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a roofer with a clipboard inspects the gutters
a roofer with a clipboard inspects the gutters

How to Inspect a Roof: Homeowner’s Guide

Regular inspections are essential to ensure your roof remains in top condition and continues to serve its purpose effectively. But many homeowners don’t know how to inspect their own roof or what signs of roof damage even look like.

In this blog post, we will guide you through:

  • The process of inspecting a roof
  • Discussing common signs of roof damage
  • When and how often to schedule a roof inspection
  • Things to look for during an inspection
  • When to hire a professional
  • The cost associated with roof inspections

Keep reading to learn how to do a proper roof inspection on your own!

homeowner in a red hat measures a roof

Common Signs of Roof Damage

Before diving into a full-scale roof inspection, it’s essential to understand some common signs of roof damage that may indicate the need for further examination. Here are a few telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Leaks: Water stains on ceilings or walls, drips, or visible water in your attic are clear indicators of roof leaks. Leaks can often occur around damaged or missing shingles, cracked flashing, or compromised seals around roof penetrations.
  • Missing, Damaged, or Curling Shingles: Shingles are your roof’s first line of defense. If you notice missing shingles, shingles with cracks, or shingles that are curling at the edges, it’s a sign that your roof needs attention.
  • Granule Loss: Asphalt shingles may lose their granules over time, making them vulnerable to UV rays and moisture. Check your gutters for granules – if you find a significant amount, it’s a sign of shingle wear.
  • Sagging Roof Deck: A sagging roof deck could indicate structural issues or a buildup of heavy moisture. Inspect your roof from the attic to identify any visible sagging.
  • Rot or Mold Growth: If you spot rot or mold on your roof’s wooden components, it’s a sign of moisture infiltration and requires immediate attention.
  • Damaged Flashing: Flashing is used to seal roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. Damaged or missing flashing can lead to leaks.

When and How Often to Schedule a Roof Inspection

Regular roof inspections are crucial to catch issues early and prevent costly damage. Here’s a guideline on when and how often to schedule roof inspections:

Annually 🗓️

It’s advisable to have a professional roof inspection at least once a year, ideally during the fall or spring when weather conditions are milder. This annual check-up can help identify and address potential problems before they worsen.

After Severe Weather ⛈️

After significant weather events like heavy storms, hail, or high winds, schedule a roof inspection. These conditions can cause damage that may not be immediately apparent.

Before Selling or Buying a Home 🏠

If you’re planning to sell your home, consider getting a roof inspection to identify and address any issues that may affect the sale. Likewise, if you’re buying a new home, a roof inspection can provide peace of mind regarding the roof’s condition.

Things to Look for in a Roof Inspection

While professional inspections are recommended, you can perform a preliminary roof inspection yourself to identify potential problems. Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Exterior Inspection

  • Check for damaged, missing, or curled shingles.
  • Examine the condition of the flashing around roof penetrations.
  • Inspect the condition of the gutters and downspouts for granules and debris.
  • Look for any visible moss, mold, or algae growth.

Interior Inspection

  • Inspect the attic for signs of leaks, such as water stains or moisture.
  • Check for proper ventilation, ensuring that the attic has adequate airflow.
  • Look for any daylight coming through the roof boards, which may indicate holes or gaps.

Structural Examination

  • Inspect the roof’s overall structure for sagging or uneven areas.
  • Check for any signs of rot or decay in the roof decking.
  • Examine the condition of the chimney and chimney flashing, if applicable.

When to Hire a Professional

a roofer with a clipboard inspects a shingle roof

While a preliminary inspection can help you spot obvious issues, it’s essential to hire a professional roofing contractor for a comprehensive examination. Here are some situations when professional intervention is necessary:

  • Complex Roofing Systems: If your roof has multiple layers, intricate designs, or unique materials, a professional can accurately assess its condition.
  • Safety Concerns: Climbing onto your roof can be dangerous. Professionals have the training and safety equipment needed to inspect your roof safely.
  • Peace of Mind: Professional inspections provide a thorough evaluation and peace of mind that all potential issues have been addressed.
  • Insurance Claims: In case of storm damage or other emergencies, a professional inspection report can be invaluable when filing insurance claims.

How Much Does a Roof Inspection Cost?

In most cases, a basic roof inspection provided by reputable roofing contractors is free of charge. Roofers offer these inspections as a way to assess your roof’s condition and provide you with a quote for any necessary repairs or replacements. However, if you require a more in-depth inspection, such as a comprehensive analysis of the roof’s structural integrity or a detailed report for insurance purposes, there may be associated fees. Always inquire about costs and services before scheduling an inspection to avoid surprises.

Hire A Proper Roof Inspector

A thorough roof inspection is a crucial aspect of homeownership, helping you maintain the integrity of your roof and extend its lifespan. With this roof inspection guide, you should be able to search for obvious signs of roofing damage. However, you should remember that professional roofing contractors are readily available to provide comprehensive inspections and offer expert guidance on maintaining your roof’s health. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help when necessary, as investing in regular roof maintenance can save you from costly repairs down the road. At Melo Roofing, we can help get your roof inspected and repaired in a timely manner. Contact us today to get an estimate for your roofing project!

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