Maximizing Energy Efficiency: How Your Roofing Choices Can Save You Money

 

In our modern world, where rising energy costs are a burgeoning concern for many, embracing energy-efficient solutions becomes paramount. In this endeavor, it is critical to recognize the significant role played by one crucial component of any structure – the roof. A carefully made roofing decision can have a far-reaching impact on energy consumption. It is fundamental to recognize the importance of energy-efficient roofing practices, as they can translate into meaningful financial savings and environmental benefits over time. By making smart choices about your roofing materials and design, you can reduce heat loss in the winter, minimize heat gain in the summer, and ultimately lower your energy bills.

 

The Importance of Insulation and Ventilation

 

 

Your roof plays a crucial role in regulating the temperature inside your home. Proper insulation prevents heat from escaping during the colder months and blocks heat from entering during the warmer months. Additionally, adequate ventilation ensures that excess heat and moisture are released from your attic, preventing damage to your roof structure and improving air quality.

 

When adding insulation to the roof, it is important to guarantee that the roofing substrate is strong enough to support the additional weight of insulation. As such, it is a good idea to consider applying metal b-decking to the roof substrate, which provides shear support and increases the load bearing capacity of the roof.

Roofing Materials for Energy Efficiency

 

 

There is a wide range of roofing materials on the market, each with its own set of energy efficiency properties. Some of the most prevalent roofing options today include:

 

  • Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are a popular and affordable roofing option. Dark-colored shingles absorb more heat from the sun, which can be beneficial in colder climates. However, it’s important to choose shingles with a high solar reflectance index (SRI) to minimize heat gain in warmer climates.
  • Metal roofing: Metal roofing, such as aluminum or steel, is highly reflective and durable. It effectively reflects sunlight, reducing heat absorption and keeping your home cooler. Its durable fabrication makes it unlikely that a metal roof will need any repairs or maintenance for at least 50 years, greatly reducing the lifetime cost of ownership.
  • Tile roofing: Clay or concrete tiles are excellent insulators and provide a natural cooling effect due to their thermal mass. They absorb heat during the day and release it slowly at night, keeping your home comfortable.
  • Slate roofing: Slate is a natural stone that offers superior insulation and durability. Its high thermal resistance prevents heat transfer, reducing energy consumption in both cold and warm climates.
  • Composite roofing: Fabricated from a combination of fiberglass, recycled paper products, and asphalt, composite tiles are a highly durable product that will not break down in the face of inclement weather. This helps prevent leaks and air transfer that could cause structural damage and HVAC overload.

 

When choosing a roofing option, it is essential to consider your local climate to arrive at the material that best maximizes energy efficiency for your region.

 

Roof Design and Energy Efficiency

 

Apart from materials, the design of your roof also plays a significant role in energy efficiency:

 

  • Roof slope: A steeper roof slope allows for better water drainage and reduces heat absorption. In warmer climates, a steeper slope can help reflect sunlight more effectively.
  • Roof color: As mentioned earlier, darker roof colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect it. Choosing a lighter roof color can significantly reduce heat gain in warmer climates.
  • Overhangs and eaves: Overhangs and eaves provide shade for your home’s exterior walls, reducing heat absorption and keeping your home cooler in the summer. To guarantee proper attic ventilation, be sure to explore aluminum soffit colors to prevent unwanted moisture damage in these overhang areas.

 

On top of these design components, don’t neglect the gutters. Clogged and inefficient gutters can lead to damage that results in poor roof efficiency.

 

Other Energy-Saving Roofing Components

 

In addition to roofing materials and design, consider incorporating the following components into your roofing system for enhanced energy efficiency:

 

  • Radiant barriers: Radiant barriers are reflective materials installed under your roof deck. They reflect radiant heat from the sun, preventing it from entering your attic and home.
  • Solar shingles: Solar shingles incorporate photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity, reducing your reliance on the grid and saving you money on energy costs.
  • Green roofs: Green roofs involve planting vegetation on your roof, creating a natural insulation layer and reducing heat absorption. They also help improve air quality and reduce rainwater runoff.
  • Reflective coatings: Reflective coatings are a highly effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your roof. They are designed to reflect sunlight away from the roof’s surface, thus reducing heat absorption. In addition to lower HVAC consumption, they also increase the lifespan of your roof by reducing wear and tear caused by intense sunlight. Reflective coatings can be directly applied to existing roof surfaces, making them a cost-effective solution for enhancing energy efficiency without requiring a complete roof replacement.

