Inspecting a Roof

Mar 24, 2020 | Homeowner's roof questions

roof inspectorWhether you have obvious roof leaks coming into the interior of your phone, or you don’t, it is important to have an inspection done on your roof.

The key is to have routine inspections on the roof before any potential interior damage occurs!

Many times, homeowners wait until they see damage coming into the inside of their home, but the truth is, that you can prevent interior damage by having a knowledgeable contractor complete a quick five- or ten-minute inspection. Many contractors recommend having someone qualified inspect your roof every three years. A significant number of roofing contractors offer free roof inspections, so it is beneficial and in your best interest as a homeowner to have it done at least once a year. Colorado is a hail capital, so it is definitely important as Colorado homeowners to have a local, Colorado roofer out to inspect!

Safety First

The first step in the initial roof inspection is to be safe. You want to be sure when climbing onto a ladder that it is secured and tied off. Most people will tie their ladder off using a bungee cord. This is okay! One of the next initial things when inspecting a roof is verifying the shingle thickness. Different shingles have different thicknesses. For example, presidential shingles are much thicker than your typical architectural shingle. During your initial inspection you want to verify or confirm the type of underlayment that was installed previously and whether there was drip edge during the prior installation process. Some of these items might not seem important, but insurance companies pay different dollar amounts and pay for additional items that were not previously installed on the roof that might not have been code requirements at the time of the previous install, but now are required on present day installations. These are key factors in a proper roof install!

Synthetic Underlayment Versus Felt

Many Colorado Springs roofers nowadays use what is called synthetic underlayment compared to prior days when many roofers would install a 15lb felt paper. Felt paper tends to disintegrate over time and doesn’t necessarily shed water as synthetic underlayment. Synthetic is often compared to that material of a tarp. During an initial inspection, you want to be sure to also inspect pipe jacks and additional roofing accessories. The seal around pipe jacks or other accessories such as skylights or ventilation systems are many times the cause of leaks.

Hail Hits Per Area

Different insurance companies require a different number of hail hits per square. Here at Integrity Roofing and Painting, LLC we like to see ten hail hits in a 10×10 square area. We measure a 10×10 section on a roof and look for the recommended number of hail hits based on the insurance company of that property. Some insurance companies look for a minimum of eight hail hits, other insurance companies look for up to twelve hits per square. Normally you can tell how large the hail was that you’re dealing with by examining the hail hits on a roof.

Before the Insurance Claim

Before filing an insurance claim, you need to know the difference between cosmetic and functional damage. According to HAAG Engineering, functional damage is defined as a reduction in the water-shedding capability or expected service life. Cosmetic damage is exactly what it sounds like! It is damage that does not affect the water-shedding capability or life expectancy of a roof. While it doesn’t look the greatest, it is still a functional roofing system.

What are Mid-Roof Inspections?

During the roofing installation process, it is important for a contractor to be completing what we refer to as a mid-roof inspection. Mid roof inspections are a key factor in the installation process to ensure that every component is being installed properly and installed to code and manufacturer’s requirements. By inspecting mid-way through you avoid any potential issues that might require you to backtrack which could result in excess time and funds.

In certain counties, mid-roof inspections are required by the local building department by one of their building inspectors. Pikes Peak Regional Building Department jurisdiction includes roofing Colorado Springs and does not require a mid-roof inspection on architectural shingle roofing systems. A few counties in the area that do require mid-roof inspections include, Castle Rock, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Golden, Greenwood Village, Jefferson, Littleton, Lone Tree and Teller County. To find out if a mid-roof inspection is required in your area, please check your local building department’s website or give them a call.

Normally when a mid-roof inspection is required or when scheduling the final inspection with some building departments, contractors are required to leave a ladder set up at the property as many inspectors will not or are not allowed to set up their own ladders. Colorado roofing Contractors would prefer to not leave ladders set up for liability issues and potential danger, but most times contractors do not have the option.

Final Roof Inspections

Final roof inspections are a very important step in the finalization of a roof install. There are a few things to look for as a contractor or even as a homeowner. One thing to be sure of is the roofer installs at least the minimum amount of nails for code. Nails are sometimes under-driven. Under-driven nails can cause shingles to stick up because the nail is not flush to the roof, so you want to be sure your shingles are laying flat.

Please note that shingles freshly installed on a roof can sometimes look wavy, and that is because it does take days to weeks of warm weather to heat up the asphalt on the underlaying side of the shingles.

This is normal!

Take notice to the rakes and eaves on the roof. Be sure that the installer installed what is called the starter shingle. The starter shingle is utilized to waterproof those rakes and eaves. They give your roof a little extra protection. Last but not least, one last thing to check for after a roof replacement is that the starter and the shingles are nailed tightly to the rake. Be sure if you do find anything installed improperly that you contact your contractor or that the contractor takes the steps to fix these items. Small mistakes can be costly, and you want to be sure your roof was installed with Integrity!

Integrity Roofing and Painting has been roofing Colorado Springs for more than a decade.