Roofing Material Selection: Evaluating Durability, Performance, and Cost


Although it may not be the most exciting aspect of a home to talk about, there is arguably no area more important than the roof. Not only does it provide a basis for enhancing curb appeal, but it is also the home’s first line of defense against the elements.


“Choosing the right roofing material is like building a strong foundation for your home’s protection and aesthetics—it’s the first line of defense against the elements and a key to lasting beauty.” – Jeff Gutherie of Phoenix Roofing and Repair.


With this in mind, keep reading for a detailed breakdown of some of the most popular roofing materials assessed along the lines of durability, performance, and cost!


Asphalt Shingles


Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing material that is well regarded for its affordability, durability, and performance. 


When it comes to durability, asphalt shingles are a solid–if unspectacular–choice. They can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years with proper maintenance and installation. They are also resistant to fire and many forms of weather damage. The composition of the material allows the shingles to expand and contract in response to daily temperature fluctuations. The flexibility of the material also reduces the likelihood of cracking and splitting during installation, making them a solid choice for DIY projects.


When it comes to performance, asphalt shingles are a solid option. They are reasonably energy efficient and can help to keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Additionally, they are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to customize the look of their home.


However, the most widely accepted benefit of asphalt shingles is their affordability. They are typically less expensive than other roofing materials such as metal or tile, making them a preferred roofing option for homeowners on a budget.


Overall, asphalt shingles offer a solid combination of durability, performance, and cost-effectiveness that makes them a great choice for homeowners looking for a reliable, no-frills roofing material.


Wood Shakes


Wood shakes are a popular roofing material known for their rustic beauty and insulative value. They are also relatively lightweight, making them easier to install than heavier materials like tile or slate. However, there are also some drawbacks to using wood shakes, such as their increased risk of fire and higher maintenance requirements.


When it comes to durability, wood shakes can last for up to 30 years with proper maintenance. They are also resistant to damage from hail and high winds when properly treated. However, they are more susceptible to fire and rot than other materials like metal or tile. To mitigate these risks, wood shakes must be treated with fire retardants and regularly inspected for signs of damage.


In terms of performance, wood shakes are excellent insulators. They can help to keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, reducing energy costs. They also provide good soundproofing, making them a great choice for homes in noisy areas. However, wood shakes can be more difficult to maintain than other materials. They require regular cleaning and sealing to protect them from the elements.


Wood shakes are a beautiful and durable roofing material that can add value to the right home. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision. While they are relatively affordable and easy to install, they do require more maintenance and are more susceptible to fire and rot than some other materials.





Known for its exceptional longevity and durability, metal roofing is an attractive option for homeowners seeking reliable protection for their investments. With an exceptional lifespan of up to 50 years or more, metal roofing can withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, hail, and strong winds, ensuring your home’s integrity for decades. Furthermore, metal roofs are fire-resistant, offering peace of mind against the risk of fire damage.


In terms of performance, metal roofs are highly reflective, translating to lower energy costs during summer months, as they reflect the sun’s heat away from the home. Additionally, metal roofs effectively shed water and snow, minimizing potential issues such as leaks and ice dam formation.


When it comes to cost, metal roofing may have a higher upfront installation cost compared to other materials like traditional asphalt shingles; however, its longevity and reduced maintenance costs over time result in significant long-term savings. Metal roofs are also lightweight, which simplifies the installation process and can minimize the need for additional structural support, further adding to cost savings.





Slate roofs are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a durable, long-lasting, and attractive roofing material. Slate is a natural stone that is available in a variety of colors and textures, making it a versatile option for any home. Slate roofs are also fire-resistant and can withstand extreme weather conditions, such as hail and high winds, making them a good choice for homes in areas prone to severe weather. Additionally, slate roofs are low-maintenance and can last for up to 100 years, greatly reducing ongoing repair and replacement costs.


On the downside, slate roofs are more expensive than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles or wood shakes. Additionally, slate roofs are heavy and require a strong support structure, which can add to the cost of installation. Slate roofs can also be difficult to repair, as the tiles are often custom-cut to fit the roof.


