As it starts to warm up and dry out here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a good time to think about scheduling an ‘end of winter’ roof inspection and creating a maintenance plan.
Why an ‘end of winter’ inspection?
Heavy rains, strong winds, snow, and cold wreak havoc on roofs. An inspection as winter winds down will either provide peace-of-mind that all is well or it will uncover problems before they get worse. An inspection done sooner than later allows time to get repairs done on the homeowner’s schedule and budget. The inspection will also determine what maintenance is or will be needed so they can be factored in to the budget and scheduling.
Getting the inspection
Find a qualified, licensed and bonded professional. While it can be done yourself, there is a safety risk (falling off the roof or ladder) and a professional is more likely to see issues a homeowner could overlook. A professional will also be able to make recommendations to help prioritize repairs and maintenance needed. Saving your time mitigates the cost of an inspection.
Do your research! Beyond their ‘credentials’, check their reputation and experience with a bit of your own research. Find out if there are reports of problems and what others who have used them in the past think. Avoid the temptation to hire any contractor going door to door offering a great ‘deal’ or using scare tactics.
Skip the drone. Drones have some advantages over humans but they aren’t perfect. There is no substitute for ‘walking a roof’. Walking a roof helps us feel for soft spots or other issues which indicate a serious problem, yet would not likely be visible to a drone.
Create a plan
Some items identified during your inspection will need immediate attention. Others can be scheduled out. Some things to plan for if they haven’t be recently addressed in conjunction with potential repairs:
- Ventilation. A lack of adequate ventilation is a serious problem in winter resulting in condensation buildup. In summer, it can lead to heat buildup. Excess heat and moisture in the attic can lead to a shorter life for roof shingles, and can cause rot damage to roof sheathing and structural members ~ HVI
- Insulation. Beyond good airflow, proper insulation is critical for the health of your roof. While a more serious concern in the winter months, taking it into account now (adding more or correcting previous installation) will help with reducing cooling bills and make for a more comfortable home this summer.
- Cleaning moss and algae. Depending on previous maintenance done, you may be able to skip it, but your inspection will tell you for sure.
- Gutters. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear – especially if you are surrounded by trees – any time work is done on your roof. Now is a great time to check the fascia boards for water damage as well.
Enjoying the nicer weather
Having a post-winter roof inspection is more important if you did not have an inspection prior to the start of winter. Creating a plan for any necessary repairs and maintenance now will ensure your roof continues to be problem free for years to come (and extend its life).
Contact us to set up your regularly scheduled inspection and maintenance program.