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In the Eye of the Roofer: What To Look For in a Roof

a close up shot of a home's roofing systemHere at AD Roofing, we’ve been working on roofs since before Facebook was a thing. Can people even remember such a time? Maybe even before that. Working on roofs every day for that long means that you will, inevitably, develop what we like to call here as the ‘roofer eye.’ It’s no different than how people in any other industry develop particular attention to detail with whatever they work with. Fashionistas will develop an eye for new fashions. Car enthusiasts and mechanics will develop an eye (or an ear) for a good working car engine. Doctors will develop an eye to spot certain illnesses. And roofers develop an eye for how to spot trouble. So we thought we’d share a few tips on what to look for in your roof, in the event that you may be looking to buy a new home or simply giving your roof a quick overview. 

You know by now that a roof is one of the most important aspects of a home, especially when you’re looking to make an investment of thirty or more years. So, yes, your roof is what stands between you and the elements and therefore you don’t want it falling apart on you a year or two in. If you’re finally out on the market for a new home (a very special time indeed) then you want to arm yourself with some basic knowledge about how to develop that roofer’s eye. 

Begin With a Few Questions — Ask About Roofing Damage and History

Even just a few questions can give you a good idea about the standing of the roof. A few preliminary questions to ask your realtor might include:

  • How old is the roof?
  • What type of roof is it?
  • Has it seen damage in the past?
  • When was the last time that the roof got replaced?

Start With the Visuals — Look for Visual Signs 

While not all roof damage is immediately visible, there are a few things you can look for. Some of these include:

  • Missing shingles: Any missing shingles might indicate that the roof has sustained damage recently or in the not too recent past. It also means that the roof itself might be approaching, if not past, its service life.  
  • Curled edges: This might indicate some kind of moisture accumulation or a space in the house that is improperly ventilated, the house has multiple layered roofs, they were improperly installed, or simply old age. 
  • Peeling paint: Signs of peeling paint can also indicate signs of moisture accumulation, high humidity, and weather damage. 
  • Worn spots: These might be a little hard to spot, but they are little damage spots that might occur throughout your roof. 

Mold Detection

It is important to note that not all the presence of mold is detectable with the naked eye. Some form in less visible spaces and so it’s always a good idea to get a professional to do this for you. Mold is a kind of fungus, which typically will look dark green or black. It can be found in dark moist corners beneath floorboards, in corners of the wall where excess water has collected, and on the bottom or underside of your roof. The leading cause of mold growth includes roofing materials not properly installed or protected against moisture and weak ventilation systems in the house. So while viewing a roof in a new home keep an eye out for these hard to find places and see if you can’t spot any molding. 

Ventilation System

Any home worth it’s salt will have a good ventilation system installed to make sure that moisture is not trapped in these spaces. So while inspecting your potential new home, inquire about and check the ventilation system. The duct system will take care of introducing fresh air into rooms and allowing moisture to escape. A good ventilation system will do several things: bring down your energy bills, let the sunshine in, and let in the fresh air. Without a properly working system, you can be facing the slow build-up of mold. 

Breaks and Leaks

A leaky roof is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Sometimes these problems can be spotted if looked over with a careful eye. On the exterior, leaks will damage the walls and paint. So looking for any peeling paint damage or water spots on the corners of walls might be a good indicator that that roof is a little leaky. A lot of leaks will occur in the valleys, roof seams, near chimneys, and plumbing vents. It might be harder to inspect for the non-roof specialists. Here at AD Roofing, however, we do inspections and can spot damage on your roof valleys. We are, in fact, one of the only El Paso roofers that do work on the valleys of rooms, as it is not easy work to do. 

Trust the Professionals at AD Roofing to Inspect Thoroughly

So while you want to develop your own ‘roofer eye,’ it’s always best to trust those of a professional.  If you’re looking to inspect your roof or wanting to give your roof an overview and make sure everything is working fine, call AD Roofing today! We’ve seen all the roof variations imaginable and have learned to spot signs of trouble early on and fix them to last a long time.

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