Roof Inspection

by Fred on March 30, 2013

roof inspection

Roof Maintenance: How To Maintain Your Roof

The roof is one of the most important components of your home. In order for your roof to function properly, it needs regular maintenance. Roof maintenance can prevent roof damage and costly roof repair. Roof maintenance involves performing a biannual inspection of your roof. Additionally, a roof should be inspected for debris and damage after storms.

Year-Round Roof Maintenance
In general, its important to keep an eye on your roof. Use binoculars to get a closer look at whats going on up on your roof. Early detection of roof problems, such as peeling or missing shingles, will save you money.
Remove large branches from the roof.
Trim branches that touch or overhang your roof.
Regularly clean gutters and downspouts of any debris.

The Biannual Roof Inspection
The best time to check your roof is when the weather is at its calmest. In most places in the US, the beginning of the fall and the beginning of the spring are the ideal times for a roof inspection. Tip: Schedule your biannual inspections for the weekends when the clocks are changed. That way, youll remember easily. Never go up on an icy or wet roof.

There are two parts to a roof inspection: indoor and outdoor.

Indoor Inspection
Inspect your attic or crawlspace for dampness or drip spots. With a flashlight, look for dark spots on the wood, especially around vents and chimneys. Examine the rafters, sheathing and ridge beams. If you find a spot, check if it is damp and soft. A soft spot means that it is new. Keep track of the damp spots so that you can check the corresponding areas when you check the roof outside. Check if outside light that can be seen through the roof. Inspect the ceilings around your home for any damp spots. Inspect ceiling tiles for mold growth.

Outdoor Inspection
Before inspecting your roof, become familiar with roof inspection safety. Basic roof safety includes: using a safety harness and a secure rope, properly positioning your ladder and wearing non-slip (rubber-sole) shoes.

Carefully climb onto your roof and begin the inspection:

1) Visually inspect shingles for damage or deterioration. Look for loose or missing shingles. Pay close attention to the side of the roof with the most direct sun exposure.

2) Inspect the chimney for cracks.

3) Inspect flashings.

4) Remove debris (such as leaves and branches).

5) Clear out gutters. Check for fine gravel-like granules in the gutters. This is a sign of shingle deterioration.

About the Author:
To prevent roof damage, conduct a biannual roof maintenance inspection of your roof.

Marcy Tate is a home improvement writer with over a decade of experience working with roofers.


Frequently Asked Questions

    Can a proper home(roof) inspection be done when the roof is covered with snow?
    Does the exterior of the roof have to be thoroughly inspected as well to verify the actual condition of the roof, or will an interior inspection be sufficient? If it’s not possible to inspect the exterior because of the snow on the roof, then what can the buyer do to ensure that he is buying a house which has a good roof? How can the buyer’s interest be protected when buying a home in the winter?

    • ANSWER:
      The exterior roof inspection is a relatively small part of the overall home inspection. The inspection contract will generally say the inspection will only cover what is visible. If you want to make sure the exterior of the roof is inspected, you can arrange to have the snow cleaned off. But the inspector can tell a lot about the roof by inspecting it from the inside. Some inspectors will clean off enough snow to at least inspect parts of the outside. Most won’t.

      The most important things to get inspected before buying a house usually aren’t, because the inspection would cost more. If it’s a slab foundation with no basement, it’s very important to get the plumbing inspected extensively. That’s because plumbing work can be very costly with a slab foundation. A typical inspection only tests the functionality of the plumbing, but not the actual condition of the pipes under the slab, nor the condition of the sewer line. Compared to those, a roof is relatively cheap to repair. Something that typically happens with moderately old houses on slab foundations is that tree roots grow into the sewer line, causing frequent sewer backups. The only permanent way to fix that is to replace the sewer line with a more modern one. Otherwise you have to get rid of the tree roots on an ongoing basis, year after year. Replacing the sewer line requires breaking the foundation slab with a jackhammer. But if the roof leaks, you usually only have to replace some shingles.

