What happens when a LeakFREE® Certified Roof has a leak?

LeakFREE® Roof Certifications provide property owners an assurance that their roof will remain leak-free for the duration of their certification period. But what happens if a leak does occur during that period?

We are going to follow a recent example provided by an NRCIA Inspector. Below we will break down the steps the property owner took from the start of the certification to fixing the leak.

Receive a LeakFREE® Roof Certification

Over a year ago, a property owner contacted an NRCIA inspector requesting an inspection and roof certification. An NRCIA Certified Inspector then completed a LeakFREE® Roof Inspection, during which the Inspector highlighted several repairs required before the roof could be certified.

The property owner completed the repairs, and upon re-inspection of the repairs, the Inspector issued a LeakFREE® Roof Certification. With roof assurances in place, the homeowner was ready for whatever the future may hold.

Active Leak Found in a LeakFREE® Roof

Recently, the property owner found an active roof leak. The roof is still within the certification period. They contacted the NRCIA Inspector that issued the LeakFREE® Certification and requested a diagnostic inspection. Diagnostic inspections are for certificate holders, and they entail a 3-zone inspection process to determine if the damage is covered by the certification.

In this case, the damage was covered by the roof certification. Specifically, there was a leak from damaged underlayment at a valley location. The damaged underlayment could have been identified and repaired during the first initial inspection (before issuing a certificate) but was missed by the inspector.

Damage Covered by Certification

Since the damage is covered by the LeakFREE® Roof Certification, the inspection fee and repair fees were waived for the property owner. Certifications will have different monetary limits of liability depending upon the roof system and other factors. The limits-of-liability outline the maximum monetary amount of damages covered by the issuing Inspector.

The NRCIA Inspector then worked with the property owner to outline the repair plan. After the repairs were completed, the certification will continue until the end of the period. After that period, re-certification is possible after re-inspection. This cycle helps set up a great roof care plan for property owners.

Click Image to Learn More About LeakFREE® Certifications

Roof Assurance

When trouble did arise, the homeowner had no out-of-pocket expenses to repair this unforeseen issue. Trusting your roofing professionals and the organization that stands behind the inspection process is essential for every property owner.

In summary, this property owner saved money, time, and stress by originally contacting an NRCIA Inspector. NRCIA Inspectors are the only inspectors authorized to complete LeakFREE® Roof Inspections & issue LeakFREE® Roof Certifications.

Drones, Licensing, and Knowing Your Airspace

Author: Jon Stivers

Jon is an Internachi certified home inspector, and the owner of Top Inspections LLC, in Philadelphia, Pa. He holds a part 107 commercial drone license and flies a DJI Mavic Air 2. The company website is https://topinspectionsllc.com


It is becoming much more common for drones to be used for roof and exterior inspections. Drone images can provide a great overall picture of the roof. With a skilled pilot, it is also possible to get in close for detail shots. Drones are especially helpful if the roof is inaccessible due to height, steepness, roof covering material, or poor condition. Some inspectors use a drone for all roof inspections that do not have safe, permanent access. Drone inspections save time and reduce liability. While drone roof inspections cannot completely replace walking the roof when it is safe and appropriate, they are an important tool for an inspector to consider.

The photo below shows a drone photo of a roof and exterior (See Figure 1: Obliquangle drone photograph). The overhead point of view allows the inspector to evaluate many aspects of the roof and exterior in one shot, and get an impression of the overall condition of the outside of the building. For example, in this photo the metal gutters and flashing look worn and corroded, and show evidence of piecemeal repairs. Several slate shingles have been replaced. The bay roof peaks have received a last resort repair using roofing cement. The stone walls show evidence of chronic water management problems. By contrast, the bay windows and scalloped siding appear to be in very good condition.

Figure 1: Oblique angle drone photograph.

The photo allows the inspector to conclude that the house roof and exterior has received some localized patching and repairs of various quality, but overall needs to be thoroughly renovated.

There are lots of drones on the market that home inspectors can choose from. Prosumer models feature cameras with resolutions comparable to a high-quality phone. Higher end models have larger photo sensors, zoom lenses, and can include infrared capability. There is plenty of information available for selecting a drone and learning to fly. Beyond that, it is important to fly legally and safely while doing inspections. The purpose of this article is to provide a simple introduction to legal and safe commercial drone operation.

