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When and Why Does Your Home Need a Roof Inspection?

July 5, 2020

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A homeowner might not appreciate the value of a regular roof inspection or might assume that they would know if their home’s roof needs repairs or replacement. However, a roofing contractor near you is much more qualified for inspecting a roof properly and it’s vital that you consider when and why such an inspection might be needed.

 Homeowners should schedule roof inspections:

  • Annually, to check for missing shingles and other needed repairs, and especially for older roofs nearing the end of their expected lifespan
  • After a strong storm and especially a long stormy season
  • If the home’s interior feels drafty or overly humid
  • If there are granules in gutters or collecting near the home
  • If there are water leaks inside the home

A roof inspection is an excellent way to ensure your home’s roof is in good condition and to schedule needed repairs before damage gets worse. You can avoid otherwise unnecessary damage to a roof’s underlayment and decking as well as interior water leaks and resultant mold growth by scheduling regular roofing inspections for your home.

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Before you go another year without a needed roof inspection and needed repairs, or a full-scale new roof installation, note some added details about these inspections and their value. It’s also good to consider some signs of roof damage so you can schedule an inspection quickly and stop that damage from getting more extensive and costlier to address!

When and Why a Home Needs a Roof Inspection

Consider some additional details about when and why a home needs a roof inspection so you know what a roofing contractor near you checks when on your property, and why this work is so vital.

  • Consider an annual roof inspection, to check for missing shingles, soft spots, dried soot and other debris, developing algae, and other such issues not readily seen from the street.
  • Note that even a new roof might suffer damage due to storms, tree branches, and other such issues, so never assume that you can forego a roof inspection simply because the home’s roof is just a few years old.
  • Older roofs especially need an annual inspection, as worn-out shingles and rusted nails and other connectors often increase the risk of shingle loss. A home’s framework might also settle and shift over time, leading to sagging areas of the roof.
  • Strong storms often bring lots of debris with them. High winds might result in loosened shingles and that storm debris then lodges itself underneath and between shingles, flashing, and other such materials.
  • A home’s roof is a vital part of its overall interior insulation, keeping out heat, cold, humidity, winds, and the like. If your home suddenly feels overly drafty during wintertime or hot and humid during summer months, consider a roof inspection.
  • As shingles age, their granules tend to dry out and fall away, often landing in a home’s gutters or collecting around the base of a home. Corroded connectors also fall away from a roof and land around the property. If you notice granules, nails, bolts, and other such materials in your home’s gutters or elsewhere, it’s time for a roof inspection.
  • Damaged plumbing pipes often lead to interior water leaks; however, holes in a home’s roof also let in rainwater and excess humidity, which then drips along a home’s ceiling tiles. If you’ve had the home inspected for plumbing issues and the pipes are in good repair, consider a roof inspection.
  • Tree branches tend to scrape against a home’s roof, leading to shingle damage. Trees also drop leaves, twigs, sap, moss, and other debris on the roof and provide a roost for birds, who then leave their droppings on the roof as well! If your property has mature trees that hang over the home’s roof, ensure you schedule an annual roof inspection for potential damage.
  • If your home is prone to mold, mold, mildew, or algae development, consider an annual roof inspection, to check for these residues along a roof’s surface. Algae especially is very damaging to asphalt shingles, while all of these materials might loosen shingles and tiles as they grow and spread.
  • Busy highways, airports, marinas, construction zones, and production facilities tend to create lots of airborne soot and other pollution that settles onto nearby roofs, drying out shingles and tiles. If your home is located near any such facility, ensure you schedule an annual roof inspection.

Why Avoid a DIY Roof Inspection

Homeowners today are managing far more home improvement and repair projects than ever before, no doubt because of the wealth of tutorial videos online that walk them through such work step-by-step. Home improvement and hardware stores also offer a full range of tool and equipment rentals, also making DIY repairs easy for property owners.

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However, even if you’ve had some experience working on roofs, it’s still good to rely on a professional roof inspection for your home rather than assuming you can find damage yourself. One reason for this is that it often takes years of training and experience to spot signs of needed roof repair, including dented and dinged shingles, aged shingles, and damaged flashing. An experienced roofer also knows the best way to inspect underlying layers of a roof including its decking and a home’s roof rafters and joists.

A roofing contractor near you will also know how to look for signs of roof damage inside a home as well as along a roof’s surface! Interior water leaks and trapped humidity in an attic or upper stories often indicate holes and leaks and needed roof repairs.

Roofers also note some improvements or maintenance work homeowners might choose to prevent damage; for example, a roofing contractor near you might note tree branches scraping a home’s roof and suggest you trim those trees. He or she might also notice layers of drying, damaging soot and air pollution. Their suggestions for keeping a roof clean and protected can mean avoiding otherwise unnecessary repairs.

Often-Ignored Signs of Needed Residential Roof Repairs

While a full-scale roof inspection can help avoid otherwise unnecessary repairs, it’s vital that homeowners acquaint themselves with some often-ignored signs of roof damage and a roof in need of replacement. You can then schedule those repairs or residential reroofing as soon as possible and keep those repairs from getting more extensive and costly!

One vital factor many homeowners forget to consider is a roof’s age. As with all other building materials around your home, roofs have an expected lifespan, usually from seven to twenty years on average for asphalt shingles and some 30 years or so for clay and slate tiles. If your home’s roof is nearing the end of that lifespan or you don’t know its age, consider a roof inspection for potential damage and to evaluate its condition.

Homeowners might also ignore buckled, curling, and uneven shingles, not realizing that shingles need to lie flat against a roof to protect that surface from water damage. Buckled and curled shingles are also pulling away from a roof’s underlayment and decking so that they’re more likely to fly off in the wind or simply fall away. If you notice any unevenness along a roof’s surface, it’s time for an inspection and potential repairs.

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Should You Choose Repairs or a Full-Scale New Roof Installation?

If your home’s roof inspection notes extensive damage, should you opt for repairs or a full-scale new roof installation? While only you can determine the best choice for your home and budget, note a few tips for helping you decide on the right option.

One factor to consider is the roof’s overall age; as said, that roof will eventually need new decking, underlayment, flashing, and other materials. Paying for new shingles now only to have to pay for new decking materials in a few years might not be the best long-term investment.

A home’s roof also contributes to its overall appearance more than you might realize. If your home’s exterior seems a bit drab and dull, a new clay or slate tile roof can give it style instantly. Even new asphalt shingles in a different shade, such as slate gray or a rusty red, can also make your entire home seem like new!

Note, too, that a new roof installation typically means not having to worry about major repair bills for several years, if not a few decades. Investing in a full-scale roof installation now can mean easier planning for your upcoming retirement, a nice vacation, or other such expense. Even if you should face some unexpected repair bills, they will usually be lower for a new roof than for an older roof nearing the end of its expected lifespan.

Your roofing contractor can also offer some advice on which is the best option, depending on what he or she finds during your residential roof inspection. If they note signs of wear along the roof decking or underlayment, they might recommend a new roof altogether; on the other hand, they might note that the roof is in excellent condition and might need some minor repairs but should otherwise last for years before needing replacing.

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