      The important point of all this is to be aware of the risks and costs. The inspection costs money and helps reduce your risks. But you will still have risks. And each risk can be measured by how likely an incident is to happen, combined with how much it would cost if it did happen. So don’t just inspect what seems obvious. Analyze the risks and find the most cost effective way to minimize them, with a very sophisticated inspection that takes such risks and costs into account.

    Can a water stain or two on a ceiling require a roof inspection for a FHA loan?
    It doesn’t look like there are any leaks now or on the floor below the stains. It is simply an area that probably had a stain but I am not sure. Is this something FHA will require to have a roof inspection for? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      If I am the buyer I would hire a roof inspector and ask him to check it out for me. FHA may or may not require anything- I would never depend on them to protect my interest as a buyer.

      If I am a seller I would be ready with paperwork to show that whatever problem that caused this had been fixed (and an explanation as to why I didn’t bother to repaint the ceiling at that time).

    realtor suggest roof inspector specialist, but i’ve noticed a roof inspection is included in general inspectio
    i’ve heard roof inspectors can be very expensive?

    • ANSWER:
      A good home inspector should include a roofing inspection in the general inspection. All of the major inspection training programs include training for roofs.

      If the type of roof is not common, the inspector may not be comfortable with giving an opinion. In such a case, the inspector should report the same and suggest that you get further evaluation from another source. This same idea applies to all aspects of the home. If you receive this type of recommendation, don’t go through with the sale until the additional evaluation is done.

      I have never heard of what I would call a roof inspector per se. There are some firms that sell roof insurance. You pay a fee and get an inspection. If the roof is in need of repair, this is reported. If the roof is in good shape, you are offered insurance for an additional fee. This is expensive, and generally a waste of money. You don’t need insurance on a good roof, can’t get the insurance on a bad roof.

      Generally, I would be cautious of any inspector referred by a realtor. There is a direct conflict between the two. The realtor doesn’t make any money until you buy. If the inspector reports problems, the sale may be delayed, the buyer may use the information to negotiate a lower price, or the sale may fall completely. There is incentive for the realtor to refer inspectors that may not report everything you may want to know. There is an incentive for the inspector to ignore some issues to get repeat referrals. This is not to say that all or even most realtors and inspectors would do this, but there certainly is an incentive.

      You might get names of a few inspectors from one of the realtors in the transaction, but do your homework. Ask for and check references. Also ask for a list of the specific items that the inspector will report on.

      After you get your inspection, read it well. If you don’t understand something, ask the inspector. Remember that list of items that would be checked — get it out and check against your report to make sure everything is noted. Also, have a look for yourself. If there are major problems, you might be able to tell by looking. If you note a problem that is not in the report, ask about it.

    Should we do a property inspection, roof inspection, and termite inspection on a house that is 3 years old?
    We are going to purchase a house. It is a brand new house, so there should be nothing wrong with it. However, it is a foreclosure. What do you peeps think?

    • ANSWER:
      Even if no problems found, the money you spent will be worth it for the peace of mind knowing there are no problems. Get it done and get everything in writing. There are cases where the inspection / certification you paid for is poorly done. You need your paperwork to back up a legal claim you may have to make. Just because it’s new doesn’t necessarily mean it was constructed well / properly.
      Good luck.

    What happens if inspection shows roof repair, but no permit?
    Does this affect an as-is contract? Are all short sales as-is? Will I be fined for not having a permit when repair was done years ago by the seller? Or can this affect insurance premium if damage occurs and insurance inspector sees previous repair was done?

    • ANSWER:
      Go to a pay phone call your city ask if you need a permit.just the shingles usually you don’t.
      If your not replacing the sheathing or framing usually you don’t.
      Former owner no permit ,sold as non conforming.The Bank is selling it,they will fix nothing.

      Try to be honest.But don’t tell every thing you know all at once.

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roof inspection

Fred (380 Posts)

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