Checkup for the Roof

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Fax - 406-656-0080
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Maintenance Checklist

 

 

 

  • Roofing and Surface Water Control

Roof and surface water must be controlled to maintain a dry basement.  This means keeping gutters cleaned out and aligned, extending downspouts, installing splash blocks, and building up the grade so that roof and surface water is diverted away.

Inspect the roof, chimneys, etc. from the ground with binoculars or from a ladder against the eaves.  Do not get on the roof if the pitch or weather conditions present a safety hazard.  If you spot problem areas, it is recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the situation.

Roof covering should be visually checked in spring and fall for any visible missing shingles, damaged coverings, moss buildup, nail pops, or other defects.  Before re-roofing, the underside of the roof structure and roof sheathing should be inspected to determine that the roof structure can support the additional weight of the shingles and that the roof sheathing is in good condition.

Trim back any tree branches that overhang the house.  This will prevent branches from rubbing against the roof during heavy winds or ice buildup.  This will also allow sun to get at the roof, preventing mildew and moss from attacking and damaging the shingles.  There are zinc products on the market that will provide a deterrent to moss.

Wood shakes and shingles will vary in aging, due to the quality of the material, installation, maintenance, and surrounding shade trees.  Ventilation and drying of the wood material is critical in extending the life expectancy of the wood.  Commercial preservatives are available that can be applied to wood to impede deterioration.

Tile and slate roofs should be inspected occasionally to determine if any are missing or cracked.  A roofer who specializes in this type of roof should be contacted.  Do not walk on this type of roof.

Look for problems such as damage around a masonry chimney, particularly at mortar joints, caps, and flashings.  All roof penetrations such as skylights, plumbing vents, and bath vents should be checked from the roof top.  Check the interior of the roof for any evidence of leaks around each penetration.

Blocked gutters and downspouts are a major cause of paint failure and decay of fascia, soffits, and the roof's outer edge.  When gutters and downspouts become clogged, overflowing water finds its way to joints in fascia and soffits.  Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and the fall.  Look for leaks at seams, corners, end caps, etc.  Galvanized gutters rust from the inside out, and painting the inside of the gutter may extend its life.  Factory primed or painted gutters are recommended.  Aluminum gutters hold paint well and do not rust.  Downspouts need to be properly supported and cleaned, along with the gutters.  Downspout extensions should be properly attached (screwed or pop riveted) and extend four feet or more from the property.

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National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc.