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Passing a Roof Inspection: Answers to Your Pressing Questions

The roof over your head may seem like a simple enough concept. That is, until you really think about what it entails. Support beams, shingles, and a gutter system are a few of the most obvious pieces. Other factors include sheathing, flashing, ice and water shields, and a host of other elements.

With these details in mind, it’s easier to understand the importance of roof inspections. This process is especially important for consumers looking to make a home or business purchase. So, what does it take to pass an inspection? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What do you gain from a roof inspection?

Unlike home inspections, roof inspections are not always required during a sale. Although some cities have guidelines that specify required roof conditions, most do not. With that said, there is a lot to gain from requesting an inspection before making a purchase. Here are a few of the advantages:

  • An estimation of the roof’s remaining years of life
  • A summary of required repairs
  • A roof certificate

When you purchase a home or commercial building with a roof certificate, you obtain peace of mind. This document should ensure that the roof has a life expectancy of at least two to five years.

Who can perform a roof inspection?

In most cases, a home inspector will not be able to perform a roof inspection. To obtain a roof certificate, you’ll need to work with a licensed roofing contractor.

What does an inspector check for?

There are several factors that an inspector will need to familiarize him/herself with. The age, pitch, and layers of a roof will make an impact on the final summary. Previous roof repairs will also play a role. Specifically, the contractor will check the following:

  • Condition of roofing materials-including shingles, trusses, gutters, etc.
  • Chimneys
  • Flashing points
  • Basic integrity of the roof

If any repairs need to be made, the contractor will inform the buyer. A certificate cannot be issued until the repairs are complete.

What are some common repairs to watch out for?

Without regular inspections and maintenance, damages are a given. If you talk to your roof repair person, you’ll find that some of the most common repairs include:

  • Damage from severe weather. Following a hail, ice, or wind storm, a complete roof replacement may be necessary.
  • Worn sealants. If the sealant of your vent pipes has worn down, you’ll need to replace it.
  • Damage from pests. Raccoons, birds, and insects can make your roof their home and cause damage.
  • Poor ventilation. Improper ventilation from the roof to the attic results in heat and moisture damage. From there, damage to rafters, insulation, and shingles can occur.

When left in disrepair, these problems only become magnified with time. That’s why it’s best to address these damages immediately following your roof inspection.

When should I schedule an inspection?

Most experts will recommend a scheduled roof inspection twice every year. This may seem extreme, but for homeowners who like to stay on top of minor problems, it’s the best solution. An inspection in the fall can protect against ice and snow damage. A spring inspection can assess any damages that occurred throughout the winter.

Other situations that require a roof inspection include property sales, purchases, and refinancing.

Moving Forward with Your Roof Inspection

If you have any other questions, it may be time to speak live with a roofing contractor. A professional can help you move forward with the process of having your roof evaluated. Whether you’re looking to buy a new office building or maintain your family’s home, a roof inspection can give you insight into the condition of your property’s roof.