Visual inspections can be conducted by building maintenance personnel. More specialized, extensive, or urgent repair work should be contracted to roofing professionals.
A roofing contractor can check the condition of shingles and flashing. Roofers Colorado Springs also examine the rubber boots and seals around vent pipes for signs of deterioration or leakage.
Inspect The Flashings
A roof’s flashings are vital to keeping water away from vulnerable areas of the roof. However, over time they can develop cracks, corrode, and lose their sealant. This is why it’s important to regularly inspect the flashings. Inspecting the flashings during roofing maintenance can help prevent leaks and prolong the life of the roof.
A professional can determine the condition of a roof through a visual inspection from the ground and also by getting on the roof itself. They will look for signs of water penetration through the fascia and drip edges. They will also check that all gutters are firmly attached and functioning properly. They will also examine the soffit and fascia boards for rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of the roof.
In the case of built-up or tar and gravel roofs, they will look for blisters, cracks, or areas where the top layer of the membrane is worn away, which can indicate moisture trapped between layers and lead to a leaky roof. They will also inspect the flashing around vents and pipes to ensure that they are intact and correctly sealed. For single-ply membrane roofs, they will examine the membrane for punctures, tears, or areas of shrinkage. They will also look for cracked or deteriorated caulking around penetrations.
If shingles are missing, cracked, or curling, they should be replaced as soon as possible to keep water from seeping into the home. The inspector will also check the eaves and soffit for rotting, which can be a sign of water intrusion through the attic. They will also examine the ridge vents to make sure they are open and unobstructed, as obstructions can cause condensation that will damage the plywood decking.
They will also check the shingle alignment, as poorly aligned shingles can cause water to get under them and enter the home. Finally, they will look for any bare spots on the roof, as well as rust on the flashings and ridge vents. The inspector may recommend a roof replacement if they see these issues or any other problems.
Inspect The Joints And Seals
Roofing inspections look for all sorts of issues that could compromise your home’s structure and lead to leaks, mold, and mildew. They will look at the shingles, the flashing, and the roof membrane for damage or wear and tear. They will also go into your attic to inspect for moisture and insulation problems. If they are doing a comprehensive inspection, they will also check for extra features on your roof like chimneys and skylights to make sure those are in good condition as well.
If you have a metal roof, they will check for any gaps or areas where the flashing has separated from the roof. They will also check for any rust or corrosion that has occurred. In some cases, they will remove the flashing to look for any areas where it is leaking. They will also examine the caulking and the expansion joints for any cracks or deterioration.
They will look at all the penetration seals that are around vent pipes, roof vents, and media installations to see if they are still in place and intact. They will also look at any other seals that are around drains or cornices to make sure they are in good condition as well. If the inspector notices any deterioration, they will need to repair these to ensure the integrity of the roof.
Another important part of a complete roof maintenance inspection is looking at interior damage in the form of water stains, mold, mildew, and rot. If these things are spotted, they need to be addressed promptly to stop the leaks and prevent further damage.
In addition to these major issues, the inspector will also check for housekeeping items like clearing blocked gutters and downspouts so that water can drain properly from the roof. They will also check the integrity of the shingle aggregate and any rubber boots or seals that are around roof penetrations such as the vent pipes to see if they need to be replaced or if they are leaking. They will also look for any moss that has been growing on the shingles and remove it as needed.
Inspect The Metal And Rubber Flashings
The flashing is a vital part of the roof system that protects vulnerable areas such as chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, and valleys. It should be inspected for signs of damage and wear. It is also important to check for gaps that could allow water to leak into the building. In addition, the flashing should be inspected to ensure that it is properly positioned and caulked. If a flashing is damaged or missing, it should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
Flashing is typically made from metal, such as galvanized steel or copper. However, it is sometimes covered with a rubber membrane to provide additional protection and sealants. It is often shaped to fit around chimneys, roof vents, and other penetrations. A professional inspector will examine the condition of the flashing and any penetration seals to make sure that they are in good shape.
In some cases, flashing can be installed to provide waterproofing in areas where the roof surface meets a vertical wall or structure, such as equipment curbs, penthouses, and window wells. These areas are often prone to physical damage from equipment or foot traffic and can suffer from accelerated deterioration due to weather exposure. In addition, they are usually located in hard-to-reach places that are difficult for most people to access.
A professional inspection can also check for the condition of the gutters and downspouts, as well as the integrity of any shingles. They can also inspect for the presence of moss or algae, which can indicate moisture problems beneath the shingles.
If the inspection reveals problems that can be addressed easily, such as debris in the gutters, excess granules in the gutters, or loose caulking around dormers or skylights, then it may be best to schedule a professional repair. However, if the inspector notices cracking or leaking at the chimney, flashing, or roof joints, it is time to call a professional.
A comprehensive inspection should take place at least once a year. It is a good idea to perform the inspection during a different season each time, as each type of weather can cause its own set of problems. For example, hot, humid weather can lead to excessive sun damage, while the cold winter months can cause ice damage and snow-related leaks.
Inspect The Caulk
While it may seem like a minor detail, caulking is very important when performing roofing maintenance. If a roof is properly sealed with caulking it will protect the entire structure from moisture. Moisture penetration is one of the most common causes of deterioration of the roof and can lead to leaks, mold, and even structural damage. It is essential to check the caulking regularly and re-caulk as needed.
When it comes to caulking, it is usually a pass-or-fail inspection. If it is cracked or separated from the surface it is meant to seal then it has failed and should be replaced. To test the caulking, gently pull away at it with your fingernail. If the caulking comes off easily, it is time to re-caulk.
It is also a good idea to check the caulking inside and around windows and doors as well. These areas can experience a lot of moisture infiltration through the cracks and gaps that are left by older caulking. Moisture infiltration through these areas will often be absorbed into the walls of the house and won’t show up until it has had enough time to cause damage to the materials within the home.
Caulking is an easy and relatively inexpensive repair to perform and is an important part of overall roof maintenance. Adding a caulking inspection to your list of maintenance tasks can help save money on energy bills and prevent costly repairs down the road.
Many facility managers don’t have a problem getting up on the roof to perform a visual inspection but if you are squeamish about heights it is a good idea to hire a professional to inspect the roof for any signs of deterioration. Small defects that are addressed right away can save thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.