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.