Home Inspectors On Roof Maintenance

FEB 08, 2018

The roof of a home is one of the most important parts of the home. As home inspectors, we know that the home inspections is probably the only time someone will inspect the roof. He is an overview of the roof and some of the common problem they have.

A roof of a house is designed to protect the building from weather invasion like rain, wind, snow and hail and against falling objects. Without proper maintenance or a regular roof inspection, minor problems can become disastrous. There are many ways to cause a roof to leak or fail. Here are some common problems that can affect roofs:

Flashing failure Flashing problems can happen to any kind of roof and are often the most vulnerable part of a roofing system. Flashings are usually used when two angles of the roof meet, roof penetrations, or when there are valleys. The cause for flashing to fail can be from poor installation or corrosion.

Sagging When re-roofing is not done properly, often new shingles are added on top of the existing layers of shingles. The extra weight of the roofing material increases the dead load for the house structure to carry. If the structure is not designed to carry this extra weight, it can cause deflection on the roof.

Pooling Water This usually happens on flat roofs or low sloped roofs. Pooling water can indicate improper roofing slope or poor drainage. Ponds of water can cause more damage if roof seams are not sealed tight or flashing is not properly installed.

Moss/Tree/Vegetation debris Moss or any vegetation takes moisture to grow. Having moss on the roof means holding moisture against the roofing material and can accelerate the deterioration of the roof. Roof cover by tree branches can also prevent roof from drying, and contribute to moss growing. Debris from trees can block proper water drainage from the roof.

Worn-out Roofs are normally worn out due to the age of the roof or lack of maintenance. The latter usually speeds up the wear and tear and shortens the life expectancy of the roof. When roofs are completely worn-out they can no longer perform their function and are prone to leakage. The bottom line is to do a routine inspection and regular maintenance to ensure the roof lasts to its designed age.

Physical damage Some roofing materials like concrete tile and clay are brittle and can be damaged by fallen objects, foot traffic, weathering and freeze/thaw damage. Sometimes you will find missing tiles as a result.

It is important to address the roof problems at the earliest detection through routine inspections to minimize the problems and maximize the roof age. If in doubt, always call regarding any questions or concerns

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