You get yearly checkups at the doctor or dentist, you take your car in for oil changes, and you mow your lawn whenever it gets too long. We’re so used to taking care of ourselves and our possessions, but for some reason, our roofs tend to fall by the wayside.

When you consider that your roof is your family’s first line of defense against harsh weather and debris, it should be treated as such. Just like regular oil changes for your car, property owners should schedule regular roof inspections to avoid problems like:

  • Roof leaks
  • Structural issues
  • Damaged insulation
  • Mold growth

Still not convinced that annual roof inspections are important? By the end of this article you will be.

Man on top of ladder cleaning dirt from roof gutter during roof inspection

Professional Roof Inspections vs. Property Owner Inspections

You might be wondering if you can get by with inspecting your own roof instead of calling in a roofing contractor. In some cases, you can.

Most home and business owners can notice obvious roof issues (like missing shingles) without having to climb on the roof and perform a thorough inspection. If your roof meets the following criteria, you’re probably just fine to perform a visual inspection from the ground and quickly check for attic leaks:

  • Less than 5 years old
  • Shows no signs of interior leaks
  • Hasn’t been exposed to major storms since the last inspection

Young man performing a roof inspection on an old house standing on a ladder

However, if your roof is older than 5 years and shows signs of interior leaks after a storm, you should call a reputable roofing contractor to perform an inspection. Many kinds of roof damage are not visible to the untrained eye, so that’s why professional inspections are vital.

A roofing professional will have the skills and knowledge to spot tricky areas of damage that will likely cause more expensive headaches down the line if left unnoticed. You may think that a tiny crack or some missing shingle granules are no big deal until a giant interior leak is staring back at you. 😬

The best part is that most credible roofing companies will offer free inspections or low-cost regular maintenance programs.

The Best Times to Schedule Roof Inspections

The most common time to schedule a professional inspection is after a storm that produces:

  • Hail
  • High winds
  • Heavy falling debris
  • Heavy snow

Most property owners recognize that an intense storm can compromise their roof, and they want insurance coverage for any damages caused by weather. This is a fantastic time to get your roof inspected because your insurance company may not approve your claim if you wait too long after the storm passes.

Roof with hail damage and chalk markings from roof inspection

However, getting your roof inspected after a storm shouldn’t be the only time you have a professional check on your roof’s condition.

We recommend scheduling an annual roof inspection during the fall. Ohio winters can get very cold and snowy, so it’s essential to have repairs completed before the cold weather sets in. (Cold temperatures can result in shingles that won’t seal down properly.)

Not to mention, working on an icy or snowy roof can be incredibly dangerous, so issues discovered too late into winter may have to wait until spring to get fixed. When you schedule an annual inspection in the fall, that buys time for your contractor to complete any necessary repairs or maintenance before winter sets in.

What Gets Checked During a Professional Inspection?

A professional roof inspection is very thorough. The roof inspector will be looking for leaks, storm damage, wear and tear, and more. Typically, the roof inspection involves four categories:

1) Structural

During the structural inspection, the roof inspector will check for any sagging and uneven roof planes. They will also check the condition of the:

  • Fascia
  • Soffit
  • Gutter system
  • Masonry chimneys

The contractor will likely also check the condition of your attic venting. Improper venting can cause moisture buildup that reduces the roof’s lifespan and greatly increases the risk of ice dams forming in winter.

2) Material

The roof inspector will look for loose, curling, or missing shingles during the material inspection. They’ll also look for:

  • Moss
  • Rust
  • Stains
  • Missing flashing or fasteners
  • Gaps or deterioration around rubber boots or vent pipes
  • Loose shingle granules

If the inspector notices very significant granule loss, that’s a pretty reliable sign that your roof may be nearing the end of its lifespan.

curling shingles on roof during roof inspection

3) Interior

Roof leaks make their way into the interior of your home and can cause significant damage. A proper roof inspection will also cover your home’s interior. Your contractor will take a look at interior walls, ceilings, and the attic. They’ll check for signs that water is seeping into your home, such as:

  • Water stains
  • Rot
  • Mold

roof inspection worker points to the place where the leaked water, holding the broken roof tile

4) Workmanship

Finally, your roof inspector will check for any issues in past workmanship that might increase the risk of future damage. This can include looking for incorrect flashing around vent pipes, chimneys, and skylights. They’ll also confirm that your shingles were properly installed.

If your roof inspector notices any issues in any of these four categories, they will clearly describe the issue to you and give you a free estimate for repairs that would remedy the problem before it gets worse and more expensive.

If you ignore your contractor’s recommendations or worse, neglect to schedule inspections in the first place, you’re signing up for some highly inconvenient issues like leaks and mold in the future. Stay on top of roof damage, and you’ll save yourself an expensive headache down the line.

Give Roof Inspections a Try— They’re Free!

When you work with a reputable roofing contractor, they’ll often offer free roof inspections. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain when you take advantage of a professional’s expertise.

At Gouge Quality Roofing, we’ve caught numerous roofing issues that can be fixed with repairs before they turn into massive problems that require a total replacement. Plus, we’ll even help you file an insurance claim if we find roof storm damage.

Reach out today to schedule your free roof inspection in Ohio!