing professional. If you need a roof inspection, you should call a roofing contractor that is certified, insured, licensed, and preferably has experience with recommendations and strong reputation.  Be careful in hiring a company that has left a flyer on your door without doing your homework to check them out.

missing shingles

How do you inspect a roof?

You can do a basic roof inspection, using the following checklist:

1. The Exterior:

Using binoculars and a ladder, get even with the roof and look at the overall roof. The following facets could indicate potential problems:

  • Blistered, bubbled, curled, or split shingles.
  • Loose or missing shingles.
  • Exposed nails.
  • Dark patches.
  • Accumulated granules in the gutters.
  • Sagging in the middle or along the ridges.
  • Broken or weak shingles where ridges meet.
  • Rust metal along the valleys.
  • Loose flashing around the chimney, HVAC vents, or plumbing vents.
  • Check the gutters for breaks, loose, or sags.

2. The Interior:

  • With a flashlight, look for leaks in the attic, indicated by dark stains or wet areas on the rafters, the decking, around the chimney, HVAC pipes, plumbing vent pipes, skylights, and valleys.
  • If you push a sharp object through any dark spots, you currently have a leak.
  • Turn off the flashlight and look for any light coming through cracks or pinpoints.  
  • Check for sagging between rafters.

Are roof inspections free?

This price will vary from city to city, state to state and the size of the house being inspected. Some roofing contractors offer free roof inspections, and some will offer free roof inspection with the purchase of a roofing job.

Your home is an important investment, and the roof should be in the best shape possible. It not only is protecting you, your family, and the contents but it keeps the walls up too! Take care of your roof with regular roof inspections, and it will take care of you! Call 817-349-0016 today for a roof inspection from McStay Quality Roofing in Fort Worth, TX!