For the next few months I will focus on the key systems in the home and the potential defects in each of those systems that are most commonly found in an inspection that need correcting. The goal of this series is to help sellers, realtors, buyers and current owners keep the home in its peak operating condition.
The key systems are Roofing, Exterior, Garage, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Structural, Insulation/Attic and Interior. So let’s go in order and start with Roofing.
Here is a list of the most commonly found defects in a roofing system that need repairs/replacement. Keeping up on these will keep your home’s value and lifespan at its highest.
Deterioration over time, especially with asphalt shingles. They can dry, crack and blister, coming loose from the surface or actually falling off the roof. Once this happens there is little to protect the sheathing underneath and the roof is exposed to further damage from the elements.
Lifted/Torn/Cracked shingles or tiles. Telltale signs may be pieces or even entire shingles lying on the ground. This type of damage may appear small but can cause the entire system to fail because now that area is a weak link in the chain so to speak.
Tree limbs or vegetation can rub on a roof, abrading the surface of the roofing and wearing away the protective top layer. Branches can also fall on the roof creating even more serious damage. Tree limbs should be trimmed back away from the roof as much as possible and if a tree is close enough to pose a threat to your home, it should be removed.
A poorly ventilated attic can shorten the life of a roof. If the attic is too warm in summer, the shingles will bake from the underside and become dry and brittle.
Clogged or broken gutters or downspouts defeat the purpose of having gutters. Water can back up and seep into the eaves, eventually causing rot. Check gutters for broken brackets or seams and clean out debris every fall. Add screens to the top of the gutters to keep leaves and twigs out and make your job a lot easier.
Multi-Layered roofing. Roof systems that have a new layer of shingles placed directly over the old layer shortens the lifespan of the new layer because of increased heat. It also creates an issue for the roof structure do to the added weight of two or three full layers of shingles when the system was designed for just one.
Overall a lack of roof maintenance is probably a roof’s worst enemy. Many problems start out as minor, such as the need to remove overhanging tree limbs or cleaning backed up gutters. But when not corrected these problems can create serious damage. Routine inspection and maintenance can extend the life of your roof and that can save you a lot of money.
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