Roof maintenance is often of prime concern to homeowners all over the country. As one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive thing you’ll ever have to replace in your home, customers ask us all the time “How often should I get my roof inspected?” And it’s an important question.
Your roof is the first line of defense. As your roof endures natural wear and tear over time, it becomes less efficient at its job. Therefore if you want to keep your roof up to the task, you will need to consider regular maintenance and inspections to prevent major issues from arising. Most roofing contractors will advise you to get roof inspections after any major event such as purchasing a new home or a major weather event.
A roofing inspection is recommended so that professionals can spot damages before it is too late.
There are other reasons you should have your roof inspected. To prepare your home for all climate conditions and find and solve structural problems quickly, here’s what to look for if you want to keep your roof doing its job.
1. Signs of Deterioration
As many homeowners know, houses naturally suffer wear and tear over time. A little bit of aging is fine, but If you’re looking up at your roof and seeing cracks, moss, leaks, missing shingles, warping, etc., this may be time to contact a roofing company. Further, if you see a bunch of small sand-like particles in your gutters or where the downspouts empty onto the ground, this is a sign of granular loss. These granules are what cover and protect the shingle; and if they are in the gutter, they are not doing their job of protecting the shingle. Granular loss exposes the underlying shingle and quickly ages a roof and causes the shingles to fall.
Also, if you look up at your ceiling and see discoloration (typically light brown stains that look like puddles often with darker brown coloration at the edges of the puddles), this is a sign of water leaking onto the ceiling from somewhere above the ceiling.
Although seemingly small, those flaws may signify a larger problem and lead to costly complications further down the line. Regular inspection and maintenance can prevent damage from general wear and tear and extend the life of your roof.
2. After a Hailstorm or Other Major Weather Events
In the event of hail or extreme weather,especially high winds, you will likely need to get your roof checked.
Hail can cause damage to your roof, exposing your house to the elements. Even small hail can cause the shingle granuals to fall off the shingle exposing the inner layers of the shingles. These inner layers deteriorate when exposed to the UV rays from the sun. Even if you don’t see any significant, visible exterior damage, there may be more minor issues such as leaks in the attic, broken or loose flashings, missing shingles, holes in the roof membrane, broken roof tiles, and so on. Leaving these minor problems unaddressed may result in you later having to prematurely re-roof your entire house costing you money and time; thus, it’s important to get a roof inspected after storms.
Your homeowner’s insurance can often help you cover the cost of damages due to extreme weather.
3. Age of your roof
Nothing lasts forever- not even your roof.
All roofs are susceptible to natural aging and weathering. Older roofs are more prone to leaks from tiny openings on your roof’s surface. Most roofs need to be replaced about every 20 years depending on the climate and type of shingles. One easy way to tell if your roof is “too old” is if you can see what looks like spider webs across all or parts of the roof. These are more visible if you can get the sunlight to reflect off them like glass on water. Those “spider webs” are fibers in the inner layers of the shingle that have become exposed over time. If you see those webs, your roof is on its last legs, and the shingles are failing. This is not the only indicator your roof is giving out, and many roofs do not show those fibers, but many do. It is time to replace your roof if you do see them. If it has been a while since your last re-roofing, you may want to have an inspector come out to check for defects, perform small fixes, or even replace the roof if need be. If this is the case, ensure you choose professional roofing contractors proven to get the job done professionally, with a crew and a price list that’s friendly to everyone!
4. After Other Technicians
It might sound counterproductive, but roof damage can occur from other technicians performing maintenance on your home.
Sometimes, when other people have to get onto the rooftop to work on your house, they may unintentionally cause damage to your roof. Whether it’s to fix the vents or the air conditioning, they may fail to clean up debris after they’ve completed their work, fail to close all mechanical access panels, knock some shingles out of place, etc. Having your roof inspected after other technicians can help prevent these damages from getting out of hand.
5. Before Selling or Buying a Home
When selling your home, it’s advised that you get your roof inspected in case repairs need to be made before the sale. Significant issues may make the home, unsellable while, on the other hand, a new roof could be a selling point during negotiations.
On the flip side, if you are purchasing a home, it’s a good idea to get the roof inspected after the sale in case there is undocumented roof damage. Most often, home warranties will cover repairs to the home’s exterior in the first year- all the more reason to get your roof inspected as soon as possible.
Professional Inspection VS. Homeowner Inspection
As a homeowner, it’s incredibly beneficial to proactively check for damages on your roof. Knowing what to look for may enable you to spot issues in between inspections that may warrant some immediate attention. That being said, it’s important to routinely bring in professionals to thoroughly inspect your roof. Roofing contractors like our GAF-certified team at JPA Roofing are trained and equipped to spot and diagnose easily missed issues, likely saving you significant repairs in the long run.
What a Professional Inspector Might Check
Some inspections that professionals perform include:
- Material Inspections – checking the condition of the materials including, sealants and caulking. This includes missing, loose, or curling shingles, holes or tears in the roofing membrane, and deteriorated caulking around plumbing pipes.
- Workmanship Inspections– checking for issues that come from poor workmanship.
- Interior Inspections– Check the interior ceilings, walls, attic, etc., for water damage, mold, rot, water stains, and other signs of water entering the house.
If inspected and maintained regularly, your roof protects you from the outside and serves as a great investment in the maintenance of your home. A well-done roof also adds to your home’s curb appeal, showcasing beauty, style, and exemplary maintenance. Roofing professionals can help you with keeping your roof up to the task.
With 25+ years of experience in the roofing industry, JPA Roofing guarantees professionalism, quality, and efficiency when you choose us to inspect your roof or guide you through repair and replacement, when necessary. We specialize in both residential and commercial roofing and offer free estimates and great home warranties. We are also a certified Master Elite Roofing Contractor with GAF, North America’s leading roofing material manufacturer.
Contact us today for a free roof inspection within two business days!