(850) 852-1068
driveway of ranch style house

Handy Roof Inspection Checklist for New Homeowners

October 11, 2023 // 6-minutes read

Here are two things you probably didn’t know. The first is that the average roof lasts for over two decades. The second is that approximately 40% of homeowners stay in their residences for six to ten years.

These statistics seem unconnected, but there is a common thread. You don’t want to worry about roof problems when you’ve moved into your new house.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if the original owners kept up with roof maintenance.

But don’t worrya roof inspection checklist can mitigate fears about your roof collapsing during whatever annual celebration. In all seriousness, a damaged roof can be problematic. Your home is at risk for:

  • Slip hazards💧
  • Fire hazards🔥
  • Energy inefficiency⚡

Keep on reading! Below is a helpful roof inspection checklist to help you figure out if your new home is safe from harm.

Internal Roof Inspection Checklist

view of internal roof

Signs of roof problems may not show externally. Many symptoms of poor roof care will manifest on your walls and ceiling.

One potential sign your roof needs repair is dark circles and stains. These water spots are either yellow-green or brownish. Water stains are where water flows and accumulates behind your walls and ceiling.

Remember, water stains are a potential sign you need roof maintenance. The leak may have a different source, such as a leaky appliance or burst pipe.

Part of your roof inspection should include searching for moldy areas. Mold loves damp, wet places; prioritize the locations during your examination. Check your attic, ceiling, and walls for a fungal outbreak.

Moldy spots indicate water is seeping inside from the roof decking the flat surface your shingles lay atop. Here are a few more clues you need roof care:

  • Buckling floors
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Drooping drywall
  • Clogged or damaged roof ventilation
  • A hole in the roof
  • Leaky skylight

Here’s a general rule to remember. You may have roofing issues if there are signs of water damage but no leaking pipes or appliances.

External Roofing Inspection

The second part of your roof inspection is checking the structure from the ground and up top. An external assessment involves walking around your house and onto the roof and looking for signs of damage.

Here’s a quick list of what you’re looking over at this stage:

  • Shingles and moss
  • Excess debris
  • Eaves and soffits
  • Bent, clogged, or missing gutters
  • Sagging roofline
  • Damaged seals and flashing
  • Animal invasion and chimney damage

Shingles and Moss

new roofing shingles and pipes on roof

First, check if your shingles are in working condition. There are six types of shingle damage you should inspect for:

  • Missing shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Loose shingles
  • Curled shingles:
  • Flapping shingles
  • Shingles missing granules

The uppermost layer of your new house serves as a watertight barrier to protect it from structural harm. If water gets into the decking and underlying structure, it won’t be long until it affects the rest of your home.

Watch out for moss, also. Moss comes from organic debris, like leaves, and excess moisture. Moss enjoys shade, so shadowy roofs are prone to sprouting springy, carpet-like plants.

Your shingles don’t care for moss, so you must remove the growth. It removes the protective oil layer and is prone to burrowing under the shingle layer.

Excess Debris

Too many leaves, sticks, and other detritus doesn’t sound that bad. You would be incorrect in that assumption. The more debris you have on your roof, the harder it is for water to drain.

Rain and snow get caught and absorbed by the organic material and will degrade your roof. Too much liquid weight can also add extra weight to the top of your home.

Eaves and Soffits

What are eaves and soffits, and why does it matter if they’re damaged? Eaves are the parts of your roof that jut off past the sides of your house. They keep water away from the foundation.

Soffits are materials (like wood or aluminum) applied to the underside of the eaves. Soffits serve two purposes: they provide ventilation for your attic and protect the bottom of your eaves.

Too much water around your foundation can cause structural issues. Your eaves mitigate this. A poorly ventilated attic may suffer moisture accumulation, which can also cause roofing damage.

Bent, Clogged, or Missing Gutters

Roofing damage won’t always look like a giant hole and may not harm the roof itself. Damaged gutters are a perfect example of how poor roof care can ruin other parts of your home.

Gutter issues also contribute to roof degradation, weight concerns, and foundation problems. Clogged gutters don’t allow water to drain and may cause pooling.

Damaged or missing gutters can’t carry water away from your home. The liquid will pool near your house’s foundation, forming cracks and leaks.

Sagging Roofline

Sagging is a definite sign you need roof maintenance. It’ll often manifest as a dip toward the middle of the structure. Your saggy roof can come from numerous things:

  • Water damage: moisture rotting the sheathing
  • Undersized components: rafters and internal bracings are too small
  • Old age: age causes material degradation
  • Too much weight: accumulation of water or snow

Repairing a sagging roof is often an involved process. Contractors have to go underneath the shingles and decking to make repairs.

Damaged Seals and Flashing

worker sealing damaged roofing materials

Roof seals are adhesive materials that keep the elements out of your house. They coat vents, chimneys, and flashing. Flashing is a thin (often metal) barrier used to seal joints and seams.

For example, you would see flashing around a skylight or chimney. Both keep water and the rest of nature from infiltrating your home.

Damage to either of these components can mean anything from water damage to energy inefficiency. You know you need roof care when it lets water in and cold and warm air out.

Animal Invasion and Chimney Damage

Birds are not your roof’s friends. Their poop is acidic enough to eat through your roofing materials with enough time. Rats are also an issue. They can chew through your soffits and enter your house.

Keep an eye out for chimney damage, too. Spalling (moisture-damaged) bricks and damaged motor joints are indications of chimney impairment.

Do You Have Roof Problems?

If your house’s crown has issues, we hope our roof inspection checklist delivers solutions. Handling your roof inspection solo is fine, but leave the repairs to the professionals.

Roof maintenance can be a tedious, messy jobbut that’s what Buckworth Roofing is for! Contact us to get the right people to handle all your roof care needs. We offer 27/4 pricing estimates via our online tool.

Quicker Service. Bigger Discounts. Fewer Hassles. Buckworth.

Share to...