 

Finally, do not overlook the importance of routine cleanings and regular roof inspections for ensuring the ongoing efficiency of your roof.

Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Roof

 

Investing in an energy-efficient roofing system offers numerous benefits, including:

 

  • Reduced energy bills: By reducing heat loss and gain, an energy-efficient roof can significantly lower your heating and cooling costs.
  • Increased home value: Energy-efficient homes are in high demand, and a new, energy-efficient roof can enhance your home’s value.
  • Improved comfort: An energy-efficient roof helps maintain a more comfortable indoor temperature year-round, improving your living experience.
  • Environmental benefits: By reducing energy consumption, you contribute to a cleaner environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

 

All in all, while adding energy efficient features will require an upfront investment, its benefits will pay you back many times over in the long run.

 

Save Money and Improve Performance With an Energy Efficient Roof

 

Your roofing system plays a vital role in your home’s energy efficiency. By making informed choices about roofing materials, design, and components, you can reduce heat loss, minimize heat gain during warm summer months, and ultimately save money on your energy bills. Investing in an energy-efficient roof not only lowers your expenses but also increases your home’s value, improves comfort, and contributes to a cleaner environment. Consult with roofing professionals today and explore the options at National Roof Certification & Inspection Association to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and create a more sustainable and cost-effective living space.

 

Roger Marx is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest trending building and design products. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on backyard projects in his spare time. Roger’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

 

 

Mastering Senate Bill 721: California’s Balcony and Deck Inspection Law

 

A Comprehensive Guide for Property Managers and Owners
By Paul J. Watrous, President, National Roof Certification and Inspection Association

 

The revolutionary lyrics of Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come,” preceded the reforming Civil Rights Act in 1964. Just a few short decades ago, life looked different. Travelers didn’t have to pass through TSA to board a plane, we didn’t have to wear seatbelts, and children didn’t have car seats. Homes are no longer built utilizing lead and asbestos-based products.

 

Reforming laws are typically passed due to unfortunate and tragic incidents and are in place to better serve the community, promote the safety of its citizens, and protect their most basic inalienable right, life. These things have now become part of everyday life. Many may not think twice about it because we understand and support the greater objective. Sam Cooke’s lyrics still ring true today however, the change is here, and the time is now.

 

Now, you might be asking what this has to do with California’s Senate Bill 721 (SB 721). In the ever-evolving world, staying informed about the latest legislative developments is essential, especially in the real estate industry. California’s SB 721, commonly known as the Balcony and Deck Inspection
Law, has significantly changed the landscape of multi-family investments, property maintenance, and safety. The 2015 tragic incident in Berkeley, California, served as a catalyst for SB 721, and three years later, the bill was enacted in 2018, aiming to take preventative measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

 

People have the right to life. By ensuring property owners regularly assess and maintain their buildings to promote a safe living environment for their tenants and the public, all Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE) must be periodically inspected and maintained. Initially, changes can sometimes be
abrasive and difficult to navigate. But let’s approach this law with the positive mindset that everyone should have the right to life, a safe one at that, without worrying about history repeating itself. This law has far-reaching implications that will only continue to develop over time.

 

 

Naturally, being headquartered in Southern California, this inspection law caught the teams attention at The National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA). Since 1995, the NRCIA has been known for trailblazing the roof inspection industry with best practices and processes.

 

Through research, crafting educational and training courses, and developing tools and resources that target the inspection industry, the NRCIA is committed to promoting safety, transparency, and excellence within the real estate community. Recognizing the importance of SB 721 compliance, California stakeholders have been inquiring about this training which commenced the development of NRCIA’s newest educational content. “Mastering SB 721: The Comprehensive Guide to California’s Balcony and Deck Safety Law” is designed to assist service providers, property managers, and owners navigate the intricacies of this new law.

