As they are one of the first lines of defense in protecting your house from a variety of destructive elements, you should always work to ensure that your roof is sturdy without any leaks. Often, building inspectors can help by checking out your roof to understand what conditions it has been exposed to over time. However, understanding how often you should have your roof inspected as well as warning signs that it may be damaged is extremely important to know.
The Key Parts to Your Roof
First off, you should understand that your roof is composed of a variety of interconnected components. If any one section is damaged, then it could spread and wreak unintended consequences across your roofline. Roofs are constructed from many more pieces than just shingles and tiles. For example, the base of the roof is constructed from trusses and rafters which are then covered by a sheathing material. Then, on top of that, there is a base layer, which the shingles or tiles are then laid on. Due to the number of layers, it can be extremely difficult for the regular homeowner to inspect their roof on their own. However, by understanding the essential components, you can begin to recognize signs that your roof may be damaged.
The Importance of Roofing Materials
It’s important to know what type of roof you have when scheduling your roof inspection. Although they are built to last, various types of materials will decay at different rates across your roof. For example, composite and asphalt shingles weather much more quickly than shake or wooden shingles. According to various experts, asphalt and composite shingle roofs should be inspected around every three years while tile roofs can last more than five years before they need inspections. Before you begin to plan for roofing inspections, you should always account for what your roof is constructed from as the different materials can play key roles in the weathering of your roof.
Similar to the key role played by roofing materials, the type of shingle is also important in dictating the life of your roof. Asphalt shingles have the lowest life expectancy of any roofing materials as they regularly last for only fifteen to thirty years. Although it is the cheapest roof material available, repairs can add up, and if you have purchases asphalt tiles, you should have them inspected much more often. Another common type is clay shingles which never fade and have the longest lifespan of up to one hundred years. The initial investment in purchasing clay shingles is much more expensive, but they are more durable and will not require an inspection as often. The third common type of roofing material is concrete shingles which are one of the most resistant materials to damage from severe weather. Their overall life expectancy is between thirty and forty years. As stated above, if your shingles are more prone to failure, then you should schedule more frequent inspections as you could potentially prevent costly repairs.
Signs of Damage
One of the times when you should check for damage that may necessitate a roof inspection is immediately after a storm. If a severe storm rolls into your area, then you may want to have your roof inspected by a professional as wind, rain, and hail could harm your roof. Furthermore, another way to check for damage is if you notice leaks or water stains spread throughout your house. Frequently, this results in holes scattered across your roof which allow water to pool and then drip through into your house.
Similarly, if you observe tiles or shingles spread out across your lawn, they probably flew off of your home. You can further check by going into your attic or crawl space and checking to see if any sunlight is shining through holes. Any daylight is an immediate sign that all is not well. While in your attic, if you notice any mildew, mold, or dry rot, then water could have been leaking in for longer periods of time. One of the most important times to have your roof checked is in the fall as you can repair any damage before the freezing and thawing of winter. Ultimately, though, by proactively searching for damage after potentially dangerous events, you can give yourself a chance to prevent costly damage from a leaky roof.
What Will it Cost?
Often, when you schedule a roofing inspection, the overall inspection will be for a low cost, and sometimes, some roofers will offer to perform the inspection for free. However, the repairs often cost more. Skylight and chimney repairs may cost around five hundred dollars, while shingle replacements run for around $250. Before allowing a roofer to check out your roof, you should always look to see if they have a strong online presence, and have positive reviews from their customers. Working with a reputable company will let you be sure that you’re getting an honest, reliable inspection.
What if It’s Already Leaking?
If you find that your roof is already leaking, then it has probably been damaged for a long time. Leaks are one of the last signs that your roof is damaged. Scheduling regular inspections is important to avoid these costly repairs. In short, never wait until too late to schedule an inspection, especially when it comes to your roof.
Replacing an entire roof is much more expensive than small repairs, and it is always less stressful to keep up with the necessary maintenance.
Overall, if you properly maintain the health of your roof, then you can expect that it will have an extremely long lifespan. Regularly scheduling roofing inspections is key to protecting your roof from damage, and making sure that you and your family are safe. The more proactive you are, the lower the chances that devastating damage to your roof will sneak up on you.