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10 Things Every Contractor Should Look for During a Roof Inspection

May 19th, 2020 | 6 min. read

10 Things Every Contractor Should Look for During a Roof Inspection

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Is your roof starting to leak? Are you starting to stress out and worry? We’re here to relieve that stress. 

I understand anytime you have a problem with your roof it’s a huge headache. But the truth is, you don’t know how bad it is until you call a roofing contractor to inspect your roof

It could be simple repairs or you could need a full roof replacement. Whatever it is, Bill Ragan Roofing is here to help. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been providing high-quality roofing services to residents in the Nashville area since 1990. We inspect your roof with the high attention to detail it requires. When you work with us, you’ll never worry about your roof again. 

To begin your journey to repair your leak or replace the roof, you’ll need a roof inspection. A roof inspection is when a roofing contractor checks the condition of your entire roof. 

They’ll check your roof penetrations, your attic’s ventilation, and more. To educate you further, here are the 10 things your roofing contractor looks for during a roof inspection.   

1. Your attic’s ventilation

The first thing your roofing contractor should look at when they arrive at your home is your attic. They look up there to ensure it’s properly ventilated so your attic can breathe. 

If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, your roof is going to have problems. The trapped cold and hot air will drastically shorten your roof’s life span. 

It can’t be overstated how crucial adequate attic ventilation is to your roof investment. Read this article on how proper attic ventilation affects your roof and home.   

2. Are there any visible roof leaks or interior water stains?

This one is pretty obvious, but your roofing contractor will look for any leaks that are leaving water stains on your ceiling. Once they know you have a leak, they’ll start searching for what’s causing it. 

Once they find it, they’ll do repairs or if the problem is extensive they’ll recommend a replacement. To learn about the common problems a roofing contractor sees, read our article on the 6 most common roof leaks

3.  How many layers your roof has 

When your contractor first gets on your roof, they’ll check to see how many layers your roof has. If the problem is deemed bad enough and would need a roof replacement, then your roof and any extra layers will need to be torn off. 

If there’s more than one layer, then your roof replacement estimate will include the number of layers that need to be torn off. To learn more about how a roofing contractor tears off a roof check out this article on the roof tear-off process

4. The condition of your roof’s decking

When your contractor gets on your roof, they’ll take notice of your roof’s decking. They’ll test if it’s spongy or if it’s solid underneath their feet

They’ll also check to see if the nails in your decking are still holding firm. Be aware, your contractor can’t always tell if your decking is bad just by walking on it. 

roof decking

Most of the time they have to check the condition of it after the shingles are torn off. If the integrity of your decking is compromised then your contractor will have to replace that section during the roof replacement process

5. Your roof vents

No matter what kind of vent you have on your roof they need to be inspected

For example, If you have gable, soffit, or ridge vents they’ll need to be checked for obstructions. If your home has a gas appliance, they’ll check to see if the expansion and contraction of the metal has pulled the fasteners out of the gas vent.  

To learn more about roof vents read our article on roof ventilation to see your vent options and what they do for your roof. 

6. Your roof shingles 

Just behind adequate attic ventilation, proper roof installation is the second most crucial thing to your roof investment. If your shingles were not installed correctly, you won’t get the full lifespan out of them. 

During your roof inspection, they’ll look for nails driven in sideways causing little bumps in your roof or nails that hit cracks and backed out. They’ll also notice more obvious signs like if the shingles are missing, loose, cracked, blistering, or buckling. 

roof shingles

It’s important to know when you should replace your roof. Read our article on when you should replace your roof so you know when the time is right for you. 

7. Your roof’s penetrations and skylights

A roof penetration is anything sticking out through your roof. When your roofing contractor inspects your roof they’ll check all the penetrations and, if you have them, skylights to ensure they’re staying leak-free. 

For example, your roof pipes will have neoprene pipe boots that keep water from running down into your home. Those become cracked over time and, if not caught, can cause a leak. 

Penetrations inspected during a roof inspection

To ensure your roof stays leak-free it’s important to get your roof checked out from time to time. Read this article on the importance of roof maintenance to learn how it can maximize the life of your roof. 

8. Your chimney

Yes, your chimney is a roof penetration but there are multiple things a roofing contractor inspects that merits its own section. They’ll check the flashing, the condition of the mortar, and the condition of the chimney cap

If you have anything growing out of the mortar then your chimney is starting to get moisture into it. Just be aware, your roofing contractor can diagnose and repair a problem but some chimney repairs require you to call an actual chimney company. 

9. Your roof flashing

When your contractor inspects your roof they’ll check all of your roof flashing. Roof flashing is metal placed anywhere your shingles butt up against something, such as a wall, chimney, or in open valleys. 

roof flashing

They’ll make sure it isn’t rusted and that the integrity of the metal will still hold up to the elements and keep your home dry. 

10. Your gutters 

Your roofing contractor should always inspect your gutters and downspouts

First, they’ll check the integrity of both of them by making sure there are no cracks or open seams. Then they’ll look for any blockages or restricted flow that could cause debris or vegetation to get backed up.

They’ll also look for standing water. If your gutters have standing water then the gutter is tilted in the wrong direction. It’s crucial to get your gutters cleaned out as part of regular roof maintenance

Hire a reputable roofing contractor

Now that you know what a contractor looks for during a roof inspection, you’re ready to call a local reputable roofing contractor. When you hire a reputable contractor they’ll give you an honest assessment of your roof. 

But how do you find a great roofing contractor? That comes down to asking the right questions and getting the right answers back. 

Because we want every homeowner to find the right roofing company for them, we're going to give you the top questions you need to ask a roofing contractor. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been taking care of all the roofing needs of the residents in the Nashville area since 1990. Our thorough inspection ensures we don’t miss anything during your roof inspection. We’ll do everything possible to give you peace of mind.

Check out this article on the Top 8 Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor to find a great roofing company in your area.  

roofing contractor questions checklist

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