Home Renovation

Look Out for These Common Roofing Problems if You’re Entering a Home Inspector Career

February 16, 2021

Home inspection describes a consulting service where industry professionals analyze the safety conditions of a home—helping buyers make informed decisions before purchasing or living in their chosen home.

A big part of home inspection includes assessing the roof for any signs of damage. Conducting a thorough visual inspection of the roof can reveal potential concerns and areas in need of repair to promote the safety of the home’s inhabitants. Those interested in home inspection can receive proper training, learning practical skills to ensure safe living conditions. Here’s a brief overview of what home inspectors can look for when investigating roofing problems.

Checking Gutters and Soffits When Inspecting Roofs

When searching for any roofing problems, home inspectors rely heavily on visual inspection. One of the most obvious signs of a roofing problem includes a sagging roof—which can indicate deterioration, improper installation, or difficulty supporting its weight. Acting quickly to replace a sagging roof is of utmost importance, preventing the chances of it collapsing.

Other problems can include dirty or clogged soffits (the bottom of house eaves or rafters). Dirty or clogged soffits can mess with attic ventilation, blocking airflow and promoting mould growth on the roof’s framing. Home inspectors will also want to check for any rusted gutters, which can lead to unwanted leaks. It’s also important to look for a well-installed gutter apron, typically used to stop water flows from rotting other parts of the roof (like the soffits or roof sheathing). If water stains are visible below the gutter, then gutter aprons should be installed for added protection.

Spotting Signs of a Leaky Roof after Your Home Inspector Training

Water damage can be a clear indication of a roofing problem. If the home’s ceiling or interior walls feature any water stains, then a leaky roof is likely the culprit. Addressing this problem quickly is extremely important, as doing so can prevent further problems from developing—like growing mould or damaging insulation. This can occur around bathroom fans as well, possibly indicating a leak from roof vents. It should also be noted that if mould is spotted on the exterior walls, a leaky roof should be considered as a probable cause.

Those with a home inspector career can also keep an eye out for any roofing problems when assessing the insulation. For example, a leaky roof can be responsible for interfering with the house’s insulation, affecting heating and cooling systems.

Water leaks and stains are a clear indication of a roofing problem

Inspecting Roof Shingles and Flashing for Signs of a Roofing Problem

Home inspectors will want to carefully look at the state of roof shingles and flashing in order to properly assess the living conditions of a house. Roof shingles are overlapping elements used to cover roofs, adding further protection. Inspectors should look out for any damaged or missing shingles, both of which increase the chances of leaky roofs. Roof shingles can also appear mismatched or uneven, allowing water to penetrate more easily.

Those who have started their home inspection training will know about roof flashing, used to protect areas where the roof intersects with other walls or structures (like chimneys). Flashing is important when inspecting water flow, preventing water from crashing and seeping into the sidewalls. If the flashing is loose or rusted, then this layer of protection is rendered inefficient—potentially rotting the roof’s sheathing and framing or leading to the growth of more mould.

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