Getting Your Pilot Certificate

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires commercial operators to fly by the rules of Part 107 for small unmanned aircraft systems. To summarize the rules as they apply to home inspection, a Part 107 drone “license” is required if compensation is received for use of the drone images. This includes images in a paid inspection report. For perspective on this federal law, note that posting drone footage on YouTube to promote a business is also considered commercial use. Suffice it to say that home inspectors will need a Part 107 Pilot’s Certificate.

The first step to getting a Part 107 certificate is to create a personal profile with the FAA. This can be done at https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/. The FAA calls this profile the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application. The purpose of the profile is to create a digital folder to contain any pilot ratings and aircraft registrations associated with the drone pilot. The FAA will run a background check as part of creating the profile. It is important to note that when the application is approved a unique FAA Tracking Number (FTN) will be assigned to the personal profile. This number will follow the pilot throughout his career. Be sure to write down this number. It will be needed when registering for the exam.

After getting signed up with the FAA, it is time to study for the Part 107 exam. As per the FAA, the exam topics include:

  • Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
  • Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation.
  • Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
  • Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
  • Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Airport operations
  • Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures
  • Operation at night

There are many companies that charge for Part 107 training classes, both in person and online. A typical class costs $150.00. Some people pass the test by watching free YouTube videos. Another good option is to get a review book. The author favors a book called, The Remote Pilot Test Prep 2021, by ASA Test Prep. The FAA publishes a book that is used in conjunction with the ASA book. It is called, FAA-CT-8080-2H Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Remote Pilot, and Private Pilot.

The key to the ASA book approach is the quizzes at the end of each chapter and the online access to 5 free practice tests that are available with the purchase of the book. The questions and answers on the chapter quizzes and the online tests are very similar to the actual Part 107 exam. The aviation maps, charts and tables in the FAA Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement are nearly identical to those that appear on the real exam.

When working through the ASA test prep book, make sure to understand and review all quiz questions that are missed, and the topics from which the questions are drawn. Make sure to understand all the quiz questions and answers before taking a practice exam. Then take one practice exam and review the missed questions in the same way as the quizzes. Keep reviewing and taking quizzes and then keep taking the exams until a solid passing score is achieved. Once you’re comfortable with the practice exams, it is time to take the real exam.

The test must be scheduled in advance and taken in person. The FAA provides a list of test centers. The fee is $175 for every test attempt. The exam is two hours long, and there are 60 questions. The test results appear in the student’s IACRA file about 48 hours after the exam.

Once the exam results are in the IACRA file, there is one more step to achieving the drone pilot certification. Within the IACRA profile, an application for the Part 107 certification must be submitted to the FAA. Even though the test has been passed, it is still necessary to apply for the certification. If that seems confusing, it is. Just remember the steps: Set up the IACRA profile.

Note the FTN number. Make sure to enter the same FTN number when signing up to take the Part 107 exam. The results of the exam will appear in the IACRA folder a few days later.

Use the exam results to make an application within the IACRA profile, for the Part 107 certification. Once that is completed, a temporary certificate is available online to print out. The permanent airman card showing the Part 107 certification will be mailed to you within a few weeks. Remember that proof of certification needs to be carried with you during all drone operations. By virtue of preparation for and passing the exam, the Part 107 certificate holder understands how to fly safely and legally. The following highlights and introduces some important points, but is by no means a complete explanation.

Rules for Flying

The basic limitations are that a drone must be operated during the day, always in a visual line of sight, and no higher than 400 feet above the ground. The limitations apply in uncontrolled as well as controlled airspace. In uncontrolled airspace, there is either no need for Air Traffic Control (ATC), or it is not practical. The Part 107 remote pilot is expected to fly by the rules anyway.

But in controlled airspace that is usually found around airports and densely populated areas, it is necessary for the part 107 pilot to request authorization from ATC.

Authorization may include additional limitations on altitude and other aspects of drone flight. There are many caveats to these rules. For example, uncontrolled airspace can be temporarily controlled or restricted due to a public event, such as a football game, or the presence of VIPs. The remote pilot finds out about these exceptions by reading the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) that are available online.

Inspectors that perform roof inspections in urban and suburban environments often find themselves in controlled airspace. One look at an aviation chart will show how complicated navigating in controlled airspace can be (See Figure 2: Aviation Sectional of Southern Los Angeles, CA). Since the drone pilot is flying in a very localized area and at an altitude safely below manned aircraft, things are a little simpler.

Figure 2: Aviation Sectional of Southern Los Angeles, CA
Figure 3: Grid from Airmap.com showing maximum altitude

To make things easier for commercial drone pilots, the FAA has partnered with some online sites that provide ATC authorization in near real-time. The system is called the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). Airmap.com and KittyHawk.io are two websites that will display ATC authorization in real-time. Applying for authorization is almost as simple as placing a pin on a digital map. For each flight, the pilot logs the location, date, and time of the desired flight, the drone that will be used, the altitude and the duration of the flight. Figure 3 shows a screenshot from Airmap.com. Outside the blue circle is uncontrolled air space. The red dots indicate restricted airspace. (See Figure 3: Grid from Airmap.com showing maximum altitude).

Under normal circumstances, the authorization from ATC will come back in a few minutes. Authorization comes with some notes about the flight, relevant Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), and a brief weather report for the time and location of the flight. It is a good idea to book the flight at least the day before in case there is an issue. For example, if the inspection site is very close to an airport or in a restricted area, the allowed altitude may be reduced to 0. It is good to know that sooner than a few hours before the inspection.

Hopefully, this article has presented a useful introduction to getting a Part 107 license and flying in a controlled airspace. There is a lot more to learn about safe commercial drone flying. The first step is to get an FAA IACRA profile set up. The next is to study for and pass the Part 107 exam. Then, use the results of the Part 107 exam to apply for certification within the IACRA profile. Finally, use LAANC for rapid ATC flight authorization.

NRCIA Members get a discount on education services provided by Drone Pilot Ground School. Sign in and visit the member portal for more information.

Mr. RoofCheck®’s Advice For Buckling Shingles

Sarah from IL asked:

 

We just had a roof installed this past November and having problems with shingles buckling.

 

Getting the contractor to make the repairs has been very difficult and we ended up having a home inspection performed due to the company placing blame on our ventilation.  The report showed no issues with the attic.  The shingles were installed on wet underlayment due to rain.

 

The company’s solution is to now have a repairman come and cut off the excess part of the buckled shingles and nail the same shingles back down, without replacing the underlayment or replacing the shingles.  Is this an appropriate repair?  It just doesn’t sound right to me.  I have included some photos of the issue.

 


Photos from Home Inspector’s report (click “>” to view photos)

 


 

Mr. RoofCheck®’s advice:

 

After reviewing your file, I wanted to point out a couple of things and hopefully, it will give you a little more information to leverage.

 

First of all, as you indicated this is a GAF Product and although I am not sure about the exact line of shingle, I have included an installation brochure for GAF products. Pages 137-149 specifically talk about the fastening of the shingles which I believe is the deficiency causing the lifting shingles. Here is a link to a GAF video on the installation as well. This will help understand the proper way to install the roofing material.

 

The visible issue that is concerning is the lifting shingles which is why you are reaching out.

 

 

Based on the report you provided, it doesn’t appear that the fasteners that were used were long enough to penetrate through the wood substrate.

 

The reason why this is important is that if the mechanical fasteners do not penetrate through the roof sheathing, then as the building materials expand and contract due to weather fluctuations, it will draw the mechanical fasteners back up through the roofing material causing the shingles to lift.

 

I believe improper mechanical fasteners may be the cause of the roof deficiency. With that said, if the shingles were not installed per manufacturer specifications, the manufacturer warranty may be void. As far as the proposed repair methodology, if the wrong mechanical fasteners were used to install the roofing material, the shingles will continue to buckle throughout the roofing material. Unfortunately, a complete roof replacement may be the only option.

 

 

How to become an NRCIA Certified Roof Inspector

Earning your certification is a straightforward process. Complete our training, conduct a practice inspection, and meet with an Instructor.

 

The full onboarding process generally takes about 2 – 4 weeks depending on your schedule. Onboarding is fully online, so you can earn your certification on your time. To learn more about the education program, visit: https://www.nrcia.org/nrcia-membership/education-training/

 

Below is an onboarding checklist for new inspectors. Please note that NRCIA Affiliates do not complete the same onboarding process. Feel free to download the checklist and share with your team!

 

 

Have questions? Send us a message at memberships@nrcia.org to contact an NRCIA representative or schedule a demo.

 

 

ROI for NRCIA Inspectors

Return on Investment (ROI) is the annual return you receive on an investment, displayed as a percentage. For example, if the bank is offering a 5% interest rate, then you intuitively know a deposit of $100 today will return an additional $5 a year from now, making the ROI 5%.  

 

Payback Period is nothing more than time needed before you recover your investment. Let’s go back to our $100 investment, but make the annual return $50 (or a 50% ROI). If you receive $50 every year, it will take two years to recover your $100 investment, making your Payback Period two years.  

 

ROI and Payback Period Calculator

 

Below is a calculator that will help you understand the potential revenue by adding NRCIA inspections to your services offered for clients.  

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ROI and Payback Period Calculator

Total Summary

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NRCIA Domains

NRCIA owns several dozen domains that will guide homeowners and your other end-users in their search to NRCIA services and, ultimately, to you. Here is a partial list of NRCIA domains that could directly benefit your sales funnel via leads.

aboutroofinspection.com

aboutroofinspections.com

buyers-roof-inspection.com

buyers-roof-inspections.com

buyersroofinspection.com

fharoofinspection.com

forensicroof.com

forensicroof.info

forensicroofinspector.com

forensicroofinspector.org

gotleaks.com

gotleaks.us

ircia.org

leakfree-warranties.info

leakfree.ca

leakfree.mobi

leakfreeroofcertification.com

leakfreeroofs.com

leakfreeroofwarranty.com

leakfreeroofwarranty.info

leakfreeroofwarranty.net

leakfreewarranty.com

leakfreewarranty.mobi

leakfreewarranty.net

mrroofcheck.com

roof-certification.com

roof-certification.mobi

roof-inspection.com

roof-inspection.mobi

roof-warranty.mobi

roofcertification.biz

roofcertification.com

roofcertification.mobi

roofcertification.net

roofcertification.org

roofcertifications.biz

roofcertifications.org

Why Homeowners Need Annual Roof Inspections

The NRCIA indicates that most roof problems result from deferred roof maintenance or lack thereof. The roof system is the structure’s first line of defense from the natural elements. In the last decade, weather patterns have changed, requiring more attention to maintain a LeakFREE ® roof system.



As climate change progresses, normal rains have turned to disastrous heavy downpours while the winds have become more powerful and destructive. For instance, the intense Santa Ana winds can be detrimental to roof systems and other property systems.  The sun’s scourging rays cause roof deficiencies (cracking, fading, curling, etc.) when the structure is not adequately ventilated. 

 

According to NRCIA, homeowners in Southern California spend over $10k rectifying the damages (direct and consequential) caused by a leaking roof. Out of all the roofs inspected, 77% usually require repair, and 9% need a replacement to qualify for NRCIA’s LeakFREE ® Roof Certification.



Replacing a structure’s roof system can be stressful both financially and time-consuming. The national average to replace a roof is $15,000. NRCIA reports that the average cost to replace a roof is $15,000.

 

NRCIA recommends that every property owner inspect their roofs annually by a licensed roof inspector. The following seven reasons underscore why an Annual Roof Inspection is now an essential component in a proper roof care plan. 

 

 

1. Climate Change

 

The environment has changed over the years due to various factors such as human activities and industrialization. Across the United States, these new weather patterns have become the norm. Seasonal changes from severe hot weather to significant temperature fluctuations can cause damage to roofing material based on its age, condition, and maintenance care routine.

 

Such weather conditions have affected the roof maintenance routine customarily carried out once every few years. Early, late, or extended severe weather conditions cause unexpected damage to a roof system. Only a roof expert can recognize some of these roof damages. Intense and frequent freezing may cause ice damming and moisture intrusion in susceptible areas. Prolonged moisture exposure may cause deterioration and rust damage. Any roof deficiency can create subsequent damages to the property or personal belongings. In higher elevations in snowy climates,  some roofs are not built to handle the additional weight of the snow, further suppressing and weakening the structural integrity. Damaged framing can jeopardize the integrity of the overall roof system.



On the flip side, abnormal heat waves and constant high summer temperatures will shorten the lifespan of the roofing material. Depending on the roofing materials used, the type of red flag locations will vary. The damage may include cracking, discoloration, or deteriorated roof components.

 

Having the roof inspected annually by a licensed expert would help identify the roof’s red flags to include in your roof care plan. Remember that preventative roof repairs, when caught early, are far cheaper and faster to fix versus a reactive leak repair or roof replacement.

