Having Your First Roof Inspection? Learn What The Roofer Is Looking For On Your Roof

24 March 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


Winters can be rough on a roof. Ice can put weight on a roof, causing cracks that allow water to seep in. Cold temperatures and excessive rain can wear on your roofing materials. Wind can cause your roofing materials to blow off. And the smallest of moisture penetration can cause your plywood to rot. Unfortunately, it can be challenging or impossible to look at a roof during the winter months due to snow and ice accumulation. But spring offers you the perfect opportunity to have your roof inspected for damage and wear and tear. If this is your first time having your roof inspected, you may not know what a roofer is looking for as they inspect your roof. Here are four key elements that are inspected when your roof is being looked at during your yearly roofing inspection.

Worn Roofing Materials

The materials on your roof are exposed to a wide variety of weather elements. This includes sunlight, rain, humidity, ice and temperature extremes. Over time, this causes your shakes, shingles or tile to wear. Unfortunately, worn roofing materials may be ineffective at protecting the inner layers of your roof.

As a roofer inspects your roof, they will be looking for signs of worn roofing materials. Some signs of worn roofing materials include obvious cracks, displacement of the roofing material and curling or worn edges. If the roofing materials are worn, a roofer may recommend that you replace only the worn section or the entire roof, depending on the age of your roof, the type of roofing materials you have and the extent of the damage.

Missing Roofing Materials

When the wind gusts, your roofing materials may blow or fall off the roof. This leaves a gap in your roofing materials that allows moisture to seep through. Over time, this can lead to leaks in your roof.

A roofer will inspect your roof looking for missing roofing materials. If they notice any gaps on your exterior roofing layer, they will install a new shingle, tile or shake to fill in the gap and protect your roof.

Damaged Gutters

Your gutters play a pivotal role in helping to protect your roof, siding and foundation. When they function as they should, they collect water from the roof and guide it away from your home. However, when they don't function as they should, water can sit in the trough against your roof line, causing rot. During periods of cold water, the water in the trough can freeze, causing an ice dam to form on your roof. Water can also overflow the trough causing water to fall on your siding or pool against the foundation.

During an annual roof inspection, a roofer will inspect your gutters looking for signs of damage. Some common signs of damaged gutters include sagging gutters, leaky gutters, rusted gutters and gutters that are pulling away from the home. Depending on the age of the gutters and how damaged they are, a roofer may recommend repairing or replacing them.

Rotted Plywood

When you look up at a roof, you see the exterior layer of your roof. This is commonly asphalt shingles, wood shakes or ceramic tiles. However, there are a few layers below this exterior layer that make up your roof.  If water hits the any of the plywood layers, such as the decking, sheathing, or rafters, those items can begin to rot. Should this happen, your roof may eventually cave in, especially with the added weight of rain or ice on it.

During your roof inspection, a roofer will look for signs of rotted plywood. This is done by examining and feeling the exterior of the roof, as well as inspecting the underside of the roof, which is accessible in your attic. Unfortunately, if the plywood is rotted, it will need to be replaced. This is a large and extensive project, but it is necessary to prevent major damage to your home.

If you have not had your roof inspected in a year or more, spring is a great time to have your roof inspected by a professional to look for signs of damage. Many roof problems start out small. If you catch them early enough, they can be repaired. However, if they are not found and repaired, they can quickly grow into larger problems that may require you to re-roof your home. A professional like Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters will inspect your roof looking for signs of worn roofing materials, missing roofing materials, damaged gutters and rotted plywood, helping to catch potential issues before they turn into large, more expensive problems.