When considering a slate roof, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully to determine if it is the right choice for your home. Slate roofs can be a beautiful and durable addition to any home, but they are also a significant investment.


Rooftop Deck Tiles


Rooftop decks are an emerging trend in urban living, and for good reason. They offer a number of benefits over traditional ground-level decks, including stunning views and a unique outdoor living space.


In terms of durability, rooftop decks can be built to withstand the elements. They are typically made from high-quality materials such as metal or composite decking, and they are designed to withstand rain, snow, and wind. With proper maintenance, a rooftop deck can last for many years.


The performance of a rooftop deck is also excellent. They provide a comfortable and safe outdoor living space that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as entertaining guests, relaxing, or gardening. Roof deck tiles can be used to create a variety of different looks and styles, and they can also improve the drainage of the deck.


Of course, there are also some cons to building a rooftop deck. One potential downside is the cost of installation. Rooftop decks can be more expensive to build than traditional ground-level decks, and they may require additional structural support, such as the installation of structural b-decking. Another potential downside is the lack of privacy. Rooftop decks are often visible from buildings and streets.


Overall, rooftop decks are a great option for urban dwellers who are looking for a unique and stylish outdoor living space. When properly installed, they can be a durable, ongoing form of exterior functionality. 


Get Strategic When Choosing Roofing Materials


The quality of a home is often directly correlated to the quality of its roof. As a foundational element of curb appeal and the first line of defense against the elements, the roof is a vital component of the home’s “bones,” so it is important to choose the right roofing material to help your home thrive. For more information on the best roofing materials for your region, contact the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association today for a consultation!


Author Bio:

Roger Marx is a freelance writer who 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.

Understanding Roof Leaks: Causes, Signs, and Effective Solutions


A roof leak might seem like a minor issue–until it isn’t. 


As the home’s first point of contact with the outside world, issues with the roof have a way of extending to the rest of the house. In addition, small problems in the roof are susceptible to compounding exponentially as the insidious effects of air and moisture damage set in.


Therefore, it is vital to guarantee that your roof is in top condition at all times to protect the structural integrity of your home. In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes and symptoms of a leaking roof and discuss a few ways to help improve the condition. 

Causes of a Roof Leak



Although the roof might look like nothing more than a protective cover, it actually has a number of intricate components that must work in harmony. If any of these elements are damaged, faulty, or installed incorrectly, it can open the door for a roof leak. With this in mind, a few of the myriad factors that can cause a leaking roof include:


  • – Old age: Like anything in life, time can play havoc on your roof. It can cause the materials in your roof to deteriorate, making them more susceptible to leaks. This is especially common in areas with extreme weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy snow. Any time your roof gets past 25 years, it is important to be extra vigilant in looking for leaks.
  • – Condensation in the attic: Condensation can occur when warm, moist air from inside your home meets the cold air in your attic. It is an especially relevant threat in cold climates during the winter. This can lead to the formation of water droplets, which can eventually degrade the roof substrate.
  • – Acute damage from a major event: A major storm, such as a hurricane or tornado, can cause significant damage to your roof, leading to leaks. This is especially common if your roof is not properly maintained or if it is already in a weakened condition.
  • – Clogged gutters: Gutters are designed to carry rainwater away from your roof. If they are clogged with leaves or debris, they can overflow and cause water to back up onto your roof, leading to a leak.


If your home checks any of these boxes, you are at heightened risk of a roof leak and need to be ready to take action if any symptoms present themselves.  


Signs of a Leaking Roof



Speaking of symptoms, there are a number of ways that a leaking roof may reveal itself. Some of the most common include:


  • – Water stains on the walls and ceilings: This is one of the most obvious signs of a roof leak. The water can seep through the roof and into the walls, causing them to become stained. If you see any water stains, it’s important to investigate further to find the source of the leak.
  • – Distorted or damaged shingles: If your shingles are distorted or damaged, it can be a sign that there’s a leak underneath. The water can cause the shingles to buckle and curl, and it can also cause them to rot. If you see any damaged shingles, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible.
  • – Light coming through the roof: If you see light coming through your roof, it’s a sure sign that there’s a leak. The water can cause the roof to sag, which can create gaps between the shingles. These gaps allow light to come through, and they can also make your roof more susceptible to more extensive leaks.


