Roofs are one of the areas that it is common to see findings listed on a home inspection report.
Every year your 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 maintained.
Roofing defects can be caused by this aging, or by improper installation or repairs. These problems can include issues with drainage, wind and rain damage, and water penetration. In addition, a poorly designed or constructed roof may also create safety hazards for residents of the home. This does not mean that the entire roof needs replaced, but it is common to need maintenance or repair throughout the years.
A roof inspection is a routine safety measure that should be performed on any new or existing home. A roof inspector will check for any potential problems with the roof, such as leaks, damage, and deficiencies.
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home and it should be maintained on a regular basis. A roof inspection should be performed at least once every five years, but it may be more frequent depending on the type of roofing material and how often it is exposed to the elements. We include a roof inspection as part of our Annual Home Maintenance Inspections.
Home Inspection – Signs of Aging Roof
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.
Roof Life Expectancy
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. These signs of aging are one of the many things our inspector will look for during a home inspection.
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.
Home Inspection Roof Findings and Required Repairs
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.
After a roof inspection, the home inspector will typically issue a report with recommendations for repairs. Required repairs after a roof inspection may include:
- A repair or replacement of any damaged or missing shingles
- A repair or replacement of any broken or leaky shingles, and/or chimneys
- Repairing any damage to the flashing, gutters, and downspouts
- Patching any holes in the roof membrane
- Installing a new roof
The costs of roof maintenance and repairs vary depending on the severity of the issue and the size of the repair. However, most normal maintenance-related repairs typically cost around $1,000 – much less expensive than replacing an entire roof after it has been further damaged by water seepage and leaks.
A roof inspection is an important part of keeping your home safe and sound. Make sure you have one every few years to check for problems that may arise. Contact us to schedule your Annual Maintenance Inspection.
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