A regular roof inspection is one of the most worthwhile maintenance items a homeowner can do. A roof inspection will catch potential problems early and therefore prevent them from becoming more serious. This can have a huge impact towards extending the life of your roof and ensuring the health of your home.
It is advisable to hire a reputable roof inspector to complete your roof inspection for you. Although we don’t recommend it, some homeowners choose to complete an inspection themselves. If you plan to do a roof top inspection yourself, please ensure you follow all safety precautions as climbing on any roof can be hazardous. Either way, we have compiled some key information on what a thorough roof inspection should include.
Although the rule of thumb is to inspect either annually or bi-annually, it depends on other factors. It is a good idea to check your roof after a bad wind storm or an unusually harsh winter storm if possible. High winds can damage shingles, causing damage to the interior infrastructure, and large ice buildups can often damage flashing and the roof membrane. Ice buildup in gutters can push up under the edge of the roof, leading to infrastructure damage.
Asphalt Shingles: if you notice your shingles curling up and granules collecting in your gutters, it’s time for replacement.
Wooden Shake or Shingles: never walk on wooden shakes or shingles when inspecting – use binoculars for a closer look. Check for signs of dry rot or warpage depending on the climate of your locale. If an inspection reveals that approximately one third of the shingles or shakes have any sign of the above damages, it’s time to replace the roof.
Metal Roofs: look for signs of pitting, rusting and corrosion. Any loose, open seams or joints that could lead to leaking should be addressed.
Slate, Clay Tile, and Cement Shingles: because they can be easily damaged, the best way to inspect them is by using binoculars to get a close look at their condition. Check for broken, chipped or missing pieces.
The older your roof, the more susceptible it becomes. Even if your roof and its shingles seem to look fine, a thorough inspection may indicate there is some less obvious damage, so don’t let an acceptable appearance at first glance give you a false sense of security.
Checked from the Exterior of Your Home:
- The overall condition of the roofing tiles, slates, shakes or shingles. Looking for signs of deterioration, damage or missing / loose shingles.
- Loose or exposed nails / fasteners / improperly seated clips/fasteners / nails that “popped”
- Broken, damaged or loose ridge / hip capping
- Rusty, damaged or missing metal flashing
- Signs of missing caulk used to seal flashing, vents or other roof penetrations
- Cracks in chimney brick / mortar
- Damage or deterioration of roof accessories (vents, boots, pipes, etc.)
- Sagging along the ridge line
- Excessive granule loss on asphalt shingles
- Damaged gutters and downspouts, allowing rain to collect or travel where it should not go
- Fascia board damage or rot
Checked from Inside Your Attic:
- Damage or deterioration of roof sheathing / underlayment
- Intake vents and exhaust vents functioning as intended
- Sagging decking (between rafters)
- Outside light coming through
- Bathroom and kitchen exhaust venting free of air leaks and/or moisture issues
- Signs of rain ingress / leaks around vents, chimneys and other roof penetrations
Making small repairs to your roof is hardly ever convenient but the time and effort you spend now are nothing compared to what you could be dealing with in future if you don’t attend to them. Your roof has been protecting your home, family and other valuables against the harmful effects of sunlight, hail, wind, rain, ice and snow for many years. Over time, these elements compromise your roof’s ability to provide this protection.