3 min read

What to Expect During Your Roof Inspection

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Are you noticing signs of a roof leak? Do your shingles look a little worse for wear? Don’t panic! We’re here to help.

Roofing issues always seem to lead to more questions than answers. When did the damage start? How long has it been happening? Can it be repaired? If so, how much will it cost? The truth is, you can’t get the answers to any of these questions without a professional roof inspection.

A roof inspection is when a roofing contractor checks your entire roof for signs of damage, decay, and overall well-being. They are an integral part of keeping your roof in good working condition for years to come.

With over 30 years of roofing experience, we’ve seen what can happen when homeowners fail to schedule regular roof inspections: leaks, moss and algae growth, missing shingles, early signs of decay, and more. We want to stress the importance of professional inspections so homeowners, like you, can protect their roofs and avoid these problems.

Your contractor will check your roof for structural, material, and interior damage. To educate you further, let’s dive into the three-step process included in a professional roof inspection.

 

1. Structural Inspection

Your roof inspector will examine the structure of your roof by checking for uneven roof planes, signs of sagging, and the condition of the soffit, fascia, and gutter system. Masonry chimneys will also be inspected for cracks, crumbling grout, and chimney cap damage. 

A chipped, damaged brick chimney.

A structural inspection doesn’t focus on finding damaged or missing roofing materials but instead examines the overall well-being of your roofing system. Here are some other signs of structural damage your inspector will check for:

  • Cracked, splintered, or rotted rafters or trusses
  • Sagging ceilings
  • Missing or damaged collar ties
  • Missing or damaged rafter ties
  • Exterior walls that are tilting or leaning

The inspector may also check to make sure your attic’s ventilation is up to par. As the uppermost part of your home, your attic is sandwiched between indoor and outdoor temperatures. When these elements clash, condensation and heat are bound to follow. 

Without proper attic ventilation, heat and moisture will accumulate in your attic with nowhere to go. The damage caused by this buildup could cause leaks and other issues that could drastically shorten your roof’s life.

 

2. Material Inspection

During a material inspection, your contractor will check for loose, missing, or curled shingles. They’ll also check your shingles for rust stains, moss and algae growth, water damage, and granule loss. If your inspector finds shingle granules in your roof valleys or gutter system, it’s typically a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Asphalt shingle granules in a gutter.

Your pipe boots will also be checked during the material inspection. Pipe boots wrap around plumbing vents to create a waterproof seal that prevents them from leaking. 

Over time, the rubber seal can crack, split, or pull away from the boot, which could cause a potential leak. Through regular inspections, your roofer can quickly catch this issue and save your home from water damage.

The last thing your inspector will check is the roof flashing: thin pieces of metal installed to direct water away from the critical areas of your roof (valleys, walls, dormers, chimneys, skylights).

Some issues your inspector will look for are:

  • Missing caulk around flashing edge: The caulk around the edge of the flashing will degrade over time, causing it to crack or peel.
  • Damaged flashing: The screws or nails attached to the flashing can become loose and raised.
  • Missing flashing: If the original installer failed to install flashing, your roof could be at risk for a leak.

 

3. Interior Inspection

The goal of an interior inspection is to examine parts of your roof that aren’t visible from the outside. The inspector will check your ceilings, attic, and even walls throughout the inside of your home for signs of current trouble and past damage.

A stained ceiling from a roof leak

One reason they do this is to examine for roof leaks. If not caught in time, a small roof leak can turn into a much bigger issue. The well-trained eye of a roof inspector can find evidence of even the tiniest leak to help you avoid further damage.

Some of the items examined during a comprehensive interior inspection will be:

  • Roof sheathing is checked for cracks
  • Roof decking between rafters is checked for sagging
  • The attic is checked for beams of light coming through the roofing
  • Chimneys, vents, and other things going through the roof are checked for leaks
  • Water stains on interior walls
  • Signs of wood rot or mold

 

Ready to Get a Professional Roof Inspection?

Now that we’ve gone over the elements examined during each step of a roof inspection, we hope you feel encouraged to start a regular inspection routine. Through years of experience, professional roof inspectors have learned what issues they need to look for to prevent leaks, clogged gutters, and future roof damage.

Although the issues we listed in this article are best left to the experts, there are several roof maintenance tasks homeowners can and should complete themselves seasonally and after major weather events. Read this article to learn more about how you can maintain your roof.

If you’re in Raleigh and need a roof inspection, fill out the form below to contact us today. We’ll look for signs of wear and damage that could impact the safety and performance of your roof. If we spot any areas of concern, we’ll explain our findings and help walk you through the next steps for repairs.

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