An inspection of the roof system is both one of the most crucial areas of home inspection and one of the biggest concerns to a prospective home buyer. Below are the four components a home inspector examines and a brief overview of what the inspector looks for:
ROOF COVERINGS- Look for hail damage in the form of “pot” marks with granular damage. Exposed nail heads, “popped” nail heads, and shingles that shows signs of cracking and deterioration. Tree limbs that are in contact with the roof covering need to be trimmed. Finally, pay close attention to how many roof covering layers there are.
FLASHINGS– Look to see if counter flashing has been notched into mortar joints of chimney. The vent piping should have a rubber boot and jack flashing, and pay special attention to previous repairs with roofing mastic. Loose/damaged flashings need to be repaired/replaced, and kick flashing should be installed to redirect water away from the siding and into the gutters.
ROOF PENETRATIONS– Make sure vent piping is a minimum of 6″ in height (snow buildup). Cloudy skylights most likely have seals that have failed. Pay close attention to the condition of the chimney’s mortar joints, cement chimney cap, and rain cap (if present). When possible, try to examine the condition of the chimney flue and/or the combustion by-product vent piping (gas-fired furnace/water heater).
ROOF DRAINAGE SYSTEMS– Drainage systems are extremely important to the overall health of the home. Downspouts should extend a minimum of 4-6′ from the foundation. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year Spring/Fall and examined during a rainstorm to determine if they are performing their intended function. Although gutters and downspouts are not required, keeping water away from the house will prolong the life of the foundation and other important structural components.