Angie’s List: What goes into a roof inspection?
Even if your roof appears perfectly sound and you don’t notice any leaks, it’s a good idea to hire a roof inspector from time to time. Most often, the weaknesses that are invisible to the untrained eye are the most dangerous.
The average roof inspection costs about $200, but the expense can head off vastly more costly repairs down the line.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET MY ROOF INSPECTED?
The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends checking your roof during spring and fall to identify potential problems. Since roofers tend to be busy during those periods, it’s a good idea to start making calls now to have someone take a look in September or October.
A good roof inspection will address the following components:
— An examination of the overall appearance and surface of the roof.
— Evidence of ceiling cracks and leaks inside your home.
— Condition of fascia, gutters and drains, skylights, chimneys and roof vents.
— Curled, broken or missing shingles.
— Areas where water may collect, like roof valleys.
— Damaged or missing flashing points.
— Checking inside the attic for insulation and ventilation, and searching for moisture and mold.
The inspector should provide you with a written, detailed estimate that lays out all problems they’ve identified, as well as a course of action and which repairs to prioritize.
When you hire a roof inspector, make sure they’re licensed, bonded and insured. You want an established and reputable contractor. Verifying insurance is a good idea when hiring any contractor, but it’s particularly vital when hiring someone to climb on a ladder and check your roof.
SHOULD I GET MY ROOF INSPECTED AFTER A STORM?
It’s never a bad idea to have a professional take a look at your roof after a storm has blown through town. Even if you can’t see any damage, your roof could have suffered hidden damage that will show up in a big way later on. Missing or broken shingles can lead to big problems, and moisture may infiltrate your drywall without any visible signs.
That said, you may have a bit of a wait. Roofers will be in high demand in the days and weeks after a storm.
HOW CAN I MAINTAIN MY ROOF?
You can carry out a number of tasks yourself to keep your roof in good order. Removing loose debris, such as branches or leaves, can prevent water buildup. Be sure to do this on a sunny, dry day, and observe all safety measures when using a ladder to access your roof.
If you have an attic, check it occasionally for stains that indicate water is seeping inside. If you find evidence of roof leaks, seek out a professional immediately.
You can remove debris from gutters and downspouts by hand, then rinse with a garden hose. Check your soffits and fascia for rotting, holes, cracks and missing sections.
Paul F. P. Pogue is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.