How often should you have your roof inspected?

damaged roof in need of inspection

Is it time for inspection?

Having your home’s roof inspected regularly is simply smart homeownership responsibility. Having a roof inspection once a year or after a significant weather activity gives you the opportunity to fix any minor issues before they become a bigger catastrophe. You can find a contractor that provides both roof inspection and repair services, usually, the inspection will be free if there is any work to be done and you accept their bid. Otherwise, there may be a small fee for the roof inspection only. Sometimes, you’ll be required to have a roof inspection for insurance, but most times, the insurance company will have their own inspector perform the inspection at no cost to you.

Most roofing contractors that perform a combination of roof inspection and gutter cleaning, which will save you money in the long run. Because one works with the other, having them both inspected and cleaned at the same time simply makes sense. If you are considering purchasing a house through traditional methods of financing, your lender will require different inspections of the house, such as wood-destroying insect inspection, engineering inspection, and structural inspection, with that inspection, a roof inspection is done as well. What if it is raining the day of your structural inspection is scheduled?

Well, there is no better time to have this done, especially the roof. A roof inspection in rain will show even the smallest possible leaks. A rainy-day roof inspection will allow the inspector to test how the roof and gutter system is doing in divert water down and away from your house.

What is included in a roof inspection?

The first line of defense for your home is the roof, and if it isn’t in top condition, it can’t do a good job at the defense. As a homeowner, you need to be diligent in the maintenance of your roof so that when the smallest issue is discovered, you can get it repaired before it becomes a bigger issue. Part of that maintenance is having a roof inspection performed by a roofing expert that will know what possible issues look like and can advise you accordingly. 

So, what should you expect during a professional roof inspection? The goal of a roof inspector is to find things wrong with your roof. They look for leaks, organic growths, issues, and unusual wear and tear damages from windblown debris, workmanship of installation and/or repairs.  There are four components to a roof inspection: 

  • The Structural Aspect: The roof inspector will look for any signs of sagging like uneven roof planes. They check the fascia, gutter system and the soffit. They examine the chimneys, looking for cracks or crumbling grout, damaged chimney caps, and they go inside the attic to check the venting is in proper working order. 
  • The Material Aspect: The roof inspection will include looking at cracked or curled shingles, loose or missing shingles. The roof inspector will look for any algae, lichen, mildew, moss, and rust or stains. They make sure all fasteners and flashings are in order and that the downspouts, gutters and roof valleys are not full of aggregate from the shingles. The roof inspector will check the rubber and seals around HVAC and plumbing vent pipes. 
  • The Interior Aspect: Because any size of a roof leak can damage your home’s interior, a roof inspection includes the interior to be inspected. Besides the attic, they will examine the ceiling and walls for mildew, mold, rot, and water stains. 
  • The Workmanship Aspect:  A thorough roof inspection will include examining the workmanship of the roof, making sure it was installed correctly, or any repairs have been one correctly and thoroughly. This will include the workmanship of the chimney, HVAC and plumbing pipes and vents, and any skylights. 

How long does a roof inspection take?

The time for a professional roof inspection depends on several factors, with the first one being the size of the house.  A 1200sf house won’t take as long as a 4000sf house. How many levels to the roof are there will make an impact in the time it takes and how many attic accesses there are.  The time can be as little as 45 minutes up to 2 or 3 hours, maybe longer.

What are the signs of a bad roof?

There are several signs that will tell you that your roof has reached its life expectancy. If you choose to ignore these signs, you could have some major issues to deal with later, more than just replacing the roof. Here, we have listed 10 signs that you need not ignore: 

  1. Loose or missing shingles. This can result from a storm or high winds. But missing loose or missing shingles means your roof has lost some protection.
  2. Blistered, cracked, curled, or dry shingles is the number one sign that your roof has lived a full life. The climate and environment are brutal on a roof today, and if the attic venting in your home isn’t working correctly, that can cause your roof to expire sooner than expected.
  3. A sagging roof can show that your roof is deteriorating from the attic inside or the roof rafters are weak. It can also mean your roof was not installed properly to start with.
  4. Dark areas on a roof are usually where the shingles are missing It can also show there are algae, lichen, moss growing on your roof and are eating away at the shingles.
  5. Gutters and downspouts filled with granules indicate that the asphalt shingles on your roof are wearing out.
  6. Exposed and loose nail heads mean the holes where the nails were installed have gotten large and the nails can easily come out. Moisture will begin getting in around those holes and that will lead to severe moisture damage. 
  7. Water spots and stains in the attic, on the ceiling or walls, indicate that there is water getting in through the roof at some point and has made its way past the flashing and underlayment.
  8. Damaged, loose, or missing flashing around projections such as the chimney, HVAC or plumbing pipes and vents is allowing moisture the attic and under the shingles. 
  9. When your roof has reached its 20th birthday of installation, it is time to get quotes and shop around for a new roof installation. The average lifespan of an asphalt roof is 20 to 25 years.
  10. Your energy bills have increased month after month, year after year is a sign that the attic insulation needs additional being installed, or maybe you don’t have any at all. It can also show the vent system isn’t working correctly.

What happens if you don’t replace your roof?

Any delay in addressing any of the above indicators found in a roof inspection that you need a new roof can lead to severe damage to your home. An extreme example would be that your home could collapse if the roof were to give in because you ignored the signs we’ve discussed.

roof inspected and found to be in good condition

Does insurance pay for a new roof?

Typically, every legitimate homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for repairs and replacement of a roof from damage by all-perils that are an act of nature. What insurance companies won’t pay for are roofs that have been neglected by the homeowner or a roof that has reached their prime life expectancy. Every homeowner should review their homeowner’s policy and discuss the coverage with their agent. Roofing is an expensive part of a home, but it is an essential part of the home. It protects you, your family, and all your belongings. Without a roof, our homes wouldn’t need other necessities that we find convenient today like central heat and air. A roof inspection will allow you to address any issues found and make them right as soon as possible. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your roof inspection in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY.