As a homeowner, a high-quality roof is one of the most important investments you can make.

Your roof protects your family and your home’s interior from wind, rain, hail, and unwanted pests. However, a damaged roof can cause inconvenient issues, so it’s vital to solve problems before they turn into expensive emergencies.

The best way to ensure your roof is working as it should is to regularly schedule a professional roof inspection. A high-quality roof inspector should perform a thorough inspection of 11 essential aspects of your roof. Read on to learn what every roofing contractor should check during a roof inspection.

Home inspector standing on a ladder and providing a roof inspection of a house.

When Should You Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection?

Typically, homeowners should schedule a roof inspection every one to three years. Regular inspections will ensure that you aren’t missing any signs of damage that could worsen and cause inconvenient damage to your home. It is also a wise decision to schedule roof inspections after a severe storm hits your area.

Additionally, you should keep your eye out for any noticeable signs of roof damage.

🚨🚨 If you notice any of the following warning signs, contact a roofing contractor right away:

  • Air drafts
  • Water leaks
  • Stains on your ceiling
  • Poor air circulation

A professional roof inspection involves examining both the inside and outside of your roof. Internal roof inspections include examining your ceiling for water stains and checking attic ventilation.

External roof inspections require professionals to climb up onto the roof to examine gutters, shingles, flashing, and more. Be sure to stay on top of scheduling consistent roof inspections to keep your energy bills low and solve problems before they turn into emergencies.

Big water stain on ceiling due to flood that should be checked during roof inspection

What Should Your Contractor Check During Roof Inspections?

Now that you know when to have your roof inspected by a professional roofing company, check out how thorough a roofing inspection should be. Professional inspections should consist of far more than quick checks for obvious damage. Instead, roof inspectors should check the following 11 details:

1. Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are essential components of your roof because they direct rainwater away from your home.

If gutters and downspouts are damaged or clogged, water damage can occur on your:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Walls
  • Landscape

During your inspection, a roofing professional will examine the condition of your gutters and downspouts. They will check for any blocked pathways and clean out any debris that has settled in your gutter. They will also ensure there are no cracks.

If your contractor notices any standing water in your gutter, that might mean the gutter is tilted in the incorrect position. Gutter cleanliness is vital, so if you aren’t comfortable cleaning your home’s gutters, reach out to a trusted roofing contractor for help.

A badly damaged gutter on a house side

2. Integrity of Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice for homeowners across the country. These lightweight materials keep your home protected from all forms of inclement weather. Since shingles take such an intense beating from the elements, it is essential to schedule regular roof inspections so that you can fix any damage before it worsens.

If your shingles were initially installed incorrectly, they won’t last as long as they should. Your roofing contractor will check for misplaced nails that were driven in sideways. Additionally, they will check for prominent signs of shingle damage, such as:

  • Blistering
  • Buckling
  • Cracking
  • Loose shingles
  • Missing shingles

damages shingles on white house

3. Water Leaks

Have you noticed any unsightly water stains on your ceiling? Those stains can be caused by water leaks in your roof. Be sure to let your roofing inspector know that you have a water stain, and they will search for the cause during the inspection.

When your inspector finds the cause of the water leak, they will recommend appropriate repairs. If the water leakage is extensive, you may need a roof replacement.

4. Attic Ventilation

Your attic may be a place for extra storage that you often forget about. However, attic ventilation is an essential component of a healthy roof.

But what does attic ventilation have to do with your roof? Your attic needs to have proper ventilation with adequate insulation. Ventilation pulls fresh air through your attic and consistently allows heat to escape. Without the proper ventilation, your attic will trap cold and hot air, which can dramatically shorten your roof’s longevity.

Poor attic ventilation in the summer causes heat to build up, burning your roof. In winter, poor ventilation causes condensation to collect, creating wavy decking and roofing. Since the consequences of poor attic insulation are so extreme, your roof inspector will prioritize examining your attic during their time.

