asphalt roof

It is a good idea to have your roof structure inspected by a professional home inspector every 5 to 10 years

The winter can be a stressful time of the year with all the snow and ice on the roads. Snow is heavy and when it builds up on your roof it can add significant weight to your trusses, rafters or joists. It is a good idea to have your roof structure inspected by a professional home inspector every 5 to 10 years. Especially, if it has been exposed to any sort of trauma from detaching tree branches during a winter storm.

Homeowners can take precautions by following these simple tips before the snow starts to fall every winter. Do a visual inspection. Walk around the perimeter of the home. Look for any anomalies or loose, damaged shingles. You might want to step back fifty to a hundred feet and look at the roof from the macro perspective. Look for sagging, dishing and missing or damaged components. Binoculars can really help with your visual inspection. If you find any readily accessible problems, then consult with the appropriate roofing contractor or inspector. Inspectors are typically unbiased and don’t have any financial gain for roof replacement. Some roofs such as cedar shake/shingle may need typical ridge and or hip cap repair/replacement as they near the end of their useful lifespan.

If you have safe access, then it is a good idea to peek into the attic annually. Look for any leaks, wet spots, mould, mildew, damaged structure, missing insulation or detached ducting. It is not advisable to walk through the attic as you may step on electrical, slip and damage the ceiling drywall or damage the insulation. Hire a professional who is licensed and insured to do the job.

wet attic

Sealing and or caulking any exterior joints, cracks in chimney caps and or open flashing details is a good idea to preserve the lifespan of the building components. Again, if there are heights involved, steep pitch roofs, or any other dangers hire the appropriate contractor to do the job.

Last but not least, ensure your gutters are cleaned every fall to catch all that melting snow. A home without gutters may allow water ingress and lead to rot, deterioration, mould, mildew and or wood destroying insects.

Mark Nicholet is a licensed home inspector and has been providing premium quality inspections on Vancouver Island since 2008.