An inspection of the roof includes both the decking and the covering from both the interior and exterior of the house
Most home owners pay little attention to the roofing system of the house until problems noted are too great to ignore. Leaking roofs must be repaired. A leak represents the cause of severe damage to the interior of your home and is often difficult and expensive to repair.
Periodic maintenance of the roof is relatively simple and inexpensive. All it takes is a little knowledge to keep the roof in proper condition.
There are five basic components to every roof:
- Roof structure – The rafters and trusses that are constructed to support the sheathing or deck of the roof.
- Sheathing – The boards or sheet material that fastens the roof to the structure to cover the house.
- Flashing – The sheet metal or other material laid into the various joints and valleys of the roof to prevent water seepage.
- Roof covering – The shingles, tiles, or sheets used to protect the sheathing from the weather.
- Drainage – The features of the roof that affect its ability to shed water.
Most roof concerns are caused by one of the following: Sun, rain, snow, ice, moss, and wind.
Water dripping from an interior ceiling may not be from a leak directly overhead, but from a leak that has traveled down a rafter or across the ceiling before it becomes noticeable.
It could also be caused by condensation of moisture rising from a bathroom or kitchen, collecting on the underside of the roof and then dripping to the ceiling below.
It could also be from the plumbing system hidden behind the wall.
The most common causes of roof leaks come from the following: improper flashing; missing/broken shingles; tears in the roof valleys; exposed nails; wind driven rain through louvers, chimney brick, under shingles or through the siding; ice dams; improperly hung gutters or drip edges; improperly installed roofing; cracking or blistering mastic or roofing tar; ponds of water created when the roof sags; or cracked or deteriorating chimney caps.
Asphalt roofs have a projected life of 17 to 22 years. If you have an asphalt roof greater than 15 years old you should plan or budget for replacement. The condition of your roof can really impact your Houston property values.
The actual life depends on the weight of the shingles, the type of mat, and the exposure.
Signs of aging include curling, cupping, and cracking. Shingles showing these signs of aging will deteriorate rapidly.
One of the most critical factors in roof durability is roof ventilation. Without proper roof ventilation, heat and moisture build up in the attic and cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to loose its effectiveness.
In addition, ice dams commonly occur when attics are not properly ventilated. This can happen in the garage as well as your house.
The life span of most roofs can be extended through proper care by patching, coating exposed cracks, repairing eroded areas, and replacing missing shingles.
If you have a roof concern and would like a third party evaluation, contact a professional home inspector.