 

After countless hours of combing through the legislation and talking with the parties involved, from building owners to city officials, the NRCIA was able to compile a three-hour course covering the history of SB 721 to understand the law and processes on a deeper level fully. The course comprises modules covering the inspection terminology, requirements, timelines, compliance, procedures, and proper documentation. Upon completion of this course, students will gain insight and shareable knowledge and be equipped to confidently navigate the SB 721 process, adding value to the services they offer. Additional field resources are provided, keeping the course details and the law at your fingertips.

 

SB 721 represents a significant step forward in ensuring the structural integrity and safety of exterior elevated elements in multifamily buildings throughout California. Property managers and owners must be well-informed and prepared to comply with this law. NRCIA’s course, “Mastering SB 721,” is a valuable resource for staying ahead in this evolving landscape. By prioritizing safety and compliance, property managers and owners can protect their real estate investments and the well-being of both their tenants and the public. Berlin, in South Orange County, points out the stereotypical landlord mindset: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Breaking long-time habits or strategies can be challenging, especially when it consumes more time, expertise, professional services, and financial resources. After the initial inspection cycles, this law will subsequently edify the property owner’s mindset, shifting from reactive repairs to preventative maintenance, ultimately creating a better life for their tenants.

 

As with most changes, friction can occur, and SB 721 is no different. Beyond the initial frustration of another landlord requirement, locating a qualified industry professional to perform these inspections is the first challenge. Only firms who are licensed in California as an architect, engineer, or contractor (“A,” “B,” or “C-5,” who has at least five years’ experience in constructing multistory buildings) or a building inspector affiliated with a recognized association are allowed to perform these inspections. Due to the additional expectations on inspectors, only a limited number of qualified individuals will offer the inspection service. As we get closer to the January 1, 2025, deadline, these certified inspectors will be overwhelmed with the large number of inspection requests, and finding an available inspector will be a challenge. Most qualified individuals we questioned choose to forego offering the inspections and only perform the more lucrative restorative work.

 

 

Bridging the gap from the inspector to the contractor lies another speed bump that could cause delays, which is the financial component. With the typical mindset of “if it aint broke, don’t fit it,”routine preventative maintenance repairs often get deferred, resulting in more extensive and
expensive resolutions. Once the initial SB 721 inspection report is delivered, the required restorative repairs need to be determined by a licensed contractor to become SB 721 compliant. Depending on the condition of the Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE), the extent of the scope of work
may put unexpected financial stress on the building owner. After receiving the report, the law permits 120 days to obtain proposals and to pull a building permit; then the restorative work must be completed within 120 days from permit issuance. Scheduling inspections early and utilizing the timeframes properly will allow landlords to budget their time and gather funds for these required repairs before the January 1, 2025, deadline.  With anything required by law, there are consequences for non-compliance. There are a lot of intricacies to this law, and it is important that building owners or their designated agent consults a trained and certified inspector to perform these mandated inspections to get SB 721 compliant before 1/1/2025. Fines can range from $100-$500 per day until the repairs are completed. In addition, a building safety lien can be filed on the property with associated costs incurred. Complying with SB 721 law may assist in preventing personal injuries and potential lawsuits.

 

Ultimately the implementation of the CA SB 721 law and knowing how to navigate the process efficiently will elevate the demand for professional property management and inspection services. For more information about NRCIA’s “Mastering SB 721” course and how it can benefit your property
management efforts, visit GoSB721.com/pmo. Stay ahead, stay safe, and stay SB 721 compliant for a brighter future in California’s multifamily housing sector.

 

 

 

 

Common Roofing Problems and How to Address Them

In addition to being a primary driver of curb appeal, the roof is the home’s first line of defense against the elements. As such, any small problems with the roof can spiral into major issues along multiple fronts.

 

 

Unfortunately, many homeowners choose to take an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach to roof maintenance, letting minor problems today turn into expensive headaches tomorrow.

