The roof is one of the most important structural elements of a home. The inspection report will describe the pitch (or slope) of a roof, the overall condition of the roof, and the risks associated with the type of roof that sits atop the home. The home inspection will also assess other factors (such as nearby trees and vegetation) that could impact the roof, and whether a roof appears leak-prone. We will visually inspect your home's roof to assess the condition, its drainage, and whether it is properly flashed to prevent leaks. We will climb on or at least up to the roof when safe and look for damage, wear, moss or discoloration on the roofing materials.
The inspection will identify the type of roofing materials on the home and we will climb up to – or atop – the roof to assess its condition, drainage, and whether it's flashed properly to prevent leaks. If the roof is worn, losing shingles, or near trees or if gutters look troublesome then we will point this out. There are many different types of roofing, using a variety of different materials. Asphalt or composition shingles are the predominant type of roofing material in the U.S., but there are many other types including wood shingles (shakes), tile, slate, flat or built-up, and metal roofing. Depending on the type of material used, a home's roof can last from 10 to 50 years (sometimes even more). However, environmental conditions like prolonged sun, heat, rain or snow, and the lack of regular maintenance on a roof may decrease its lifespan.
Flashing is the material used where roof parts and materials connect (chimney, windows, adjoining garage structure, etc.). The amount of flashing on a roof varies and is often different forms of metal. We will check to see if the flashing is functioning properly, and will gauge whether it is prone to any leakage.
The inspection will check for the presence of any eave or soffit vents, ridge vents, roof vents and/or gable vents which help to maintain a continuous airflow along the underside of the roof. Appropriate ventilation helps to prevent moisture from becoming trapped in insulation, structural wood, shingles and roof deck.
The type and materials of a home's chimney(s) will determined, and the general visible condition of the chimney and the chimney flashing will be checked. This flashing provides a tight joint between the chimney and the roof.
Gutters and downspouts attached to roofs are also important elements of the roof structure. Improperly installed or clogged gutters won't direct water away from the house properly and could distribute water near the home's foundation, increasing the likelihood of basement flooding or foundation-related moisture problems.
Most roof leaks result from improperly installed flashing. We will check, where visible, the condition of the flashing to gauge whether it is prone to leaks, as well as the condition of skylights and other roof penetrations. Leakage can also result from improper caulking, or from degradation of a roof's shingles, most often caused by weather and the effects of time.