I’ll bet you never think about the roof over your head until something goes wrong. I know I don’t! But then there’s a telltale damp patch on the ceiling – or even worse, a leak! – and suddenly we have to shift into damage control.
A regular roof inspection can save you that headache down the road, and the costly repairs, by spotting potential problems before they become disasters. After all, it’s much better to discover the beginnings of water damage in your attic than to suddenly find water pouring into your living room.
When Should I Get A Roof Inspection?
They say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that’s particularly true in Dallas and North Texas, where our roofs have to endure everything from hailstorms to unrelenting summer heat.
Even if your roof looks good on the surface, there could be damage or deterioration under the surface that a cursory glance won’t reveal, so it’s important to have a professional check out your roof regularly.
1. In the spring, before hail season
The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends checking your roof twice a year, in the spring and fall when weather tends to be milder, to help spot any problems. But if you can only get to it once a year, we strongly urge you to have your roof inspected in the spring before hail season begins. That way you can have any damage or weak spots repaired, so your home will be prepared for the temperature changes and seasonal weather hazards, like hail, wind, rain, thunderstorms, and unrelenting sun.
Going into storm season with damaged or missing shingles means that one heavy storm could cause your roof to fail, leaving the rest of your home and its contents vulnerable. Leaks, mold, and structural damage can be expensive to fix, so it’s far more cost effective to have your roof’s weak points inspected and repaired before storms start battering your home.
An expert will be able to take a close look at the roof’s condition and assess any problem areas that could be exacerbated during a storm and might require expensive repairs, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing exactly what the state of your roof is.
2. After a major storm
We also recommend that homeowners schedule a free roof inspection after a major weather event that involves high winds or hail. While your roof is designed to be tough against these natural occurrences, it’s also the first line of defense protecting the rest of your home and may need to be repaired. Extreme weather conditions are destructive, and you don’t want to underestimate the strength of Mother Nature!
And storm damage can often be hidden from view. A significant percentage of roofs that are hit by hail don’t get replaced because homeowners can’t see the damage from the ground. A storm could cause branches to fall, or isolated shingles to fall off, and you might not have any idea that anything has happened to your roof at all!
Even seemingly minor hail storms can cause big problems later. Just a small patch of exposed asphalt immediately begins to deteriorate under UV radiation, potentially leading to leaks and expensive water damage – at which point it might be too late to make a successful insurance claim. It’s important to be proactive so that you’re not faced with expensive repair bills later.
Can I Do My Own DIY Inspection?
You may be thinking that surely you can just hop up on a ladder, have a look at your roof yourself, and that will do the trick? That is a firm no!
Firstly, we don’t recommend ever going up on your roof due to safety concerns. But we know that won’t stop some of you from doing it anyway!
And while you may be able to do a successful surface inspection of your roof, a surface inspection is not all there is to a professional inspection. Subsurface damage is hard to detect without the proper equipment or training, and this is precisely what many homeowners lack.
It’s also important to remember that trying to fix your own roof can actually cause you to forfeit both your insurance claim and any product warranties you may have had. Many roofing product replacement warranties will be voided if your roof hasn’t been inspected by a professional, and insurance companies tend to insist on professional roof inspections as well.
What Does A Professional Roof Inspection Include?
A roof inspection can be broken into four elements: the structure, the materials, the interior, and workmanship.
- Structural Inspection: The inspector will check for uneven roof planes and signs of sagging, in addition to examining the condition of the soffits, fascia, and gutter system. Chimneys will also be inspected for any cracks or damage.
- Material Inspection: Here, the inspector will be looking for loose, missing, or curling shingles, stains, moss, rust, and missing flashing or fasteners. The inspector will also check the rubber boots and seals around vent pipes, looking for gaps or deterioration.
- Interior Inspection: This is done inside your home to check the ceilings, attic, and interior walls for water stains, mold, or other signs that water may be leaking inside from the roof.
- Workmanship Inspection: A thorough inspector will examine your roof for problems in workmanship that could increase the risks of leaks or other roof damage in the future. Incorrect flashing around roof penetrations—including vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys—would all be red flags.
After the inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report about the condition of your roof and what repairs, if any, are necessary to keep it in good shape. If repairs are necessary, schedule them as soon as possible.
We hope we have helped explain why frequent roof inspections are just as an important maintenance task as changing the oil in your car. They will end up saving you time and money in the future. Any reputable roofing contractor will offer free roof inspections, so there really isn’t any excuse to not schedule one today!
Designer Roofing has been helping Texas homeowners maintain safe and beautiful roofs for over 25 years. Call us today for a free inspection, and we’ll give you our honest expert opinion.