 

 

To avoid this pitfall, the following article will delve into some of the most common roofing problems to look for and how to proactively address them.

 

Inadequate Insulation

Inadequate insulation is a common problem that can lead to several roofing issues. When your roof is not adequately insulated, heat can escape during the winter and enter your home during the summer, leading to higher energy bills. Inadequate insulation can also cause ice dams on your roof, leading to water damage and leaks.

 

 

There are several ways to address inadequate insulation. One option is to simply add more insulation to your attic or roof substrate. When taking this approach, just ensure that the roof’s structural support can handle the additional weight. 

 

 

Another option is to install a radiant barrier, which reflects heat away from your roof. You can also install a solar-powered attic fan, which helps to circulate air and keep your attic cool. 

 

 

When choosing an insulation material, it is vital to consider the R-value, which measures the material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. You should also consider the material’s sustainability. Some sustainable insulation options include hemp, denim, and spray foam. 

 

Incorrect Application

Incorrect application of roofing materials is another common problem that can lead to roofing issues. This can include using the wrong type of material for the job, using the wrong amount of material, or not following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

 

 

Poor application can lead to several problems, such as leaks, premature aging, and even structural damage. If you’re unsure how to apply roofing materials correctly, it’s best to hire a professional contractor with experience in this area. 

 

 

One of the most common mistakes people make when applying roofing materials is using the wrong fastener. For example, using nails instead of screws can lead to problems down the road. Nails are more likely to loosen over time, which can lead to leaks. The best metal roofing screws, on the other hand, provide a more secure hold and are less likely to cause problems. 

 

 

When choosing fasteners for your roofing project, use the type and size recommended by the manufacturer. It’s also essential to use the correct number of fasteners. Using too few fasteners can lead to leaks while using too many can damage the roofing material.

 

Damaged Shingles

 

Damaged shingles are an all-too-common roofing problem that can often lead to more significant issues if left unaddressed. Shingles can be damaged by various external factors, including high winds, hail, and falling tree branches.

 

 

Here are some of the most common shingle roofing problems to watch out for:

 

 

  • – Cracked or broken shingles: Cracked or broken shingles are common on older roofs and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, extreme weather conditions, and improper installation. Cracked or broken shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other problems.
  • – Missing shingles: Missing shingles are another common roofing problem caused by high winds, hail, or even animals. Missing shingles can expose the roof to the elements, leading to water damage and other issues.
  • – Buckling or curling shingles: Buckling or curling shingles are a sign that the shingles are not correctly adhered to the roof. Several factors, including improper installation, age, and extreme weather conditions can cause this. Buckling or curling shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other issues.

 

 

If you notice any damaged shingles on your roof, it’s essential to address them as soon as possible. You can sometimes fix damaged shingles yourself, but if the damage is extensive, you may need to call a professional.

 

Standing Water

 

Standing water is another common issue that can lead to significant roofing problems. To prolong your roof’s life, removing standing water as quickly as possible is important.

 

 

Homeowners should be very wary of standing water if they have a flat roof, as they are far more likely to accumulate standing water, especially if there is a blockage in a gutter downspout. If you have a flat roof, it is essential to have it inspected for any areas where water can pool.

 

 

If you find standing water on your roof, the first step is to remove it as quickly as possible. If the water has pooled due to debris in your gutters, you’ll want to clear all debris from your gutters and downspouts. Also, ensure that your gutters are pitched correctly and that no kinks or bends could cause water to pool.

 

 

If properly maintained gutters are not preventing water from pooling on your roof, the problem may be more serious. If the slope of your roof is even slightly off, water may pool in certain areas of your roof, which can lead to premature roof failure. Consult a qualified roofing contractor to troubleshoot the issue and restore your roof to proper working condition.

 

Ventilation Issues

 

Ventilation is an integral part of a roofing system. When a roof is adequately ventilated, it allows air to circulate and helps to keep the attic cool and dry. This helps to prevent moisture from building up in the attic, which can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. If a roof is not adequately ventilated, it can also cause the shingles to deteriorate prematurely, which leads to costly repairs.

