Advanced Search
Your search results

Two Minute Home Inspection : Roof

Posted by Geordie Romer on February 12, 2010

If you’re new to the Two Minute Home Inspection series, it’s true, you can’t do a home inspection in 2 minutes.
 A home inspection generally takes 2-4 hours and we always recommend using a home inspector who is licensed by the State of Washington and a member of a national home inspection organization like ASHI or NACHI.
Here’s another guest post by Chip Roberson, of Mission Home and Pest Inspection:
 When looking at a house you are considering making your home, take two minutes to examine the roof covering.

Photo by Secret Tenerife

 The performance of a building’s roof is key to the integrity of the structure and the comfort and well being of the occupants. Water that penetrates the roof covering can be destructive to the structure and foster conditions that can be harmful to your health.
Now, if you are not steady on your feet or comfortable with heights then walking on the roof should not be attempted. This should only be left for the professionals. It is also important to know that some roof coverings can be damaged from foot traffic therefore walking on these roofs should be avoided. Many times you can see portions of the roof covering from the ground; however, viewing the roof covering from the ground only will only give you a general idea of its condition.
You will want to identify the type of roof covering that is visible. This is important because some materials are more desirable than others. Some materials simply last much longer than others. For example, slate roof coverings life range is between 50 and 100 years, sheet metal life range is 20 to 50+ years, and asphalt and wood shingles range is 15 to 30 years. Quality of the roof materials vary greatly and have a lot to do with how well they will hold up, as does the roof design, installation techniques and climate.
You will want to be on the look out for suspect conditions on the roof covering, such as components that are missing, damaged, displaced, worn, cracked, crumbing, etc…
Some roofs have multiple roof coverings. This is because the concealed roof covering was at the end of its useful life and instead of removing it completely down to the wood decking the installers simply nailed a new roof directly over the worn out roof. Today’s rehabilitation standards allow this under certain conditions. It is important to know however, that the life expectancy of the top layer, of multiple layers, is diminished and that the roof structure may be compromised because of the added weight.
Some roof covering products allegedly fail prematurely and settlements have been approved, these products include, Masonite Woodruf 1980-1999, Hardishake-slate-shingle 1989-2001, American Cemwood until 1998 and Pabco HO-25 and Pabco HZ-25 asphalt shingles.
You will also want to look as best as you can at as many of the penetrations through the roof as possible. These penetrations are plumbing vents, chimneys, skylights and venting systems. Also, take the time to look at roof to wall intersections and valleys. All of these penetrations and intersections should have visible flashing that is intact, in good condition and without gobs of roof mastic or caulking. All roof penetrations and intersections can be a source for moisture entry.
Interested in more articles by Chip Roberson?
Click Here to Read About:
Electrical Systems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



    If you’re planning to buy a home in this area, the best place to start is with the Leavenworth Home Buyer’s Guide.

  • Categories

  • Archives

Compare Listings