How To: Check The Condition Of A Roof

Inspecting a Roof 

  A roof inspection is one important thing that should be looked at when inspecting a house. Whether it is your own home or a home you are interested in purchasing. Always check.

  If you’re scared of heights, don’t worry. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars. Or you can call a roofing company to check it out for you.

  Or if you are a do it yourself kind of person you can always inspect it yourself. Just make sure to wear a good pair of roofing boots and do it on a warm day. Here is a roofing inspection checklist:

  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap. 
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.
  • Piles of grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters or on the ground around the house.
  • Find out when the roof was replaced last to know if it is nearing the end of its life cycle.

DIY Roofing Repairs

If you are comfortable working on roofs a lot of repairs can be made yourself.

  1. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place.
  2. Metal and vinyl flashing around chimneys, skylights, and attic vents that have separated needs to be cleaned and the old caulking stripped away then must be resealed with new caulking.

Professional Roof Repairs

Always make a point of getting 2-3 bids before having your roof worked on by professionals. This will help ensure you are not getting ripped off. Also, check to make sure the roof is not already covered under a warranty in which case some repairs may be free.

Some costs for common repairs include:

  • A few broken or missing shingles: $100 to $150.
  • Large repairs (10-foot-by-10-foot section of roofing): $100 to $350 asphalt; $200 to $1,000 wood.
  • Replacing flashing or boots around chimneys, skylights, and vents: $300 to $500.
  • Repairing flashing in valleys: $15 to $25 per running foot.

Early Signs of a Roof Leak

A roof inspection is great, but problems can occur at any time. Early signs of trouble include:

  • Dark areas on ceilings.
  • Peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs.
  • Damp spots alongside fireplaces.
  • Water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace.

If you find worrisome signs, especially if the roof is old or there’s been a storm with heavy wind or hail, get a professional assessment. Some roofing companies do this for free; specialized roof inspectors, like those who work through the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association, charge about $175.

Replacing Your Roof

If the asphalt roof is 15 years old or more, it may be time for replacement. The average roof cost roughly $7,500 to replace. But it really depends on the size of the home. The bigger the home the higher the cost of replacement will be.

Here are 7 more things you don’t see that could be costly if there’s an issue (always check regularly)

  1. Foundation
  2. HVAC System (Heating / AC)
  3. Electrical Wiring
  4. Plumbing
  5. Termite Damage
  6. Water Damage
  7. Mold

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