 

 

There are several ways to address ventilation issues. One is to install a ridge vent, which is a type of vent that runs along the peak of the roof. Another option is to install soffit vents, which are vents that are located on the underside of the roof. 

 

Identifying and Addressing Common Roofing Problems

 

Properly identifying and addressing common roofing problems is a key component of establishing curb appeal and ensuring the structural integrity of all aspects of your home. For further insight on how to address common roofing problems, explore the resources at the National Roof Certification & Inspection Association for the latest in the roofing industry!

 

Roofing Safety Standards: Ensuring Your Inspection Runs Smoothly

 

 

Roofing inspections are a critical part of maintaining the integrity and safety of a roof. However, they can also be dangerous if not performed correctly. That’s why it’s essential to follow stringent roofing safety standards when conducting an inspection. Keep reading as we explore roof inspection safety practices from all angles and hear from roofing professionals on some of the most important inspection best practices to keep in mind.

 

Key Safety Protocols for Roofing Inspections

 

 

Although it can be helpful to make a checklist when performing a roofing inspection, the process itself is more than just a rote list of to-do’s. Each roof presents its own dynamic challenges, so it is up to the service professional to adhere to the highest standards of safety to put themself in the best position for a successful inspection.

 

“Safeguarding the smooth progression of a roofing inspection requires a dedicated commitment to safety standards. Prioritizing and upholding these standards isn’t just a checklist; it’s a shared dedication among professionals. Ensuring a safe and secure environment not only protects the team but paves the way for a seamlessly executed inspection, where every aspect is handled with precision and care.” – Jeff Guthrie of Mesa AZ Roofing Pros

 

With this expert testimony in mind, some of the key safety protocols to follow when performing a roofing inspection include:

 

  1. Wear proper safety gear: This includes a helmet, safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy shoes with slip-resistant soles.
  2. Use a ladder properly: Make sure you know how to use a ladder safely, and always have a spotter when working on a roof.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to hazards like power lines, skylights, and chimneys.
  4. Inspect the roof from the ground first: Whenever possible, use binoculars or a drone to inspect the roof from the ground before climbing up on it.
  5. Never work on a wet or icy roof: Wait until the roof is dry and free of ice before inspecting it.
  6. Be careful of sharp objects: There are often sharp objects on roofs, such as nails and broken glass. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and be careful not to step on anything sharp.
  7. Use caution when walking on the roof: Always walk on the flattest part of the roof, and avoid walking near the edges.
  8. Be aware of the weather: If the weather is bad, inspect the roof another day.

 

When the safety of the roofing professional, home, roof, and surrounding area are given the highest priority, the chances of a successful inspection are greatly enhanced. 

 

Industry Best Practices for Roofing Inspections

 

In addition to the aforementioned safety protocols, there are a number of industry best practices that roofing professionals agree upon. Some of the most important include:

 

  • Schedule the inspection for a time when the weather is good: This will make the inspection safer, and it will also allow you to see the roof in its standard condition.
  • Get permission from the homeowner before inspecting the roof: This is especially important if you’re working on a commercial property. Call ahead of time to confirm that everyone is on the same page about the inspection time and ensure that all adjoining areas of the structure are evacuated during the inspection.
  • Prepare the surrounding area: This can include everything from removing potential hazards to having garbage bins strategically placed. “A strategically placed dumpster isn’t just a receptacle; it’s a tool that ensures seamless operations. By efficiently managing waste, it contributes to the overall smoothness of the inspection process, creating a safer and more organized environment for our team.” – Ash Janssen of Fuzion Field Services 
  • Communicate with the homeowner about your findings and recommendations: This will help them make informed decisions about their roof.
  • Document the inspection: This includes taking photos of any damage and noting the date, time, and weather conditions.

 

By adhering to these industry best practices, roofing inspectors can help guarantee that no stone is left unturned and the homeowner receives the highest quality service possible. 