 

 

2. Heavy Wind-Driven Rains

 

Heavy rains, high-speed winds, and hailstorms are common throughout the US, with each climate having its characteristics. Constant moisture exposure with fluctuating temperatures can cause the roofing material to expand and contract, resulting in curling or buckled shingles, especially if the roof system is antiquated.

 

Hailstorms can also cause adverse damage to roofs, depending on the hail’s size, wind direction and speed, and the roof’s material, age, size, type, and slope. Some weather systems damage or even remove parts of the roofing material, usually affecting the structure’s perimeter. Additional damage can occur, including gutters, trim boards, siding, etc.

 

Heavy winds can exacerbate granular loss and promote moisture intrusion via wind-driven rain. 

 

Having a licensed professional inspect the roof once per year will help discover potentially dangerous damage caused by heavy winds or rains and fix them before they worsen. If the roof structure has been compromised, the roofing professional will advise a roof care plan with each written report to withstand the present and incoming heavy winds and downpours.

 

 

3. Intense Santa Ana Winds

 

The intense Santa Ana winds that rip through a few times each year can be a disaster for improperly maintained roof systems. The winds will deposit debris on the roof, which will impede proper water flow. A debris build-up will cause accelerated deterioration of the roofing material and ultimately cause moisture intrusion. 

 

During the annual roof inspection, the expert will identify all weak roof points caused by these winds and provide a plan to reinforce, repair, or replace them. A correctly performed inspection followed by a well-written report will identify any storm-created openings resulting from wind damage. 

 

 

4. Extra Hot and Dry Summers

 

The ultraviolet rays deplete the oils from the roof’s waterproof underlayment and other components. As a result, the material weakens, and problematic areas arise. 

 

Correct structure ventilation is essential to prolong the life of the roof system. Improper ventilation can lead to excessive expansion and contraction,  premature deterioration, and condensation build-up resulting in unsuspected organic growth. This fluctuation may hinder the integrity of the roof system. 

 

A licensed roofing expert will determine if the structures are correctly ventilated to keep the attic and structure cooler during the hotter seasons. 

 

 

5. The Roof is Out of Sight

 

Since most homeowners do not climb roofs to inspect, most roof problems remain out of sight. Property owners tend to pay attention to their roof systems after they become a noticeable issue from the inside. At that point, it is too late to prevent moisture intrusion, and a mitigation process ensues.  In addition, most hidden roof problems can only be diagnosed by a trained inspector who has experience in the roofing industry. For most homeowners, it’s hard to notice more minor deficiencies on a roof.



These are some reasons why an annual roof inspection by a licensed professional is essential to identify such roofing problems early before they may cause severe damage.

 

 

6. The Roof is Out of Mind

 

Homeowners usually are working towards achieving their daily and long-term goals, and the weather forecast is not something that is routinely checked. One of the last things that cross the mind of property owners might be their roof care plan. During extreme weather conditions, the weather may negatively affect the roof, and by the time they realize this, the interior components of the structure may already be compromised.

 

Third-party damage resulting from other home care professional services, toys, children, etc., will go unnoticed until it is too late. 

 

On the other hand, if the homeowners commit to having their roofs professionally inspected once per year, these problems can be identified and repaired proactively, ultimately saving their money for what it was intended. 

 

 

7. Improper Previous Roof Repairs 

 

Many homeowners settle for inexperienced individuals’ quick, cost-effective, band-aid repairs. Many homeowners don’t bother with a permanent remedy after a temporary solution. They don’t realize that sub-standard repairs are more expensive in the long run. Chasing leaks is always costly and frustrating.



Some homeowners contract the services from unlicensed or untrained laborers who do a shoddy repair job while using the wrong roofing materials.

 

A professional, licensed roof inspector will help pinpoint such mistakes and issues during the annual roof inspection. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Though few homeowners may be able to spot some problems with their roof, others are only recognizable by an expert roof inspector. Also, most roof problems develop over time. Homeowners may not have the time or interest to check their roofs regularly throughout the year.

 

As a result, homeowners need to schedule their annual roof inspections to help uncover and rectify problems before they happen or become worse. NRCIA recommends that homeowners hire a licensed roof inspector to inspect, repair, and certify their roofs annually. An annual roof inspection can save their roof, time, and money.

 

 

 

 

Contact Cert-A-Roof, the NRCIA-Certified Roof inspector in Southern California, for an annual LeakFREE® Roof Inspection.