Having a roof over your head is more than just having a place to live in. You have to ensure your actual roof is maintained correctly and consistently in good condition. Your roof is the first line of protection against the weather elements, whether it’s high winds coming through your location or precipitation in the form of rain or snow.
Essential to this maintenance is regular inspection. When homeowners neglect to inspect regularly, little problems complicate and grow into more significant issues. In this post, we’ll break down some of the essential things you should know about the inspection and maintenance of roof structures.
Professional Inspection or Personal Inspection
Whether you fall into the “handy” category or not, there are roof problems you should be able to spot yourself. Missing shingles and roof leaks are roof issues homeowners can visually assess and discover. However, there are many roof problems that would not be visible to the untrained eye and would only be discovered by a roofing professional. Now you may wonder if you need to or when you should call a professional for a comprehensive inspection. If your roof is relatively new, and there have been no major extreme weather events in recent periods, you can make do with a personal visual inspection of your roof for leaks or other defects. However, if you’ve recently experienced an extreme weather event or if your roof is older than 3 years, you might want to schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible.
When to Carry Out Roof Inspections
As a general rule, you want to inspect your roof at least a couple of times a year. There are quite a number of factors that could influence the need for an inspection. A roof inspection, albeit visual, should follow a significant weather event, whether a hailstorm or unusually heavy rain. Furthermore, it’s vital to choose the timing wisely. While you can call in professionals at any time of the year for emergencies, it’s recommended that you schedule roof inspections in the fall or spring. The weather is generally gentler in these seasons, and it’s much safer to work on roof structures during these times.
What a Professional Looks at During a Roof Inspection
There are quite a number of roof components a professional would look into that you wouldn’t be able to inspect on your own. A proper inspection would seek to find specific damages to a roof structure and then proffer solutions to those problems. In rare cases, a homeowner would be required to replace the entire roof.
Here are some of the things a contractor would look at during a roof inspection:
1. Attic Ventilation
One of the first things that should be checked during a comprehensive roof inspection is the ventilation of the attic. A poorly ventilated attic will contribute to the degradation of your roof as a consequence of the cold and hot air the attic traps in. The nails will rust, and mold or mildew may start to grow underneath the shingles. It’s quite important that a roofing contractor check to see if your attic has proper ventilation.
2. The Condition of the Roof Decking
A comprehensive examination of the roof decking can be quite arduous, as shingles may have to be removed for proper examination. The decking, also known as sheathing, serves as the bed for all other roof components and provides the structural support for live and dead loads.
3. Roof Vents
Another critical component of your roof that a professional would want to inspect is the vent. They can get obstructed from time to time, so you want to make sure there’s no blockage. Furthermore, if you have a gas line and use gas fixtures in your home, they’ll also make sure that the fasteners remain tightly fixed because they are prone to loosening as the metal contracts and expands.
4. Roof Shingles
While you can visually inspect your roof shingles as a homeowner, a professional would look for more than just missing, loose, or buckled shingles. In addition to all of that, the workmanship will also be checked for errors. For example, some nails might get driven in sideways, while some may back out after roof installation.
A roof gutter channels water flow from your roof into a predetermined area, but there are many things that can compromise this functionality. Blockages or incorrect tilt angles could cause water to remain stagnant or cause debris to back up. So, when you book your next roof inspection, your roofing professional should also check your gutters.
6. Roof Leaks
You, as a homeowner, are more likely to notice a roof leak way before you schedule a professional inspection, but if you fail to notice, they’ll figure it out, establish the cause, and proffer a solution.
Skylights generally have a long lifespan, but you still need to check on them whenever you have a comprehensive roof inspection. If you believe your skylights are near the end of their lifespan, it would be best to have them removed and changed as you carry out other repair work on your roof. This would be much more cost-effective and less intrusive than having to call in a professional to replace only skylights down the line.
You are probably not going to be able to inspect your chimney on your own because one has to be on the roof to do that. However, the contractor should ensure the saddle on the chimney remains functional and can direct water away. In addition to the flashing, the chimney cap and the condition of the mortar would also be inspected.
To learn more about residential, industrial and commercial roofing solutions, you can contact New View Roofing – a veteran-owned Dallas roofing company. The company boasts experienced and well-trained staff and excellent customer service. What’s more interesting? You can get in touch today for a free roofing inspection, a free roof replacement estimate, and more exciting offers.