If you see any of these signs, it’s important to locate the source of the leak and take appropriate action.


Effective Solutions for Repairing a Roof Leak



There are several ways to remedy a leaking roof. Some are as simple as a DIY sealant application, while others may require the assistance of a professional contractor for a more full-scale renovation. 


Apply a Sealant


Sealants are a versatile and straightforward solution for repairing minor roof leaks. They can be applied to various roof substrates, including metal, concrete, and asphalt shingles. Sealants work by filling in gaps and cracks, preventing water from seeping into the roof.


Water sealants, in particular, are designed to withstand exposure to moisture and extreme temperatures. They form a watertight seal that can last for several years. To apply a water sealant, simply clean the affected area and apply the sealant using a caulking gun or brush. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.


Sealants can also be used around flashing to shore up small leaks. Flashing is a thin piece of metal or plastic that is installed around roof penetrations, such as chimneys and vents. Sealants can help to seal any gaps between the flashing and the roof, preventing water from seeping in.


While sealants can be an effective means of repairing small, localized leaks, they may not be the best option for more extensive damage. If you have a large leak or if the damage is widespread, it is best to consult with a professional roofer for advice on the best course of action.


Replace Damaged Shingles


If your roof is leaking, it may be necessary to replace damaged shingles or sections of the roof. Replacing damaged shingles can help stop the leak and restore the look and function of your roof. In addition, replacing old shingles can make your roof more energy-efficient and extend its life span.


When replacing shingles, it’s important to upgrade to hail resistant shingles or other types of class-4 impact-resistant materials. This will help prevent future damage from hail, wind, and other elements. Additionally, installing new shingles can improve the look of your home and increase its value.


To install new shingles, you’ll need to remove the old shingles, clean the roof, and apply a new layer of roofing felt. Then, you can install the new shingles using roofing nails or other fasteners. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation, and always use safety equipment when working on your roof.


Perform a Complete Roof Renovation


In some cases, a severely damaged roof may require a complete renovation. This is the best way to guarantee the safety, aesthetics, and energy efficiency of the roof. When performing a complete roof renovation, it is important to use high-quality materials, such as roof cover board and other types of insulation, to make the roof as air- and moisture-tight as possible.


Roof cover board is a lightweight, durable material that is often used as a base for roofing shingles. It is made from a variety of materials, including fiberglass, asphalt, and metal. Roof cover board helps to protect the roof from leaks and provides additional insulation.


Other types of insulation, such as fiberglass batts and spray foam, can also be used to improve the energy efficiency of a roof. Insulation helps to keep the interior of a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which can lead to lower energy bills.


Contact a Professional to Stay Ahead of Roof Leaks


A quality roof is critical for guaranteeing the safety, comfort, aesthetics, and energy efficiency of your home. As such, it is vital to stay ahead of any leaks. If you aren’t sure about the condition of your roof or what steps to take to rehabilitate it, contact the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association today for a LeakFREE® Roof Inspection!


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.

Roofing Maintenance: Essential Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof


When it comes to protecting your home, there is arguably no area more important than the roof. However, too many homeowners take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to roof maintenance and let small issues accumulate over time. 


Unfortunately, when signs of a problem start to manifest themselves, it is often too late. 


Therefore, it is essential to make roof maintenance a regular part of your home care routine. For more ideas on how to extend the lifespan of your roof, keep reading for a detailed breakdown on some of the most effective roof maintenance tips. 


Understand the Design of Your Roof



Roofs come in all shapes and sizes, and each type has its own unique maintenance requirements. If you’re not familiar with the design of your roof, it can be difficult to know how to properly care for it.


For example, gable roof design is the most common type of roof. It requires some special attention not seen in other roof types. The gable end of the roof needs to be regularly checked for signs of wear and tear. If the shingles or flashing are damaged, they need to be repaired as soon as possible.


