The roof is one of the most vital parts of a building as it protects not just the structure itself but the contents and occupants as well.
The life and value of your home or commercial space could depend on the condition of the roof. Poorly maintained roofs can have negative consequences for the whole building, which is why regular inspections are recommended for homeowners and commercial landlords.
A roof has two main components:
- The internal structure is often constructed from timber or steel
- The outer structure is made of roof tiles or other roofing materials
If the external layer is compromised, it can cause severe damage to the interior structure. Broken or missing roof tiles can lead to mould growth, plaster issues, or major structural defects.
When organising a roof inspection, it is essential to get an accurate report for both the inside and outside structures of the roof.
What are roof inspections?
Even if you climb a ladder and stand on an elevated spot, you will not be able to see everything on your roof, especially if it is not flat. You need to walk around the entire surface and check every tile, gutter, flashing, downspout, vent, chimney, and all other components attached to the roof. Pay close attention to the roofing material as it can take a beating from bad weather, falling tree branches, or flying debris carried by a storm.
A roof inspection examines wear and tear, estimates the lifespan of a roof, and recommends repairs if necessary. The inspector should be able to identify roof features that are unsafe or in poor condition. By detecting flaws early, roof inspections can help you save a significant amount on maintenance and operational costs.
Roof inspections might also reveal an opportunity to switch to a more sustainable and environment-friendly roofing material – leading to long-term savings.
Proper roof maintenance
Leaks can be difficult to detect. Most of the time, the problem is already out of control by the time you realise you have a leaking roof. Excess water seeping into the roof interior and down the walls can cause a lot of damage. The best way to prevent leaks is to maintain your drain system properly. Keep the gutters clean, especially during autumn when dry leaves tend to accumulate and block the flow of water. When the rainy season arrives, check the performance of your gutters and look for obstructions. Make it a habit to inspect your roof and gutters after a storm.
One way to protect your roof from the extreme weather in Australia is to apply proper coating, sealant, and insulation. Keep your interior cool in the summer and seal off every opening to prolong the life of your roof.
DIY roof inspections
Professional roof inspections should be done at least once a year. The rest of the time you can do your part by checking the roof yourself. Here is a checklist of some of the things you should inspect on the inside and outside of your roof.
Exterior Roof Inspection
- Broken, loose, or missing tiles
- Curled, blistered or split shingles
- Loose or exposed nails
- Granules in gutters
- Ridge sagging
- Flashing damage
- Rusty metal in the valleys, plumbing vents, chimneys, and vertical sides where the house meets the roof
- Pools of water on flat roofs
- Overflowing gutters
- Water pooling near the foundation of the structure
- Depressions near vent pipes
Interior Roof Inspection
- Sagging decking and ceiling
- Visible light through the roof
- Leaking in the attic, around chimneys, vents and other roof openings
- Wet and soft dark spots
- Water stains
These tips are only for spotting visible wear and tear. It is best to hire a professional roof inspector as they know where to look, what to look for, and how to fix hidden problems.
If you need repairs or replacement of shingles, flashing, metal drip, tiles, and other components, the inspector will also be able to give you a cost estimate.
When you factor in the cost of repairing serious problems that have been detected too late, the fee for a roof inspection pales in comparison.
Why call a pro building inspector?
Many homeowners take roofing problems seriously only when the leaks are noticeable and brown stains start showing up on the ceiling. By then it could be too late. Fungus, dry rot, and damage to insulation are already present, and you could need significant repairs if not a complete replacement.
There is plenty of roofing information available online, but nothing beats the knowledge and experience of someone who has been working on roofs for decades. A professional roofing inspector is trained to detect hidden leaks and other problems. They are required to provide a detailed and accurate report – including certifications that could increase the value of your property.
- A building inspector organises a roof inspection once a year
Going up on the roof looking for warped shingles, loose flashing, or cracked pipes takes a lot of effort. A professional roof inspector will be able to identify old repairs, detect new problems, and list down everything that needs fixing – in a more thorough manner in half the time.
Paying for a certified roof inspection is definitely more economical than spending thousands of dollars on a roof repair or replacement for a problem you didn’t see yourself. Organising a roof inspection once every year ensures that your roof is in prime condition and could even extend its life. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends one roof inspection before winter and another examination after the rainy months.
- A building inspector puts everything in writing.
After assessing the condition of your roof, a professional roof inspector must provide you with a detailed written report. It should include a list of all the issues detected as well as photographs and sketch of the roof in problem areas.
If you would like to organise a roof inspection, contact EBI today. Our licensed and qualified roof inspectors have extensive experience in water damage, hazardous materials, safety, and roof maintenance. We can send someone right away to inspect your roof and provide you with a written assessment report.