Having a roof over your head is absolutely essential to a livable home. It is also the area of your home that stands to get the most abuse from outside elements. Keeping your roof in good repair and maintaining it over the years will help you when it comes to increasing the value of your home. A good roof inspection will make sure you have an insulated home and prevent eventual structural damage.
In most places a roof should last up 20 years or longer, depending on the materials used and harsh elements from the weather, such as snow and hail. A damaged roof can create problems that you might not be able to see without a roof inspection. Things like roof leaks happen over time, usually toward the end of the roof’s life. A roof in disrepair can create moisture and mold intrusions that silently cause damage. Remember, just inspecting the surface of the roof isn’t enough.
As a home inspector, I do the roof inspection from a few different angles and locations, scanning it from below, using a ladder, and from inside the attic. When I climb up to the roof I am looking at the condition of the shingles or other roofing material, but my inspection doesn’t stop there. The condition of a roof also shows in the attic area or ceiling below the roof space and even around skylights. As for the roof itself, when there is damaged shingles or tar, this could indicate a problem area. Shingles that are cracking, missing, or curled should be further inspected and replaced. With a low sloping roof, you want to make sure water is draining and not pooling up in areas. A sagging roof or discoloration could also indicate problems.
Water damage from a leaky room can have an unfortunate domino effect. A problem roof is going to affect a lot of things in a house, such as heating and cooling bills, which will rise when there is not adequate insulation. Because the roof is literally the main support structure, its upkeep should be a top priority.
For maintenance of your own roof, make sure to keep it free of buildup from debris and clean and inspect it at least once a year both from the outside and inside the attic. If you suspect you need a new roof or have a problem area, get it fixed sooner rather than later.