Home inspections are nerve-wracking for everyone, whether you’re the buyer or seller. But they’re necessary because they provide crucial information about a home’s condition, exposing minor and major problems.
Various factors can cause a home inspection to fail. Weakening foundations, pest infestations, electrical hazards, and poor drainage are some examples of issues that can lead to a negative grading. And no, the roof isn’t excused, either.
The roof is a crucial part of the home. It’s the homeowner’s first line of defense against the elements. The success of a home inspection depends heavily on the roof’s condition, which is why you should keep yours pristine. Here are some roofing issues to watch out for:
Roof Structural Issues
When home inspectors assess roofs, they look at structural integrity. They’ll be hunting for structural issues like sagging, which happens when the joists supporting the structure weaken. Spreading is another issue that concerns inspectors. It occurs when the roof’s weight is too much that it moves the entire formation out of its proper place.
These issues usually take years to develop. The longer you ignore them, the more severe the damage. They worsen with exposure to excessive amounts of snow and rain, especially if the drainage system is inefficient. If you’re wondering how home inspectors spot sagging and spreading, they might walk on the roof to test its strength. They might also examine the roof’s structure through the attic.
Poor Roof Insulation, Ventilation, and Waterproofing
If you think roof inspections concern only the exterior, think again. Your home inspector will also head to the attic and check the ceiling for proper insulation, ventilation, and waterproofing.
They’ll see whether there’s unnecessary heat loss, which can cause damage to your roof and other parts of your home in the winter. They’ll also determine the ventilation level in the attic. Poor ventilation can cause mold build-up and excessive condensation, leading to premature roof deterioration.
Home inspectors are thorough and will also look for signs of leaking. That can include water stains, peeling or flaking wood, and musty odors. Water leaks are dangerous because they can cause significant damage to the roof.
Unsuitable Roofing Materials
Home inspectors do more than just inspect the structural integrity of your roof. They’ll also check if the roofing materials suit the climate in your area. In addition, they’ll look for signs of wear expected in the chosen material.
Various roofing materials are available in the market, including wood, metal, concrete, and asphalt. When choosing, consider their pros and cons and how they’ll hold up against the weather in your location. Note that not all of them have the same structural strength. Some of them might even be fire hazards. For example, wood and asphalt offer significantly less protection against fires than metal and concrete.
Regardless of material, regular maintenance is essential to your roof’s longevity. Make it a habit to have a professional inspect and maintain your roof every few years. That will save you from having to replace your roof prematurely.
Gutter and Downspout Issues
Home inspectors also have to check the gutters and downspouts. Downspouts are designed to direct water away from your home. The problem is most installers will place them directly on the foundation, leaving no room for clearance. Homeowners don’t know they must install pipe extensions to prevent water from cascading down their home’s exterior. Without this addition, you might experience localized flooding and foundation issues.
As for gutters, they’re prone to cracks, leaks, and rusting. But clogging is what home inspectors are most concerned about. It can cause rainwater to overflow. Or worse, it can force the water to travel back under the shingles, causing premature damage to the roofing materials. Leaves, dirt, and debris are the usual culprits behind a clogged gutter. You can avoid this through regular roof cleaning and maintenance.
Your home inspector will be on the lookout for signs of poor craftsmanship. Some examples would be the incorrect placement of shingles and improper flashing installment. These mistakes can allow water to enter the home and cause extensive damage. Inconsistent nail patterns, incorrect overhang level, and wrong underlayment installation are other glaring errors that will catch their attention.
Lack of Maintenance
Your home inspector will look for clues of poor roof maintenance, including dirty, clogged, or damaged gutters, mold or mildew build-up, ice dams, and rust. The roof may be hard to access, but that doesn’t mean homeowners should neglect it. It needs as much TLC as any other part of your home’s exterior. For the best results, leave the roof cleaning to a professional.
Here at Blue Collar, our professional roof cleaners are ready to make your roof immaculate again. We’ll eliminate organic matter like lichen, algae, and moss that may be eating away at it. That way, your roof can maintain its structural integrity and last many more years. While many factors can cause a home inspection to fail, your roof won’t be one of them.