Keeping your roof at its best
Why do I need a roof inspection? When you purchase a home, the mortgage company will require several things before they approve your loan. In addition to your credit and employment history, current income, and debts, they’ll require various inspections and reports on the house you’re buying. One of those inspections will be a roof inspection.
The roof inspection may be included in the engineering or structural inspection, or they may require a separate roof inspection. Either way, if that doesn’t pass their minimum standards, your loan isn’t approved.
Other times you may need a roof inspection is from the insurance company that has your homeowner’s policy. If you’re getting new or additional coverage, or if you file an insurance claim.
You may need a roof inspection after a weather event that included hail and high winds. Or as your roof ages, it has been exposed not only to the weather, but it is exposed to the sun and its UV rays, trees, and animals 24/7. An annual roof inspection is recommended to make sure the integrity is still sound and stable.
What does a roof inspection consist of?
A roofing inspection will have some variances based on what material the roof is covered with, but there are some basic that are the same. For example, with a shingled roof, a roofing professional is looking for the following:
- Indications of water damage – They look for loose or missing shingles and flashings, the stability of the gutters and drain spout. If anything looks questionable, they look further at the decking and inside the attic.
- Mold – They examine the insulation in the attic for possible mold, around the chimney, skylights, plumbing vents, and other roof protrusions.
- Deteriorating shingles – in addition to loosened or missing, they look for granules missing, or algae and moss growth.
- Clogged gutters – As they inspect the gutters and drain spout for stability, they also look for any excessive shingle granules, especially if they find balding shingles on the roof.
During a metal roof inspection, a roofing contractor will be looking for the following:
- Loose seams – Because a metal roof contracts and expands with the temperature, the seams can separate as the screws loosen. This is setting your roof up for leaks and major water damage.
- Flashing, gutters, downspouts – Flashing on a metal roof is just as important as an asphalt roof. The inspector will check for any loosened or missing flashing around the roof valleys, chimney, vent pipes, and other roof protrusions. On a metal roof, corrosion and rust around flashing indicates it is loose, and this can lead to rust under the panels.
- Rust – Any rust around or under the flashing as described above as well as any areas that rust may can eat away at a metal roof. That can lead to a small hole, then a larger hole and water leaking under the panels, into the attic, etc.
What do insurance adjusters look for on roofs?
In general, an insurance adjuster will look at the following areas and specifics:
- Roof age
- Balding, broken, missing shingles
- Sun and water damage
- Tree causing damages
- Loose or missing nails
- Loose or missing flashing
- Damage, moisture to attic insulation
How long does it take to inspect a roof?
There are some factors that can affect the time it takes for a professional roofing contractor or insurance adjuster to complete a roof inspection:
- Square footage of the house
- Accessibility to the entire roof
- Accessibility to the attic(s)
- The number or protrusions on the roof
- Roofing materials
The professional roofing contractor’s inspection report is generally available immediately. An insurance adjuster’s roof inspection report may not be available for a few days, usually 2 to 7 days, depending on the insurance company’s protocol and the adjuster’s workload. Today’s technology, a roof inspection may include a drone inspection with a camera attached. This eliminates an inspector having to use a ladder to inspect the roof top.
What will fail a home inspection?
A roof inspection is detailed and focused on the roof alone. A home inspection is intended to give a potential buyer or insurance company a comprehensive inspection report that details problem areas with a home. Areas that can cause a home inspection to fail are:
- Rundown roofing: A roof that is at its end of life stage, usually at the 15 year mark, is likely to fail the inspection.
- Poor Drainage: The surface’s grading around the home that could cause drainage issues, leading to foundation problems.
- Faulty foundation: Any foundation issues that can lead to expensive problems, i.e., drainage and more.
- The Plumbing: Any damaged pipes, aged, or malfunctioning water heater. Sewage backing up and other common plumbing matters, like dripping faucets or running toilets.
- Pest infestations: Most home buying inspections will require separate pest control inspection. Either way, this part of the inspection is looking for wood-destroying pest infestation like carpenter ants and termites.
- Mold: Any discovery of mold, hidden or obvious, will fail a home inspection. This can be visible mold or indication of mold by odor.
- Heat system: An old heating system will fail an inspection.
- The Electrical Wiring: A home inspector that encounters any electrical wiring issues or problems will fail the inspection as fast as they do if they find mold.
- Structural damage: This is more than the foundation or roof inspection. This includes any sagging floors, sagging roof, or sagging door headers.
- Poorly maintained home: A home inspection that find cracked caulk or peeling paint, it is assumed the basics of maintenance and upkeep are lacking.
What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?
A potential buyer will usually request the following repairs or replacement:
- Peeling paint or paint in a house built prior to 1978.
- Broken gutter runs and unpainted downspouts.
- Exterior doors that don’t open and close correctly.
- Exposed electrical wiring and open junction boxes.
- Major plumbing issues.
- Aged or damaged roofing.
What is considered roof maintenance?
A routine roof maintenance should include cleaning, clearing off any debris like leaves and limbs. A general roof inspection that includes shingle conditions, the eaves, fascia, and soffit as well as the gutters and downspouts. Inspecting the flashing around the chimney, venting, skylights, solar panels, and other roof protrusions.
What happens if a roof fails inspection?
If the roof inspection was for selling the home, the potential buyer may offer a negotiated lower price or require the roof be repaired or replaced before closing. If the roof inspection was for homeowner’s insurance purpose, the insurance company will require repair or replacement before they approve your application. A general roof inspection for your own purpose as a homeowner, the decision what to do next is entirely up to you. Your roofing contractor will make suggestions and advise accordingly.
How often should I check my roof?
Depending on the age of the roof, a roof 5 years old or less, a roof inspection once every 2 to 3 years is sufficient. Between 6 to 10 years old, once a year is recommended.
At 11 years old and up, you should consider twice a year. Regardless of the age and material of your roof, a roof inspection should follow after any significant weather event like a hailstorm or heavy rains and winds. For roof inspections in St Paul, MN, call (651) 796-2341 today.