Air Ventilation Installer Working in Attic after roof inspection

5. Condition of Decking

Roof decking is the flat boards that fill the spaces between the roof’s various structural components.

Decking materials typically consist of:

  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Concrete

However, the most common decking material is wood.

During your roof inspection, your contractor will examine the state of your roof’s decking. Usually, decking can only be surveyed after shingles are torn off. So, your contractor may only inspect your full decking during a roof replacement.

Your roof inspector will check if the decking feels spongy or solid under their feet. They will also examine the nails and ensure they aren’t loose.

Man Examining Rotten roof decking

6. Clear Roof Vents

In addition to attic ventilation, your roof should have vents that encourage airflow throughout your home.

Different types of roof vents can include:

  • Gable
  • Soffit
  • Ridge

During your inspection, your contractor will check for blockages in the vents. Obstructions can restrict airflow, causing your home to feel too hot. Your contractor will clean the vents and remove dust, if necessary. Additionally, if you have a gas stove or other gas appliance, your contractor will inspect the gas vent to ensure it is secured.

close up shot of soffit vent under roofSoffit Vent

7. Roof Protrusions

Roof protrusions are any object that sticks out through your roof. Typically, a hole is drilled into the roof to install a piece of equipment, forming a roof protrusion.

Roof protrusions can include:

  • Air vents
  • Chimneys
  • Skylights
  • Air conditioning units
  • Satellite dishes
  • Utility pipes

Roof inspectors want to ensure that the area around the protrusion is leak-free and in good shape. Cracks around protrusions can appear over time, causing water leaks which may require roof repairs. Catch cracking around roof protrusions before severe damage occurs by scheduling professional roof inspections.

roof skylight on installed on clay tile roof against a blue sky background

8) Quality of Roof Flashing

Rust is rarely ever a good sign on metal materials, especially on your roof. Roof flashing is a thin, flat metal sheet that prevents water from entering a roof’s cracks, seams, and joints. Flashing is installed underneath shingles and works by directing water elsewhere. During your inspection, roof contractors will ensure your flashing isn’t rusted. Old flashing may weaken, causing water to seep into your home.

9) Condition of Chimney

Your chimney is one of the most prominent roof protrusions, and it warrants an inspection of its own. Your contractor will examine multiple components of your chimney, including the:

  • Flashing
  • Condition of the chimney cap
  • Condition of the mortar

If your roofing inspector notices issues with your chimney, you may need to contact a chimney repair company for certain services.

10) Number of Layers

During a standard roof inspection, your contractor will check to see how many layers of material are on your roof. The number of layers on your roof comes into play if you need a total roof replacement. If you have extensive roof damage that requires a replacement, your replacement estimate will account for how many layers need to be torn off.

11) Signs of Water and Storm Damage Throughout

If you live in a region that experiences intense inclement weather, such as hail storms, blizzards, tornados, or hurricanes, your roof may sustain storm damage. Additionally, clogged gutters can cause water damage to incur from regular rainfalls. A contractor will be on the lookout for signs of storm and water damage across all categories throughout your roof inspection.

Details they watch for include:

  • Mold on chimney or attic insulation
  • Missing shingles
  • Rotting shingles
  • Algae formation
  • Clogged gutters
  • Broken roof flashing

If your roof has sustained storm damage, your contractor will help you schedule roofing repairs.

Man inspecting and cleaning dirty moss-covered roof after roof inspection

Work With a Trusted Roofing Contractor

When it comes time for your regular roofing inspection, or if you have suspicions of storm damage, be sure to enlist a roofing company you can trust. A comprehensive roof inspection can make all the difference in catching problems before they turn into expensive and inconvenient emergencies.

At Red Canyon Roofing, we strive to always put our customers first with thorough and honest roof inspections for local Colorado homeowners. Maximize your roof’s lifespan and contact us today to schedule your roofing inspection!