Annually is better than never, but if you live in a location that experiences extreme weather at different times throughout the year (like most of us), the majority of roofing contractors suggest inspecting your roof at least twice a year – in the fall and again in the spring or early summer.
Since the roof is one of the most essential parts of your home (or your school, your church, your library, your office), getting an inspection is not an option – it’s a must. Our roofs are exposed to humidity, intense heat, downpours, high winds, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and hail, so it makes sense to make sure everything is as it should be BEFORE the weather has a chance to exacerbate any deterioration.
So, what do you need to do? Well, a basic roof inspection can actually be done from the ground using binoculars. This is a great way for homeowners to take a look, but unless you’re comfortable on a ladder, and are experienced on the roof, getting up there really should be left to a professional (you can expect a professional roof inspection to take anywhere from an hour to several hours, depending on the size, shape and materials of your roof).
Roof inspections can cost anywhere from $150 to $500, again depending on size, shape, and materials. Some roofing contractors will even do it for free, in hopes of then being hired to fix any discovered damages, either on the spot or in the future.
Either way, here are some things to look for (some obvious, some not so obvious):
- Clumps of leaves
- Moss (there are moss eliminators available made specifically for roofs)
- Displaced or missing shingles
- Blistering, buckling or curling shingles
- Raised nails that may need to be hammered back into place
- Warping or dry rot on wood shake or shingles
- Rusting or corrosion on metal roofs
- Missing, chipping or breaking slate or tile
- Cracked caulk
- Rusted, bent, missing or damaged flashing
- Cracked or broken-down boots around pipe vents
- Damaged or missing chimney cap
Take note – having minor problems repaired at their onset will help prevent further damage and ensure the roof over your head stays in good condition and can keep on doing what it’s designed to do – protect you and your family from the elements. And if you think about it, inspecting your roof now could save you a ton of money down the road – after all, replacing a roof is much more costly than preventing the damage in the first place.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to take a look at your gutters – remove debris, make sure your downspouts aren’t clogged, and give them a general overall cleaning.
Now that you’ve fully assessed and noted those areas in need of repair, contact at least 3 professional roofing contractors so you have a good comparison of estimated costs, timelines, etc…
If you set a roof inspection date on your calendar and stick to it year after year, you can be confident in knowing that you’ll save big time over the long term by taking care of minor damages as they occur (or as close to the occurrence as possible). Plus, saving the headache (and hit to the wallet) of an entire re-roof, if possible, is worth any time and costs associated to a roof inspection.
EcoFasten Solar® and Alpine SnowGuards® specialize in the design, engineer and manufacture of watertight solar roof mounts and components and snow management systems. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, solar developers, installers, racking system providers and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. All of our products are made with the installer and roofing contractor in mind.
(Images from todayshomeowner.com, thetimes.co.uk, inspectAPedia.com, kjinternational.com)