Common Home Inspection Findings – Roof

home inspection roof issues

Roofs are one of the areas that it is common to see items listed on a home inspection report.

Every year the roof ages. Whether the roof is made from asphalt shingles, wood shakes, terra cotta tile, or concrete slate, these materials are all susceptible to damage if not properly up kept.

home inspection roof issues

Roofing defects can be caused by this aging, or by improper installation or repairs. This does not mean that the entire roof needs replaced, but it is common to need maintenance or repair.

Interior ceiling stains may be an indication of past or current leaks. It is important to determine if the leak has already been repaired, or if the leaking will occur again during the next storm.

Maintenance of the gutters and the valleys on the roof is also important, and can be a common maintenance task that gets overlooked. The roof valleys usually carry the burden of discharging water from multiple areas of the roof. If the water is slowed down at all, there is potential for water damage of the substrate below the shingles and the overall life of the roof may be impacted.

Asphalt shingles have a life expectancy of between 15 and 40 years. With age, asphalt roof shingles will begin to cup either up or down, and begin to blister and have granular loss. The material holding the shingle together will be exposed and allow water to have an easier time getting into the home.

Wood shingles and shakes will show similar symptoms as asphalt when aging. Cupping, curling, lifting, splitting, insect damage, rotting and missing sections are all possible.

Terra cotta, concrete and slate tiles have life expectancies of about 20 to 100+ years. These materials are very brittle. Expansion and contraction caused by the changing seasons will cause these tiles to crack or become loose. Walking on these tiles can be deadly to the material. Cracking and the signs of aging can be difficult to see from the ground. It will usually take a good pair of binoculars and a solid ladder to get a bird’s eye look at the condition of the roof. 

Not all roofing issues found during a home inspection equal costly repairs. It can be easy and inexpensive to repair damaged tiles and shingles and to re-caulk any roof penetrations. This type of preventive maintenance and repair helps prevent more expensive major repairs later.

If you are in need of a home inspection and would like to receive a thorough and informative home inspection report, or know someone who is, book your inspection by calling


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