Other than after bad weather, how often should I get my roof inspected?
It has been a heck of a winter this year across the country, and many parts of the country are still going through winter, like here in Connecticut. As the ice and snow melt from your roof, inspection may be a good idea. Why?
After a winter with ice and snow, maybe some hail, a roof inspection will let you know if your roof sustained any damage from these gifts of Mother Nature. With this type of roof inspection and repairs can often been done at the same time if they are small issues.
There are differing opinions on roof inspection frequency, but the most common recommendation is to have a professional roof inspection twice a year. Once at the end of spring and another during the fall a roof inspection and cleaning is usually sufficient.
Some experts say a roof inspection every three to five years is adequate, but research has found that significant damage can occur more frequently, especially in certain geographical areas. By having a roof inspection more frequent than every three to five years, small issues can be repaired before they become bigger problems. In between the professional roof inspections, you should do your own roof inspection once a month.
How do you perform a roof inspection?
The roof is an important component of your home, so keeping well-maintained is essential. In addition to professional roof inspection twice a year, doing your own roof inspection is recommended. With binoculars and a ladder, here are the things you should look for:
- Algae, Moss, and Leaves: With binoculars, most of your own roof inspection can be accomplished from the ground. Walk around your home, and look for algae, lichen, moss, and leaf piles or other debris. If left alone, these are things that can do serious damage to your roof because they trap moisture. That trapped moisture then seeps under the shingles and into the sheathing, compromising the roof’s structural elements.
- Buckled or Curled Shingles: If your attic doesn’t have sufficient air circulating, the shingles will buckle, curl, and warp from the heat that builds up in the attic. The shingles are then compromising your roof’s integrity and water will get in, causing more problems.
- Aged, Damaged, Missing Shingles: Shingles that have aged or have been damaged, missing allow areas for water to get in. You can do a roof inspection while you’re cleaning your gutters too, you’re upon the ladder already. A gutter system filled with asphalt shingles is an indication you need a new roof. While you’re on the ladder, check the flashing around the chimney and vent pipes.
- Attic Investigation: An attic is the first place you can find signs of water seepage. Check the rafters and the wooden interior framing for moisture, mold, or rot. If you notice damage on the attic inside, you can pinpoint it from the exterior and know where repairs are needed.
What do roof inspectors look for?
Some roofing companies and contractors will provide a basic roof inspection for free. That type of roof inspection typically consists of an exterior examination of the roof, often from the street, and inspecting components like the flashings, fascia, and soffit. While these are necessary components, you should have more thorough inspection twice a year that includes the following:
The Exterior Roof Inspection
- Blistered, curled, split roof shingles.
- Loose or missing roof shingles.
- Exposed, loose, or popped nails.
- Broken, loose roof shingles along the hip lines or ridge.
- Missing caulk.
- Corroded, damaged, missing, or rusty metal flashing.
- Sagging roof ridges.
- Broken seals on roof shingles.
- Shingles with extreme granule loss.
- Cracks along chimney.
- Inspect rubber boot seals around pipes.
- Inspect gutters and downspouts.
- Examine fascia board and soffit for any damage or rot.
- Check shingle overhang.
The Interior Roof Inspection
- Inspect roof sheathing for cracks, damage, or rot.
- Calculate and measure attic ventilation.
- Deck sagging between rafters.
- Check for any outdoor light coming through attic ceiling.
- Inspect placement of attic intake vents.
- Inspect bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- Check for leaks around chimney and vents.
- Look for condensation, mold, or wet insulation.
How do you know if you have roof damage?
In addition to a leaking ceiling when it rains, some other indicators that you need a professional roof inspection are:
- Sunlight coming through the ceiling.
- Moisture in the attic.
- Discoloring and stains on the ceiling and walls.
- Ceiling sagging.
- Increase in Energy Bills.
How long do residential roofs last?
As with anything on the exterior of your home, there are factors that affect the lifespan of a roofing. The climate, any extensive weather activity, and your maintenance of having the roof and gutters cleaned on a routine basis. The average time frame for most roofs are:
- Coper, slate, tile roofing – 50+ years.
- Wood shake roofing – 30 years
- Fiber cement roofing shingles – 25 years
- Asphalt shingle or composition roofing – 20 years
Is a roof inspection after installation of a new roof necessary? Depending on where you live, it may be part of the building code and building permit. However, it doesn’t hurt to have it inspected after installation ad most roofing contractor will do an roof inspection as part of their packaging. For roof inspections in Branford, CT, call 203-390-7399 today!