 

Practical Tips for a Seamless Roofing Inspection

 

 

In addition to safety protocols and industry best practices, there are several operational tips that can help a roofing inspection go as seamlessly as possible:

 

  • Have a standardized checklist: A checklist will help ensure you don’t miss anything important during the inspection.
  • Be organized: Have your tools and materials before starting the inspection.
  • Take your time: Don’t rush the inspection. Take your time and inspect the roof thoroughly.
  • Ask for a second opinion if necessary: Don’t be afraid to bring in a second set of eyes. It is better to err on the side of caution if a roof presents a problem with which you are unfamiliar.

 

As your experience as a roofing inspector grows, expect this list of practical tips to grow.

 

Adhere to Safety Standards to Guarantee a Smooth Roofing Inspection

 

Maintaining a safe roofing inspection environment is of paramount importance. By adhering to key safety protocols, following industry best practices, and implementing practical tips, roofing professionals can ensure their inspection runs smoothly while safeguarding the integrity of the roof and their well-being. For more on the most trending roofing ideas and resources, explore the materials at National Roof Certification and Inspection Association for the leading voices in the industry!

 

Comprehensive Roofing Inspections: A Service to Clients

Maintenance is a normal part of our daily lives, and it never seems to end. Cars need oil changes, light bulbs need to be replaced, exterior paint needs to be touched up, the lawn needs to be trimmed, the house needs to be cleaned, and the kids need to be fed. As with most other things, the roof system of a structure requires maintenance.

Owner Approaches to Roof Maintenance


There are two main approaches property owners can take when it comes to their roof systems: proactive or reactive. Most property owners would fall under the reactive category for various reasons, including time constraints and budget. These property owners ignore the roof system until minor problems that could have been detected earlier result in expensive damages — by which point it may already be too late. In certain parts of the United States, precipitation is not a year-round threat, so roof issues can be out of sight and out of mind until they later present themselves at inconvenient times. It goes without saying that there is something left to be desired by this approach. Despite many owners taking reactive approaches to roof inspections, others are finding that a proactive approach is better suited to their needs. Roof inspection requests are thus increasing nationwide, with requests coming from:

● Residential and commercial property owners in escrow
● Those establishing a cause of loss for an insurance claim
● People shopping for property insurance or attempting to secure a loan

● Owners who just want to be informed

The final category in particular indicates that some owners are becoming more proactive, trying to determine what their roofing needs may be before a minor problem becomes a disaster. However, even though they may prefer to be proactive, many owners are at a loss for what to look for when attempting to prevent and fix roofing issues. There are fewer components to a roof system than a pepperoni pizza, but owners are rarely roofing professional themselves. In completing roofing inspections, roofing professionals must “think like a raindrop,” as rain often precipitates the discovery of roofing problems. Our job is to educate owners on their roofs’ conditions to help them make informed decisions.

Roof Inspections: Benefits and Types


Roof inspections are critical in establishing a baseline for the overall care plan for a roof. It is true that roof issues may be picked up on a property/building inspection report; however, these reports usually contain limited remarks made by a generalist with a recommendation to have the roof further evaluated by a licensed roofing specialist. A proper inspection helps achieve RoofAssurance ™.

There are two main types of roof inspections currently offered on the market. The first is a free inspection. This service provides a free estimate to clients who, in many cases, are already dealing with an active roofing problem. These reactive owners are a target for higher-than- average quotes due to the immediate need for work. In addition, this “free” service is typically limited in scope — the company typically only inspects approximately 20 percent of the roof (rooftop only), and the owner will, at best, receive a simple estimate on company letterhead. Costs may therefore grow as the roofing work proceeds and more problems are found with the roofing system. A Roof inspectors goal should be to effectively and confidently determine the integrity of the roof system. This can’t be accomplished only inspecting 20% of the system excluding the interior components of the structure.

