Think about it: roofing contractors are like detectives for your home. They look for damage, catch issues you would never have seen yourself, and figure out the source of problems. While your contractor may not show up with a magnifying glass, long jacket, and deerstalker hat, they will show up with their years of knowledge and experience. 🕵️
A roof inspection is an incredibly helpful service to know the condition of your roof and if you need roof repairs or a replacement. But they can be a mystery if you’ve never had one before. This ultimate homeowners guide will cover everything you need to know about roof inspections so that nothing is a surprise.
How Often Should You Get a Roof Inspection?
Many homeowners only schedule a roof inspection when their roof is aging (10 years old or more) to know if they need a roof replacement. However, you can extend the longevity of your roof if you schedule annual inspections.
Time your annual roof inspections with the rest of your spring cleaning. This way, if your roofer noticed any issues, you can get repairs instead of allowing the issue to worsen over time.
It’s also vital to schedule a roof inspection after any storm or severe weather event. Even the most durable roofs can sustain storm damage after:
- High winds
- Flying debris
Try to schedule an inspection as soon as possible after a storm. It’s important to act fast if you want to file an insurance claim to get the cost of repairs covered. Plus, having a trusted roofing contractor on your side through the insurance claim process is incredibly helpful.
What Will the Roofing Contractor Check For?
A good roofing contractor will perform a thorough and detailed roof inspection rather than just quickly skimming over your property. There are a handful of details your contractor should inspect, including:
1) Missing or Damaged Shingles
Even though most people can spot missing shingles from the ground (they may fall into your yard!), other types of shingle damage are difficult to spot with an untrained eye. Even though you may not be comfortable hopping up on your roof, your roofer has the training and experience necessary to comfortably look for issues directly on your roof.
Since asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the country, most issues stem from damaged or missing shingles. As the shingles age, they become brittle. This is thanks to many years of direct sun exposure and impact from inclement weather.
However, if your contractor notices damaged or missing shingles just a few short months or years after you got a brand new roof, it could be a manufacturing defect or an issue with improper installation. Check if your roof is still covered under warranty to fix damages in this scenario.
2) Attic Ventilation Issues
Your roof and your attic are best friends. At least, they should be. They need to partner together to ensure enough air is flowing in and out of your home. Poor ventilation can lead to a host of problems, including:
- Increased energy bills
- Ice dams
- Curling shingles
During an inspection, your roofer will look to see if you have enough roof vents and that they’re working properly. If you don’t have adequate ventilation, your contractor will suggest some options for you.
3) Moss or Algae Growth
Black streaks on. your roof signal moss, mildew, or algae growth. An aging roof is typically the biggest culprit in moss growth. Your inspector will keep their eyes peeled for any signs of moss or algae growth.
These growths require excess moisture to thrive, so moss and algae presence can also indicate an issue with your ventilation or an underlying leak.
4) Clogged Gutters or Downspouts
Your gutters are an integral component of your roofing system. Here at Gouge Quality Roofing, our teams are trained in roofing, gutters, and siding, so you can feel confident that you’ll get a comprehensive exterior inspection.
The inspector will check for any standing water or built-up debris in your gutters and that your downspouts are properly attached and depositing water far enough away from your foundation.
5) Condition of Roof Penetrations
Roof penetrations are any components that create holes in your roof, such as:
- Roof vents
- Vent pipes
- Exhaust fans
These holes are covered by flashing or sealants to keep water leaks out, but even still, these areas are often the primary culprits in roof leaks. Your contractor will check on the condition of all the roof penetrations and their seals.
6) Damaged Flashing
Flashing is a thin piece of metal used to guide water away from joints in your roof. It’s an incredibly important part of your roofing system, so a thorough inspection should ensure your flashing is up to code, free from damage, and not rusted.
If they notice any issues with your flashing, you should schedule prompt repairs so that you don’t end up with a roof leak.
7) Attic Leaks
A great roofing contractor will also inspect your attic. Many roofing-related issues can present themselves in the attic, so it shouldn’t get skipped over.
They should look for signs of water damage, such as:
- Water stains
- Musty smells
- Mold growth
Additionally, they should check to see if anything is obstructing your roof vents. Also, light peeking through the attic is a tell-tale sign of a roof leak.
8) Condition of Soffits and Fascia
Your home’s soffits and fascia fall in between the roofing and siding. Soffits are the part of your roof that hangs over your house, and fascia is the siding directly above the soffit. Since our team at Gouge Quality Roofing is trained in both roofing and siding, we can take a closer look at your soffits and fascia to see if there’s any damage.
And if your attic ventilation could be better, the soffit is a great place to add a few vents to keep your attic air flowing as it should.
How Long Do Roof Inspections Take?
You should be home for a roof inspection so that you can let the contractor into your attic. However, you likely won’t need to set aside very much time out of your day. Most roofing inspections take roughly 45 minutes to an hour.
And remember, you want to work with a contractor who takes the time to be detailed and thorough in their inspection. This way, you really gain a clear idea of your roof’s condition and if you need any repairs or even a total replacement.
A contractor that just quickly skims the perimeter of your property and then asks for money for repairs should send off alarm bells.
How Much Do They Cost?
The question on the top of many homeowners’ minds is, “how much do they cost?” It’s fair that you wouldn’t want to fork over a lot of money every time there’s a storm.
Well, you’re in luck. Most reputable roofing companies offer free inspections— as long as you don’t go overboard. If you’re scheduling an inspection to check on the condition of your roof after a major storm or during your spring cleaning, you can usually find free options.
However, if you want very regular inspections, your contractor reserves the right to charge you for their time and labor.
Additionally, some roofing companies offer monthly maintenance programs where you can pay a monthly or annual fee for a professional to check on your roof. Either way, be sure to inquire with your roofing contractor about the price before they come to your property. This way, you can avoid any surprises.
Schedule a Free Inspection With Gouge Today
We hope this ultimate guide helped you learn what you can expect when you schedule a roofing inspection. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to something as important as your roof. Even a small leak can quickly grow into a large and expensive issue.
If you’ve recently experienced a storm, notice a roof leak, or think your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, reach out to Gouge Quality Roofing.
Our diligent Ohio-based team will perform a thorough inspection to ensure your roof remains in top condition. Schedule your free inspection today!