What should I look for from a roof inspection company?
An annual roof inspection is a good idea to check the condition of your roof. A faulty roof can cause catastrophic damage. It can leak and cause damage to valuable documents, photos, and electronics. Leaky roofs also let in water which creates a prime environment for mold to grow, which can be harmful both for your home and your health. Holes in your roof can let in bugs, mice, and other pests that can make your home their own. They could get in through damaged or missing shingles or other compromised sections. And damaged braces and rafters can cause sagging or even a cave in. A roof inspection can catch all of these things and more; but only if done properly by a professional roofing crew.
Make sure you roof inspection is thorough and comprehensive
A roof inspection can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars by catching signs of catastrophic issues before they become disastrous. But it can only do that if done the right way.
The roof’s surface should be looked at in detail
Surface problems are the most obvious things to find. Destroyed portions of the roof are visible to the naked eye, sometimes without the need of having to climb up on the roof. Other concerns need a trained eye to notice. Some things your inspection should include are:
- Broken Roof Materials
- One of the first things that your roof inspector should look for is parts of your roof that are obviously broken. If you have shingles or roof tiles, these are usually fairly easy to find. Along with your fundamental roof materials, they also check for things such as broken chimney pieces and roof ventilation.
- Brittle/Cracked Surfaces
- Sometimes, the roof material isn’t broken–yet. An important part of your roof is the ability to protect against the outside elements. But if the materials are brittle, they might cause more harm than protection. At the first big storm, these pieces could fall apart completely, causing both water and roof material to rain off your house!
- Water Penetration
- Even if there aren’t any obviously broken or brittle parts of your roof, that doesn’t mean that water isn’t somehow finding a way in. Roof inspectors should check for signs of blistering resulting from trapped water vapor and see if water is getting in somewhere that isn’t apparently obvious.
- Gutter Problems
- Gutters are part of your roof too! A quality roofing company will make sure to check your gutters while they’re doing the inspection. This includes looking for cracked or broken pieces, as well as obvious clogs. A clogged gutter can cause serious issues if not fixed before the rainy season!
Roof inspectors need to check beyond the surface as well
While the surface of your roof is important, many of the bigger problems can be found beneath the surface. That’s why you should always make sure that your roof inspection includes checking the attic and inner roof structure as well. The inspection should cover things such as:
- Inspection of Roof Eaves
- A Roof Eave is the part of the roof that hangs over the side. This is where water and other runoff flows down and enters the eavestrough portion of your gutter. Eaves often function as a way to prevent erosion or to provide ventilation for the attic space to reduce the possibility of mold growth.
- Roof Braces and Rafters
- Rafters and braces are the fundamental pieces of your roof that hold it up. Often made of wood, these can be compromised if water gets in and mold and rot start to eat away at them. Problems with rafters and braces are considered critical and should be rectified as soon as possible.
- Thorough Attic Inspection
- Part of the attic inspection includes checking your braces and rafters. But the inner attic inspection should include much more when done the right way. This includes checking ceiling joists, collar ties, and the fasteners that keep them all together so you can be sure your roof will hold up.
- Roof Flashing Concerns
- An important part of protecting your roof from the weather is roof flashing. As the primary form of weatherproofing, flashing is thin metal materials installed at crucial points of your roof to prevent water entrance and to protect the roof from the elements. It makes the roof more durable and resistant.
Check the credentials of your roof inspection team
It’s important that your roof inspection covers as many things as possible so that it doesn’t miss something that can cost you a fortune down the line. And to minimize the chance of the roof inspectors missing something, you should always check the credentials of the crew that will be doing the inspection.
Make sure they’re licensed and insured
If something goes wrong during the inspection and a roofing contractor gets injured, you don’t want to be responsible for that. A quality roofing company is always insured to cover any and all damage to themselves, and usually for the property they’re working on as well. Check their credentials and make sure that they have everything required for the specific job that they’re hired to do.
Check for free estimates and payment plans
Some roof contractors give low estimates so that they can get your business, only to give you a much higher amount when it’s time to pay. Check customer reviews and make sure that your roofing company does honest work and does thorough estimates. It also helps to have payment plans so you don’t have to put off any critical repairs.
Can they do repairs if the inspection finds problems?
While the roof inspection is important, it’s also important that any major problems are addressed right away. Some roof inspectors are only licensed for the inspection itself but can’t make any repairs. Instead, try to find a roofing company that does everything so you can work with one company for everything. This can save you time and money by not having to deal with communication issues.