The other type of inspection is a paid service with prices ranging from $300 to a few thousand dollars depending on the property’s size and the purpose of the inspection. The national average for an average-sized roof inspection is $350 for a LeakFREE ™ Roof Inspection and $475 for a ForensicROOF ™ Inspection. Because situations vary, the amounts of effort or time spent during the inspection significantly impacts the pricing. The investigation process in these inspections is much more detailed, starting from the inside out. There are hidden components to all roof systems that can’t be observed from the rooftop, such as the waterproof underlayment, mechanical fasteners, and moisture stains. This type of paid inspection should come with a comprehensive written report and a proposal package without an additional fee. The choice of whether to apply a portion or all of the inspection fee to work later completed is up to the contractor.

You may ask: “What is the difference if a licensed roofing company completes both types of inspections?” To help explain the difference to customers, I’ll share a short personal story. I like to golf. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy the game. Each time I golf, I usually have a few good shots, and these keep me returning for another round of frustration. I was interested in purchasing a new set of clubs a few years ago. I could either go to a golf shop or attend free demo events to try out the manufacturer’s latest and greatest products. However, these events left me feeling like I was just being sold random golf clubs without truly finding out what I needed to succeed. Instead, I chose to pay for a professional fitting so I could find out what clubs would work the best for me. In addition, a portion of the fitting cost would be applied to a set of clubs if I decided to purchase them after the fitting. Similarly, when it comes to the roofing industry, you pay for what you get. Contractors offering free services want to close deals, sell roofs, and move on to their next free appointment. However, a paid roof inspection brings much more value to the client, as the inspector is paid for his time, knowledge, expertise, and transparent documentation.


Following a simple process is the key to producing comprehensive, detail-oriented, and informative inspections that not only correctly educate clients but also bring in revenue. A service-first attitude and transparent process helps increase job conversion. Stepping into a new service may seem daunting, but my advice is to try not to overcomplicate things. Inspecting a roof system is not difficult as long as you “think like a raindrop.”

Inspecting Roofs the NRCIA Way


An NRCIA-Certified Roof Inspector investigates five different zones of the structure: the interior, attic, exterior, perimeter, and rooftop. In addition, they will ask themselves three main questions:

1. Is the roof currently leaking?
2. Does the roof have a likelihood of leaking?
3. Is the roof system repairable should a leak occur within two years (average certification
period)?

If you have training and roofing experience, these points should be relatively easy to identify. Of course, there are times when a further exploratory inspection is required when roof trauma is not observable at a leak location. Exploratory inspections (in which a roof may require opening to find the faulty area) are a separate service and should be billed accordingly. A roof inspector should not cause any damage while inspecting a roof system, and should instead leave no trace that they were ever present. Once you have identified key issues, you will have to document them in a way that can tell a story to the client. Photo documentation and software technology is essential to staying ahead of the competition. Taking photos of the various inspection zones is the primary building block to creating a good report for the owner. A roof should last at least two years after an inspection, along with any necessary repairs, are completed. Suppose the roof’s remaining serviceable life is less than two years — in that case, a complete roof replacement should be professionally recommended and presented in a way the owner can respect and agree with.

Comprehensive Roof Inspection Reporting

The easiest way to do this is by providing a photo-centric inspection report that indicates:
1. The roofing red flags you observed and implications if those deficiencies are not
corrected.
2. The cause of the red flag (i.e., deferred maintenance, workmanship defect, normal wear
and tear, storm-related damage, etc.).
3. How to properly repair or replace the deficiency.

Providing a well-written, photo-centric report will help clarify the need for restorative work, explain the location of the roof deficiencies, and support job conversion as the owners can see exactly how the inspector came to their determination. These reports are a great resource to review if a reinspection is requested or if you are selected to perform additional roof work later on.

Final Words of Advice


Keep in mind that we, as roofing professionals, are in the service industry. By focusing everyday on being a service to others, the client will know you are there to serve their best interests and a sale will ultimately follow. Remember to:

● Serve first.
● Follow the inspection process in five zones: interior, attic (if accessible), exterior, perimeter, and rooftop.
● Stand out from your competition and inspect 100 percent of the roof system.
● Evaluate, educate, and document.
● Take pictures that can educate the client.

Paul J. Watrous is president of the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA).

Get NRCIA certified today and put this badge on your shirts!

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