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Gazett-Mail Real Estate - Articles

Wednesday January 15, 2014

Inspections Can Spot Early Roofing Problems

By S.E. Slack

Keeping a safe roof over your head isn’t always easy. Homeowners in windswept Oklahoma City often find themselves victims of hail damage, those in Los Angeles can discover a minor earthquake has separated shingles or eaves and, locally, ice dams can cause extensive damage to even the newest of roofs. Inspecting your roof every six months or so – and right after any major storm – can help you keep losses to a minimum.

Allstate Insurance states that you shouldn’t work on your roof without proper training. It recommends you find a roofer you trust and hire them to perform the inspections regularly. Many will perform inspections for free in the hopes you’ll call them back when repairs are needed.

A thorough inspection can find bent flashing – the metal pieces that cover shingle edges and curves in the roof. When flashing is bent, water can slowly make its way under your shingles and into the wood and insulation in your attic. That can create rot, mold and other potentially expensive damage.

Inspectors will also look for excessive amounts of asphalt grains or pieces in your gutters. While some amount of this is normal, too much can mean that your shingles are wearing out and should be replaced. It also can occur during extreme weather, shortening the life of your roof.

Wooden or shake shingles can warp or become rotted, which can require replacement. If you catch the issue every few months, individual pieces or small sections of roof can be repaired without emptying your wallet. New wood shingles will weather quickly to blend in with older shingles.

Ask the inspector about overhangs and eaves, too. Sometimes water damage can be spotted in those locations when it’s not apparent from the rooftop.

Don’t be afraid to ask the inspector to take photos of the roof so you can understand what inspector is talking about. Photos can also help confirm the damage being reported.

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