Travis Hale, owner of True Blue Homes of Kentucky, talks about how having your roof inspected regularly can save you thousands of dollars in preventative maintenance. Roofing inspections, like the ones True Blue Homes perform, are not as extensive as a roofing overhaul, but they can give you some clues as to what needs to be fixed. Travis Hale describes the inspection process his team uses. During a professional inspection, he says, a roofing contractor will walk the exterior of your home, checking for signs of wear and damage. A roof inspection may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including a leaking roof or a roof that is prone to leaks which can lead to rotted wood and/or mold. Travis explains the True Blue Homes inspector will look for signs of sagging or unevenness and note any loose or missing shingles and fasteners. They will also inspect the gutter system, fascia, and soffit to ensure there are no gaps or cracks. The inspector will also check the vents and rubber boots for any issues, like gaps or deterioration.
True Blue Homes says roofing inspections are a preventive maintenance task that should be performed regularly. Generally, a roof inspection should be done once a year. A homeowner afraid of heights can inspect the roof using binoculars or a ladder. However, you should avoid climbing, as this could lead to injuries.
Look at the integrity of your roof
Travis explains that a roof inspector’s job is to look for structural integrity and make a note of any sagging, unevenness, or other problems. They will also inspect the gutter system, soffit and fascia, along with the chimney and its cap. He will also look for signs of deterioration in the shingles, which should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage. True Blue Homes says you can do most of this inspection yourself. The best way to inspect your roof is to walk around the perimeter and visually check the general health of the entire roof. You’ll want to look at any potential problems, like trees growing too closely and moss that might be showing up. While you may not notice these things at first glance, they can lead to costly leaks. Also, make sure the gutters and downspouts are functioning correctly. Lastly, he says, open joints are a significant concern and can signify larger problems.
Check the flashings
Travis Hale says a thorough check of the flashings is a vital part of the roof inspection that True Blue Homes does. The roof flashing is a thin metal strip installed near critical areas on the roof, which protects joints such as around windows and other fixtures. The flashings on the roof are the most vulnerable areas, so they need to be examined closely. Make sure that there are no gaps or failures in them. If it is loose or rusted, it could indicate that the roof is leaking. He explains flashings must fit tightly against the shingles and should not be loose or lifted. A gust of wind can easily rip them off if they are flexible. If they’re loose, you may have to climb a ladder and get up close to inspect more carefully, as this may indicate that the flashings are not installed properly. You may also notice dips in the roof, which could signify rotted wood decking. If you see any of these problems, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible.
Checking the gutters and downspouts
While performing a roof inspection, Travis Hale says his team at True Blue Homes pays close attention to the gutters and downspouts. Gutter systems are an integral part of a roof and are necessary to prevent water damage to the home’s foundation since improperly functioning ones can cause extensive damage. During an inspection, a roofer inspects the gutters for debris or clogs. In addition, he will look for granules, which may be signs that the channels need attention. In some cases, the inspector may circle problematic areas with washable chalk. Clogged gutters can also cause water to pool on the roof and seep through cracks, so checking every inch of them is essential. If you see a black tint on the roof, algae is likely the cause. It might also look like green splotches. The shingles may also appear stained if the algae has completed its life cycle. This could be due to improper ventilation and insulation. Ventilation and insulation are vital to the longevity of a roof, Travis says, and any problems here can lead to significant repairs later if not caught early.
Check the entire drainage system
Gutters and downspouts are not the only part of the roof’s drainage system. Checking the drains on your roof is essential to prevent water from pooling on top of the roof. True Blue Homes says this is something that you can easily do yourself. He explains a roof’s drains can become clogged with debris and cause major damage if they’re not cleaned properly. It’s essential to have them inspected at least four times a year. It’s also important to check the drains’ seals to ensure they function correctly and are not blocked. If they’re cracked or broken, this can cause further damage. He explains further that an inspector will also check for any stains or color changes around the drains. Standing water may cause damage to the building’s roof and building envelope, so it’s crucial to have a thorough roof evaluation to check for this.
You may need to climb a ladder to access the drains on the roof. However, a professional contractor can safely inspect the drains from above and below. He can also perform camera evaluations to determine how good the drainage is. At True Blue Homes, the inspector will watch the camera’s progress while it moves along the drain line, enabling him to assess its condition. Also, he can check for the buildup of pebbles in the drain, which indicates that the roof is wearing down. Travis says this method is less intrusive than hydrostatic testing because it doesn’t require removing fixtures.
A roof inspection is cheaper than a home inspection
The cost of a home inspection can be very high, especially if you are buying a large home, and a home inspection report at this stage is invaluable, says Travis Hale, of True Blue Homes. A good home inspection will cover your roof’s interior and exterior. For instance, the inspector will look at the attic and roof vents to see if they need cleaning or repair. They will also check for water damage, mold, and improper installation. Similarly, they will inspect the flashing, shingles, and other roof components as mentioned earlier.
Travis says whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it is vital to have a roof inspection done regularly. This will help you catch minor problems before they turn into huge ones. If you are unaware of possible issues, you could spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or miss minor problems that could turn costly later. If you’re not sure how to do a roof inspection, it’s best to have a professional roof inspection, from a great roofing contractor like True Blue Homes, to ensure your roof is watertight, safe to live in, and your investment is protected.