The Importance of Roof Inspections

Having your roof inspected on a regular basis is essential to keeping it in good condition. This is not only to ensure that it will last longer but also to prevent leaks and interior damage.

Visual inspection can be done from the ground or second-story windows without the need for a ladder. This will highlight noticeable shingles and gutters that are damaged or missing. Read on to know more.

Visual Inspection

Visual inspection is the process of evaluating an object using a person’s senses. A person’s eyes are the most important tool for this, but it also includes things like hearing (such as assessing materials by knocking on them) and smell (such as identifying mold).

The inspector starts from the outside of the building, looking for any signs of a deteriorating roof, such as missing or buckling shingles; stains; moss; or debris. The inspector then moves inside, checking the attic ceilings and interior walls for water stains, discoloration, and other indicators of a leaky roof.

In addition, the inspector checks if the HVAC equipment, skylights, and vents have proper seals to prevent moisture from leaking into the structure. They also look at the condition of the soffit, fascia, and gutter system. They check for any gaps or cracks in the masonry chimneys and examine if the insulation is damaged, which can allow cold winter air to enter and impact internal temperatures.

Thermal Imaging

Infrared thermography is a powerful test technique for identifying latent moisture within roofing systems. Typically conducted post-sunset, a thermographer maneuvers a handheld thermal imager across the roof surface to scan it. Thermography is most effective with built-up and single-ply roofing structures that have insulation sandwiched between the roof deck and waterproofing membrane.

During an infrared scan, roof areas containing wet insulation cool more slowly than dry areas. This causes the warm thermal patterns associated with wet insulation to remain detectable even after the roof has cooled down to ambient temperature.

Drones equipped with dual thermal camera payloads, such as Teledyne FLIR’s VUE TZ20-R, allow inspectors to identify and locate anomalies like leaks and moisture more easily. The dual sensor provides real-time radiometry, allowing inspectors to zoom into areas of interest and determine whether they are actual signs of a problem. This helps prevent false positives that can result from the infrared imager seeing reflections from building or plant equipment.

Gutter Inspection

Often overlooked by home inspectors, gutters are important for a house’s health. If the gutters are not in good condition, it can cause serious problems around a home. The gutters are designed to move moisture away from the house, and if they are not functioning correctly, moisture can cause wood rot or mildew.

Home inspectors will check the condition of the gutters, downspouts, and fascia boards. They will look for any rust or corrosion on the metal components and if the gutters are properly fastened. They will also examine the rubber boots and seals on vent pipes for deterioration or gaps.

Most importantly, a professional inspector will look at the gutters from the ground and the roof to make sure there are no leaks or clogs. The inspector will also look for any missing shingles and will inspect the gutter guards to ensure they are not damaged or clogged. This can be a dangerous task since the inspector will need to use a ladder and climb onto the roof.

Attic Inspection

An attic inspection gives home inspectors the opportunity to look at the roof sheathing and structure from the inside. It also allows them to inspect the condition of insulation and check for critter infestations.

Leaks can be detected from the attic as well. The presence of water stains or discoloration on the roof sheathing and framing indicates that there is a current or past leak.

Proper attic ventilation is essential to prevent moisture build-up. Insufficient insulation and impeded airflow can cause problems like mold, condensation, and rot. Inspect the soffit vents for blockage, rusting nails, and other damage. Check that the eave and ridge vents are free of obstructions and that bathroom exhaust fans are vented directly to the outside.

It’s important to remember that it is dangerous to walk around an attic without a proper ladder. It’s also best to wear a face mask to protect yourself from the dust and particulates that may be present. Browse the next article.

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