Roof Review for Home Inspection

The roofing system on a home may be the second most important part of a structure. During the roof inspection we will look for the materials used and that it is used properly for the application it which it was installed. 

Roof Pitch Makes A Difference

A roof with a pitch of 2/12 or less is considered a flat roof which will require material such a modified bitumen, PVC, or rubber. We look for repairs to these membranes as they are high maintenance items in our climate and often show signs of nail popping, tears, pinholes, failed seam adhesive, and dents in the insulation below. The flashing where the roof terminates to the structure is another vulnerable spot which we will be sure to check. For a roof above a 2/12 pitch, we commonly see asphalt shingles, slate and steel roofing used. 

Types of Roofing We Typically Inspect

Steel roofing has a long-life span and often needs repainting after decades of wear and tear. The concern for this type of roof is pin hole leaks, failed seams, and trim pieces coming apart. Slate roofing has a very long lifespan but like any product has its weaknesses too. With these roofs we look for cracked and missing shingles generally near the edges. The valley sheet metal is often the first part to fail on slate roofing. The most common type of roofing is asphalt shingles. These types of roofs last between 20-30 years if they are installed properly with only 1 layer of roofing present. When multiple layers of shingles are installed it decreases the life of the most recent shingle installed. Some of the defects in this type of roof that we look for is shingles that curl or cup, are missing, decaying, blistering, and rotting. These are obvious signs that roof is aging and may need to be replaced. While it is not possible without prior knowledge to tell the exact age of a roof, we can estimate the age with in a 5-year window based on the criteria mentioned above. Finally, we look at the flashing around the chimney, this is the spot that often leaks. Generally, this is an easy repair for a Roofer or Mason.