One of the most important components of a house to both a homeowner and Home Inspector is the roof. The roof covers and protects the majority of the house. If the roof is not sound then there are possibly and quite likely many other issues that could result from this condition.
When contractors or house flippers look at a home to consider renovating or improving the house for resale, no other factor is likely to influence their decisions as much as the overall condition of the roof.
There are many types of roof designs. There are gabled roofs, A-frames, hip roofs, mansard roofs, or even flat roofs. There are even more types of covering materials but in the residential market, asphalt/fiberglass shingles, metal roof, slate roof, and tile roof are among the most popular. All design types and materials can work well as long as they are installed and maintained properly.
One of the most common roof defects happens when shingle nails are not sufficiently sunk in which causes the shingles above to stand up slightly and have a gap underneath. This usually happens when roofers are using nail guns and working fast. The resulting gap can allow leaks, and can allow foreign objects such as branches, leaves or even moss to get under the shingle. Once the roof is finished and left with nailing defects it also creates a situation resulting in damage to the top shingle when someone such as the homeowner steps on the popped nail.
When looking at a roof, the shingle lines should have uniform spacing and be very straight. The roof ridge should have a ridge vent system or some other type of venting system to allow moisture to escape from the attic to prevent mold and decay.
As important as the roof is to the overall quality of a home it is equally important that a Home Inspector make every effort to give the roof a quality inspection. The absolute minimum should be that the inspector put a ladder against the structure and look at the roof from the top of the ladder. On low sloping roofs that are not snow covered or made from slippery material the inspector should get on the roof and inspect every section thoroughly. If your inspector takes one look at the roof and says “snow on the roof, can’t be inspected”, get a better Home Inspector!