Quality Roof Inspections - FREE
Your homes roof is arguably the most important component of the building envelope. The roof, siding and windows are all you have for protection against wind and rain. But nobody really thinks about the condition of their roof. That is, until the day it sprouts a leak. The day a roof leak appears is the same day all homeowners start worrying about the condition of their roof. So here is the thing, deterioration of building products, including those used on the roof, is an exponential process. Exponential meaning the deterioration happens more rapidly over time. A roof leak that takes the first ten years to occur can happen again in only an additional 5 years. Maybe only one year for the next new roof leak to appear after that.
Schedule Your Free Inspection Now
Roof Inspections for Preventive Maintenance
So, how do you protect yourself? Simple! Get a roof inspections on a regular basis and do some simple things. Keep your valleys and gutters clean. Caulk and repair stucco around roof penetrations. Check boots and keep them clean and sealed. You know the old saying; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it all starts and is as easy as a free roof inspection.
FREE Roof Inspections By Preventive Maintenance
Our company was founded on preventive Maintenance. Hence the name Preventive Maintenance Support Services. Originally, we based our inspections on the Army Crops of Engineers "Roofer" protocols. The goal of the Army's program was to accurately asses a roofs condition and remaining service life, independent of who made the inspection. To establish the corrective repairs needed to enhance a roofs performance and achieve its maximum longevity. This was an ambitious goal and they did it. One can compare the repair price to a replacement cost and accurately determine the benefit of repairs versus replacement. When you have an inventory of roofs as large as the Army has it's a big deal. But it works just as well for homeowners.
While we may not be able to apply the Roofer program for your home roof, we can us the same principles. Understanding the Army's program gives our roof inspector valuable incites to understand your roofs needs. And the benefit is helping you stay ahead of the cost curve. Stopping small problems from become monsters.
How often should I have my Roof Inspected?
Its a good question. Remember what I said earlier about deterioration being exponential in nature. From a math perspective, inspections are needed more frequently as the roofing system get older. But from a practical perspective a roof should be inspected at least twice a year. You should have your roof inspected once each year before hurricane season. Just to check and see if you have things like cracked and loose tiles or curling shingles. Flashings and pipe boots need to be checked. Anything out of the ordinary should be checked and sealed. You should also have your roof inspected after hurricane season. This to take care of any damage you can't see from the ground. Using this kind of proactive support you can keep your biggest investment in great shape and keep maintenance costs down.
Chimneys and Roof Inspections
Believe it or not, there are a lot of chimneys in Florida. Most homeowners only us them in the first year or so of the purchase of a home. And then they forget about them. Some pictures on the fireplace mantel and nick nacks on the hearth. That's about it for the chimney and fireplace. But there is much more going on that needs to be inspected and maintained. Fire box dampers have a nasty habit of rusting open or closed. Chimney caps and spark arrestors leak. The flashing at the roof line frequently leaks. The biggest offender is the siding or stucco on the chimney frame. Hair line cracks can open allowing water in to cause destructive damage. If they are left unattended, repair costs can get big. Our Free roof inspection also includes inspecting your chimney, if you have one.
Our Inspection Protocols
Let's look at what is needed in order to make an objective inspection, independent of the inspector. It's a tall order and obviously very important. Without objectivity one can not trust the result. The first thing we have to do is define the individual components of a roofing system. The second is to define specific defects of the roofing components. And finally we need to assess the severity level of each specific roofing defect. We will first look at residential roof inspections and the flat roof and commercial roof inspections (since most commercial roofs are flat).
Residential Roof Inspections
Most residential roofs are comprised of either asphalt shingle or concrete or clay tile. We can skip metal roofing inspections because they represent such a small number in the inventory. All roofs have three systems. The flashing system, field and insulation systems.
Roofing Field System
The roofing field is the water proofing membrane used over the majority of the roof. In the case of a shingle roof, the field is the area of roof covered by the asphalt shingles. The shingle field has a layer of asphalt rolled roofing under the shingles. But the shingles themselves keep out the water. Tile roof field systems have rolled roofing under the tiles. It is a "secondary water barrier". Water that penetrates the tile is prevented from entering the building by this layer. There is a redundancy.
Roof Flashing System
Roof flashing systems are the components used to tie-in obstructions in the field. Things like the base of a chimney, a change in roof plain, roof penetrations, the edge of a roof and walls. Flashings are usually made of sheet metal or lead. Sometimes stucco is used around pluming stack. Flashings have names like Stucco stop, "L" flashing, drip edge and lead stacks.
Roofing Insulation System
Most residential roofing systems don't have insulation. They have attic insulation. But in some case like exposed tong and groove ceilings they will. Poly isocyanurate insulation is the most common. It could also be wood fiber board or perlite. These roof insulation's are beneath the waterproofing membrane and can not be inspected.
Inspecting Roofing System Components for Specific Defects
Specific defects are problems that develop for common reasons. Specific flashing defects are things like missing fasteners, rust or just missing where they are needed. Also problems like punctures pipe boots and improper overlapping. Field defects are broken or missing tiles, curling shingles, holes or tears in shingles and undelayment issues.
Assessing Roofing Specific Defects for Severity Levels.
Severity levels are grouped by high, medium or low. Low level roofing defects require maintenance only and are not allowing water to penetrate. Low level defects are things like missing caulking on flashings, missing surfacing on shingles and dislodged roof tiles. Medium level roofing defects are also not leaking, but if not remedied quickly will. There are things like tears in shingles, dislodged flashings and cracked or missing roofing tiles. High level roofing deficiencies are any problems that are currently leaking. High level require immediate repair in order to mitigate interior damage.
Flat Roof and Commercial Roof Inspections
Flat Roofing systems are usually asphalt and modified bitumen or Single-ply TPO. There are others like Spray Foam and Silicone coatings, but they represent a very small percentage. Asphalt roofs have defects like blisters, ridges and fish mouths. Single-ply has fish mouths, cold welds and punctures. The severity levels are measured in the same way as those on residential roofs. The insulation systems are different from their residential counter part. These systems can be inspected. Moisture levels trapped in insulation, resulting from roof leaks, can be measured. Insulation inspection techniques use measuring devices such as capacative, infrared and nuclear. A discussion of how these different methods work is beyond the scope of this article. The severity levels are measured by the percent of water found by weight and the percent affected by square footage.
If you have taken the time to weed though the above, you can now see how the protocols avoid subjective results. This is a significant improvement for the accuracy of a roof inspection. It takes any bias out. You can be assured there is no agenda. No sneaking in costs or work simply for the benefit of the contractor providing the report.