Flat roofs are also becoming more popular thanks to the rooftop deck trends. However, like gable roofs, flat roofs have their own unique needs. The rafters and structural decking need to be regularly checked to ensure that they can withstand heavy loads. Additionally, rooftop pavers are important in flat roofs to accommodate foot traffic and promote drainage.


By understanding the design of your roof, you can make sure that it is properly maintained and extends its lifespan.


Schedule Regular Inspections


Roofs are often one of the most inaccessible areas of the home. You’re not just going to stumble upon most roofing issues–you have to actively seek them out. Therefore if you don’t inspect your roof on a regular basis, it can be easy to miss small issues that could lead to big problems down the road.


For example, leaks can go unnoticed for months or even years before they become visible. By the time you notice them, they may have already caused significant damage to your home.


That’s why it’s important to schedule regular inspections for your roof. A roofing professional can identify any issues before they become serious problems. They can also recommend preventive maintenance measures that will help keep your roof in good condition. Although recommendations vary from region to region, it is a good idea to have your roof inspected at least every other year. 


Clean the Roof Based On Material Type


Cleaning your roof is an important part of maintaining it, as it helps prevent the buildup of mold, fungus, and other types of microorganisms that may undermine your roof over time. However, it’s important to consider the material type prior to cleaning. 


For example, asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials. Likewise, pressure washing is one of the most popular means of cleaning a roof. However, the two don’t always work well in unison, as pressure washing can cause degraded asphalt shingles to shed granules at an accelerated rate. 


Untreated wood shakes may also absorb water during cleaning, so it’s important to use a brush or scrubber instead.


If you’re not sure what type of material your roof is made from, consult a professional before cleaning it. They can help you determine the best way to clean your roof without damaging it.


Check the Condition of the Gutters


Gutters are an important part of your roof’s drainage system, and they can help to prevent water damage to your home. However, if your gutters are clogged or in poor condition, they can actually do more harm than good.


Leaf buildup and ice dams can cause water to pool on your roof, which can lead to leaks and other problems.


It’s important to regularly check the condition of your gutters and clean them out if necessary. If you notice any damage or signs of wear and tear, it’s best to replace them before they cause further problems.


Don’t Neglect the Siding, Soffit, and Frieze Board



There are many adjacent aspects of the home that can directly impact the condition of the roof. A few of these include the siding, soffit, and frieze board.


The siding is the material that covers the outside of your home. It protects the structure from weather damage and helps to insulate it. Many times, issues with the siding, such as rot or mold, can easily extend to the roof, so quality siding is an underrated component of keeping the roof safe and secure.


The soffit is the underside of the roof eave, and it helps to ventilate your attic. Poorly ventilated attic can cause heat and moisture buildup that can cause the roof beams to deteriorate at an expedited rate. 


The frieze board is the horizontal piece of trim that runs along the top of the siding and covers the gap in the soffit/siding transition. 


It’s important to inspect these elements regularly and make repairs as needed. By keeping them in good condition, you help ensure that no issues spill over to the roof itself. 


Stay Ahead of Maintenance and Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof


A quality roof is critical for the overall health of your home. As such, ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be a central part of your home care process. For more information on how to properly care for your roof, check out the resources provided by the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association for the latest in the roofing industry!


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.

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

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
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!

Check out other great content featured in CoatingsPro Magazine:

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.

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.



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. 





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.


The Future is Certified Roof Inspections

The dawning of a new year puts everyone in the mindset of thinking ahead while reflecting on the past. We pause to realize how much has changed and wonder what lies before us in the year ahead. This isn’t just true when it comes to your personal life. It’s true in the roofing industry, specifically with the increased demand for quality roof inspections.


As your experts in roofing, we’ve seen clear trends emerging in recent years and months. Our decades in the industry give us insight into trends that will be shifting the industry in the coming year. To help you stay ahead, our specialists are sharing our top predictions for roof inspections and our tips for making 2022 a year of growth for your business.



