What Homeowners Need to Know About Roof Inspections

The roof is integral to the condition of your home, and it’s wise to have it periodically inspected. You might think that as long as the roof isn’t leaking, it’s in fine shape, but a professional roofer can uncover problems you never would have noticed. Even if the roofer finds that the roof is good condition, getting this inspection will give you peace of mind.

When to Inspect the Roof

Ideally, roofs should be inspected every few years. This ensures that minor repairs can be fixed right away so that these won’t turn into major problems. Additionally, the roofer will be able to give you a heads up about the types of repairs you’ll need in the near future. Given the high cost of a roof replacement, knowing that you’ll need one in about five years can allow you to save up for the purchase.
Though a roof inspection can take place almost any time of year, consider having it done in the early springtime. This is a slow time for most roofers, so you may be able to get a better deal, and the company is likely to be available to make necessary repairs.

Finding a Good Company

The best way to find a good roofing company is to ask around for a recommendation. Neighbors and co-workers can be a good resource. Once you have a short list of names, call them up to find out about the cost of an inspection and check out their website for important certifications. Customer recommendations, professional certifications, licensing and experience should be far more important than the price.

Cost of a Roof Inspection

Cost sometimes depends on the type of work that you need to have done. For instance, if you already know that the roof is leaking or missing shingles and want a roofer to look at the extent of the damage, there’s a chance that the inspection could be free. In this case, the roofer is going to provide you with an estimate to make the repairs, and it’s smart to get inspections and estimates from a few different companies.
However, if you’re looking for a regular roof inspection, expect to pay a few hundred dollars. In general, someone offering a low-cost inspection is likely to offer just the inspection. If the company is charging a bit more, they’ll likely make minor repairs, such as nailing down a few loose shingles. Always ask about what the inspection entails before discounting a company on price alone.

What to Expect

A quality roof inspection should last at least an hour. It could take even longer if you have a large roof, or if the pitch of the roof makes it difficult for the inspector to access. The inspector should climb on the roof, which allows him to check for soft spots and other types of damage that may not be visible from the ground or a ladder. He should also look at the roof from inside the attic, if possible, where it would be easy to note if there’s been water damage or signs of holes. Many times, the roof inspection will include an inspection of the gutters, since these are integral to the roof’s effectiveness. It’s fine to follow the inspector around as safely as you can. He can then point out specific issues.
At the end, the inspector should provide you with a written report detailing what he’s found. It might list things like the age of the roof, problems that require immediate fixing and any recommendations for the future. Sometimes, the company will give you this report a few days after the inspection if the worker does not have the ability to write up and print the report from his truck.

Getting Work Done

If the inspection turns up problems, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to hire the company that did the inspection to make the repairs. Some homeowners prefer using the inspector as a neutral third party to avoid feeling like the company is trying to push unnecessary repairs. However, the company that did the inspection may offer a discount because you had the inspection done by them. It never hurts to ask.
Many homeowners don’t think much about the roof until it’s too late. By getting regular roof inspections, you’ll be ahead of the game and able to fix problems more quickly. Though the inspection may cost you some money, it can also save you money in the long run by extending the life of your roof.