What Happens in a Roof Inspection

To determine if you need repairs or a whole new roof, the first thing a roofer will do is complete an inspection. But what is the roofer looking for? Following is a list of items that experts look for when they inspect your roof.


Missing or broken shingles

Asphalt shingles are found on 80% of residential roofs in the United States. As asphalt shingles age, direct sunlight and temperature extremes cause them to become brittle. This can cause them to crack and break; wind can tear pieces or even whole shingles off the roof.


Moss, mildew, or mold

Moss, mildew, and mold create ugly patches on your roof. These growths also are damaging to the shingles and underlayment. All three need moisture to thrive, and all three hold that moisture. As moss, mildew, and mold grow, they create raised masses that can hinder water runoff. This causes even more moisture to be trapped on the surface of your roof, which means more moss, mildew, and mold growth. It’s a vicious circle that can destroy your shingles.


Ventilation problems

Roof vents help air to flow through attic spaces, moving warm, moist air out while letting cool, dry air in. Poor ventilation allows hot air from inside your home to heat the roof deck, which can make shingles brittle and cause curling. For homes in regions with snow and ice, a poorly vented attic can cause ice dams in gutters. Ice dams can cause moisture to get underneath shingles where it can start to rot the roof deck.


Ripples, blisters or buckles

Ripples, blisters, buckles, or physical changes can signal a variety of roof problems, including old shingles, inadequate ventilation, improper installation, damaged sheathing, multiple layers of shingles, and wet underlayment.

Shingles go through a natural aging process where some physical changes may begin to appear (just like wrinkles on our skin). When these changes become obvious from a roof inspection done on the ground, you may need a roof replacement. An old and deteriorating roof means a vulnerable roof deck. A damaged roof deck makes for a very expensive roof replacement.


Multiple layers of shingles

If a home has multiple layers of shingles, odds are good that there is roof damage – even if you can’t see it yet. When a roof has more than one layer of shingles, the roof won’t ventilate properly. Heat and moisture can be retained beneath the shingles. In addition, the new shingles can conform to the older shingles beneath them and follow any humps or low spots. As water flows down the roof, this unevenness can create areas of increased friction, which results in premature failure of the new roof over those areas.


No drip edge 

Drip edge is a type of flashing at the edges of your roof. Flashing is installed underneath the shingles as a way to protect the wooden fascia from water runoff or wind-driven rain. A roof without drip edge, or with improperly installed drip edge, may have rotten or rotting fascia because of penetrating water. If shingles at the edges of the roof are starting to curl, it could be due to moisture.


Interior leaks

If there are visible leaks inside your home, then roof repair or replacement is critical. An interior leak means that water has penetrated all roofing materials, and you can be sure that there is damage to the shingles and possibly the existing decking. When a roof leak is not repaired, water has the opportunity to damage joists and trusses, meaning costly repairs in addition to the cost of a roof replacement.


Action after the roof inspection

If you’ve noticed problems with any of these factors but haven’t called a roofer for a more detailed evaluation, it’s time to pick up the phone. Severely aged roofs often show more than one of these symptoms, and the clock may be ticking on the life of your roof deck.


Ready to replace your roof?

When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Also see how you can perform an interior roof check.

Roofing Terms Made Simple

Are you in the market for a new roof? Unless you’re in the roofing business, prepare to hear a lot of unfamiliar roofing terms. Understanding these terms before you jump into a conversation with a contractor will make you feel a lot better when you decide to sign that contract. Below is an introduction to common roofing terms.


Roofing Styles

 By knowing what type of roof you have, you will be able to understand your roofer’s recommendations and the re-roofing process that best suits your home.

A gable roof has two sloping sides and a gable at each end. A gable is the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches.

A hip roof is a type where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. It has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.

A shed roof refers to a roof that slopes in a single direction and has no hips, ridges, or valleys.

Hip and gable are the two most common roof styles. Some roofs have just one of these styles, while others have several different style elements combined.


Parts of a Roof

Decking is the foundation of your roof. The deck is the base that rests against the rafters of your attic to support the weight of the roofing materials. Most decking is made from plywood. 

Eaves are the edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls of the house.

Gutters are placed at the edges of eaves. 

Soffits are the underside of eaves.

Ridges are the highest points on the roof where two rooflines intersect. Special shingles are used at roof ridges. Ridge vents should be installed at ridges to allow hot air to escape attic spaces.

Valleys are the low angles formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces. They are one of the first places where water will penetrate in a failing roof. Your roofing contractor will probably recommend installing special underlayment and flashing materials that you won’t see on other parts of the roof.

Ventilation is critical to the longevity of your roof. Ventilation is the flow of air through your attic space. This airflow allows moist, hot air to escape, keeping your roof deck cooler and your home more comfortable.


Roofing Materials

Underlayment is the base layer of your roof that can be found between the roof deck and the shingles. Made of asphalt and a fibrous mat (usually fiberglass or felt), underlayment can be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the type and quality.

Shingles are the visible roofing material that is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Shingles block UV rays from the sun and prevent water from leaking into your home.

There are many different types of shingle materials, including metal, tile, and slate.

Flashing is a corrosion-resistant metal strip that is installed at roof edges and seams. It prevents the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and joints.


Ready to replace your roof?

When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about the best roofing materials for your home.