Our Predictions for the Future of Roof Inspections


The techniques, trends, and professional landscape of roof inspections are always changing, and keeping up with those shifts will help you to stay competitive and deliver the highest-quality service to your clients. Here’s a peek into what we expect to see in 2022.


Expansion of High Consumer Expectations


California is a cornerstone of many industries, and it’s a uniquely important player in the nationwide roof inspection market, too. Homeowners and real estate professionals in California expect and require high quality from their roofing contractors as well as their roof inspectors, and this has made it a competitive market where only the best can win. However, we’re seeing more and more Californians leaving the state and moving elsewhere.


As homeowners leave California, they will take their expectations to their new locations throughout the country. As a result, inspectors and contractors across the US should use this opportunity to get accredited through the NRCIA or you will be playing catch up.


Spread of Regulations


Speaking of the Golden State, California has long been a trendsetter in legislation and regulations. Oftentimes, California will make a new policy change or institute a new regulation first. Other states will watch how it goes, learn from any growing pains that appeared, and then implement a similar change with potential tweaks.


We expect this to continue to happen throughout 2022 and beyond. Roof inspectors nationwide should keep an eye on California’s regulations and start planning ways to adjust to those same regulations if and when their own states follow suit. If you do this, you’re less likely to find yourself scrambling to implement the changes when the law does take effect in your state.


Demand for Certification


When it comes to inspections, some markets are more informal than others. In a small rural town, it might be perfectly normal to have the local handyman inspect roofs because he happens to know a lot about construction.


This is likely to change, though. California homeowners, real estate professionals, and insurance professionals demand professional roof inspectors who are certified by the NRCIA. As current and former Californians continue to move throughout the country, the demand for official, specialized, certified roof inspectors will grow nationwide, so certification will become even more vital for your business. Due to the growing demand, certain municipalities are now requiring a roof to be certified during the real estate transaction



How to Keep Up with Rising Consumer Expectations as a Roof Inspector


Our predictions for the years ahead in roof inspections generally carry one theme: increased expectations and demands for higher-quality roof inspectors. To make sure that this works for you instead of against you, follow these top tips.


Continuously Update Your Knowledge


No one is all-knowing in the roof inspections industry. There are always new techniques and improvements that arise, tricks and tools that appear on the scene, and so on. To provide your clients with the best information about their roofs, you need to continually update your knowledge.


There are plenty of ways to do this. NRCIA alone offers online training courses, ride-along opportunities, and more. There are also other online courses, blogs, and seminars you can participate in to hear new ideas and refine your strategies.


Consider Expanding Your Specialization


If you want to grow your business in a competitive market, one option is to expand your expertise and become certified in forensic roof inspection. Not only will the certification open the door for many new opportunities but while you study for your certification, you’re likely to learn more about roof systems. This can make you a better choice even for clients who only need a standard roof inspection.


Get Involved in the Industry Community


No matter how long you’ve been in the business, you have plenty to learn from your fellow roof inspectors. That’s why it is so important to get involved in the roof inspection community and maintain connections with colleagues.


You can network with other inspectors online, attend industry events, interact in online discussion groups, and more. This will help you predict the trends and shifts in the industry much as we’ve done in this article. It’s also a strong business practice because your connections with other professionals often lead to new opportunities and referrals.



Making 2022 Your Best Year in Roof Inspections


The constant changes in our world can make everything feel like moving targets, but there are positives to this state of constant change. We are constantly finding new ways to help clients and deliver more information and higher-quality details in roof inspections, and if you’re keeping up, you can stay at the top of your game and your local market.


To learn more, check out our guide to becoming an NRCIA.



Why is Roof Maintenance Important?

A roof is one of the most important parts of the home. It is the first line of defense against the elements. Roof systems need to be properly maintained to remain fully functional over their lifespan. There are a lot of things that go into managing a roof properly and it all depends on what stage the roof is in. 


Some homeowners choose to save money by skipping roof maintenance, but homeowners should not forget the level of stress and anxiety that comes from having a roof in disarray. The damage that a leaking roof can cause to the structure and safety of a home is immense. Moisture damage is one of the biggest fears of any homeowner as it weakens the home and can spur the growth of dangerous mold and bacteria.


There has also been an increase in roof repairs due to poor craftsmanship and roofing scams, which has led to an increased demand for roof warranties and certifications. That’s why it is important now more than ever for roof contractors and inspectors to be properly trained and certified. A certification backed by the NRCIA brings confidence to homeowners who request the services of these certified contractors. 


The integrity and credibility of the roofing industry are at the heart of the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association’s mission. Roofing services can be complex enough, even when done properly and the NRCIA is there to ensure that there’s a high level of professionalism and standardization within the roofing industry.



What Homeowners Need to Know


A homeowner needs to understand all components of their home. Homeowners need to understand the age of their roof and the maintenance schedule it follows. This is the best measure they can take to keep a roof system healthy and functional. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than reactive repairs.



Homeowners need to ensure that they partner up with the right roofing contractor. Preferably, a contractor that follows a standardized procedure to help clients maximize their roof system’s lifespan.


Maximizing a Roof’s Lifespan


A roof’s lifespan depends on the roofing material used. Composite, asphalt or wood shingles/shake can last between 12 to 25 years with the proper maintenance, with asphalt shingles able to last up to 30 years. Copper or Slate roofs can last upwards of 50 years if properly maintained, meaning all the homeowner should be concerned about is keeping it waterproof and free of leaks. There are additional factors that determine a roof’s lifespan: the product used, the quality of the installation, and maintaining a proper maintenance schedule. That’s why it’s critical to work with a roofing contractor certified by NRCIA who can provide the LeakFREE® guarantee. 


Additionally, more insurance companies are requesting these types of certifications and warranties before offering policies. Some insurance companies will even give homeowners a discount on their insurance premium if the homeowner’s roof has a LeakFREE® Roof Certification. Without certifications or warranties, loans and policies can be considered riskier which translates to higher premiums or higher mortgage rates.  


The NRCIA Guarantee


NRCIA wants to help take out the guesswork of choosing a good roofing inspector and/or contractor. Instead of going with a recommendation from a  friend or neighbor, trust a recommendation from the NRCIA whose sole purpose is to bring exceptional confidence and credibility to the roofing industry.


Homeowners can rest assured when they see the NRCIA Certified badge on their inspector’s shirt or business card. They will be working with roofing inspectors who know exactly what to look for when assessing the structure’s roof system.



Are you interested in becoming an NRCIA Inspector?

Do you need to find an NRCIA Inspector?




Becoming an NRCIA Authorized Company



A roofing company that wants to expand its business, or even potentially add a new revenue stream can earn accreditation with the NRCIA. Whether the roofing company is considering one inspector or a full team, we can accommodate any type of company.


NRCIA Membership


There are several membership levels open, each with more ways to gain new business. Members beyond the affiliate level will receive our LeakFREE training to understand the NRCIA’s process and procedures. 


Inspectors receive training on NRCIA’s 5-zone inspection process and how to provide their clients with a photo-centric inspection report using proprietary inspection software. NRCIA’s reporting process refines the consultation process enabling roofers to review and offer guaranteed and warrantied services for their customers. 


Any roofing contractor that selects to join NRCIA also joins our growing network of roofing contractors and receives unqualified leads when property owners contact the NRCIA. Learn more about the benefits and ROI of being an NRCIA member by reviewing our success guides.


NRCIA Authorized Company


Becoming an NRCIA’s Authorized Contractor allows the contractor to sign up their entire roofing team. This is a great opportunity for continuing education in the contractor’s field and industry, so the contractor can work to expand on offering services to grow their revenue streams. 


This team-based membership allows company administrators to manage multiple inspectors. Small and medium-sized companies can multiply their income, especially in highly-dense residential areas with this membership.

Case Study


Paid inspection appointments create qualified leads. By producing thorough NRCIA inspection reports, their conversions from appointments into jobs and certifications increased.

Additionally, the sale of NRCIA’s LeakFREE® roof certifications turned into a source of recurring revenue, as annual maintenance inspections are required as a condition of certification.


Interested in joining, but want to talk with someone first? Schedule a demo today!