Inspecting Your Roof After Installation: Knowing What to Look For

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Having a new roof installed is a big investment for any homeowner. Not only does it protect your home from the elements, but it also adds value and curb appeal. After spending time and money choosing the right roofing material and contractor, it’s important to ensure the installation is done properly to ensure its longevity.

Many homeowners assume that once their new roof is installed, there is nothing more they need to do besides occasional maintenance. However, a thorough inspection after installation can save you countless headaches and expenses in the long run. This guide will discuss why inspecting your roof post-installation is crucial and what signs to look out for during this process.

Your Cheat Sheet to Roofing Installation Inspection

Inspecting your newly installed roof is a critical step that should not be overlooked. This inspection aims to catch any potential issues early, ensuring that your roof will provide the protection and efficiency it was designed for. During this examination, you’ll want to pay attention to the quality of the workmanship, the correct installation of materials, and any signs of immediate wear or damage. Now, let’s dive into some key tips to help you conduct an effective roofing installation inspection.

Examine the Shingles

Check for uniformity in color, proper alignment, and secure placement of shingles. Ensure that there are no cracks, loose or missing shingles.

Look for Proper Sealing

Inspect all the sealing points, especially around chimneys, vents, and skylights. These areas should be sealed adequately to prevent leaks.

Inspect the Gutters

Make sure the gutters are securely attached, free of debris, and that downspouts are directing water away from the foundation.

Check the Flashing

Flashing is a critical component that should be correctly installed to prevent water from penetrating the roof joints. Confirm that it’s intact and properly positioned.

Verify Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation is essential for regulating the temperature and moisture levels in the roof. Check that vents are unobstructed and functional.

Ensure Work Area Cleanliness

After installation, the worksite should be cleaned of any debris, including nails and surplus material, which can pose risks to both the roof and the household.

Evaluate the Roofing Underlayment

Ensure that the underlayment, a water-resistant or waterproof barrier material, was installed correctly beneath the shingles. It should be flat and properly overlapping to provide an additional layer of protection from water infiltration.

Confirm Correct Nail Placement

The placement of nails is crucial for securing shingles. Verify they are driven straight and flush with the shingle surface, not under-driven or over-driven, which can cause damage or affect the shingle’s performance.

Assess the Overall Aesthetic

Stand back and view the roof from various angles to assess the overall aesthetic. The roof should appear even and uniform without any sagging sections or irregular patterns, which could indicate underlying issues.

Check for Adequate Insulation

Proper insulation in the attic affects your roof’s health and your home’s energy efficiency. Confirm that there’s enough insulation and that it’s distributed evenly, without gaps or compressed areas.

Inspect for Proper Overhang

Shingles should extend past the roof deck at the edges to prevent water from seeping into the roof structure. The standard overhang is usually between 1 to 1.5 inches.

Review Warranty Documentation

Finally, make sure you have all your warranty documents in order, understand what is covered, and know the process to follow should you encounter any issues with your new roof.

The Advantages of Professional Roofing Inspection

While diligent homeowners can perform a basic inspection, there’s an undeniable benefit to having a professional roofing inspector conduct a thorough evaluation. A professional brings a level of expertise and attention to detail that goes beyond the standard checklist. They can identify subtle signs of problems that may not be evident to the untrained eye and can offer solutions to ensure your roof performs optimally for years to come. Below are the critical advantages of engaging a professional roofing inspector.

Expertise and Experience

Professionals are equipped with the knowledge and hands-on experience to detect a wide range of issues. Their expertise allows them to evaluate the workmanship and suggest appropriate interventions if needed.

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

Inspectors use specialized diagnostic tools and technologies, such as infrared scanners, to detect underlying problems that aren’t visible on the surface.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Identifying and addressing issues early can prevent minor problems from escalating into significant, costly repairs down the line.

Safety Assurance

Roof inspections can be hazardous. Professionals are trained to navigate roofs safely and are equipped with the necessary safety gear.

Detailed Inspection Reports

Professional inspectors provide comprehensive reports that can be used for negotiations if you’re experiencing issues covered by warranty or for future reference during maintenance work.

Peace of Mind

Knowing a highly skilled professional has meticulously examined your new roof installation offers peace of mind that your home is well-protected against the elements.

Prolonged Roof Lifespan

Through professional inspection, potential problems that could shorten the lifespan of your roof are identified and remedied early on. This proactive approach can significantly extend the life of your roofing system, ensuring long-term performance and durability.

Warranty Compliance

Manufacturers often have specific requirements for maintenance and inspection to keep the warranty valid. A professional inspection guarantees that these guidelines are strictly followed, maintaining the integrity of your warranty.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

By detecting and addressing any insulation issues or gaps in the roofing system, a professional can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. This leads to lower heating and cooling costs and a more comfortable living environment.

Environmental Benefits

A well-maintained roof contributes to the overall environmental efficiency of a home. It minimizes the need for frequent repairs or replacements, which in turn reduces the consumption of building materials, waste output, and the home’s carbon footprint.

How to Recognize a Good Roofing Expert

Recognizing competent and reliable roof inspection experts is crucial for ensuring the longevity and performance of your roofing system. The right professional not only possesses the necessary skills and knowledge but also adheres to high standards of workmanship and customer service. Here are key tips to help you identify a good roofing expert:

  • Check for Licensing and Insurance: Verify that the roofing contractor holds a valid license and has comprehensive insurance coverage for liability and worker’s compensation.
  • Examine Credentials and Training: Consider professionals with certifications from reputable industry organizations, often requiring passing exams and ongoing training.
  • Look for Extensive Experience: An expert with many years of experience is likely to have handled various roofing projects and challenges.
  • Ask for References: Request a list of past customers or a portfolio of completed work to assess the quality and consistency of their projects.
  • Read Online Reviews and Testimonials: Seek feedback from previous clients through platforms like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, or Google Reviews.
  • Evaluate Their Communication Skills: A good expert should be approachable, willing to answer your questions, and provide clear, detailed explanations.
  • Assess Their Professionalism: Note their punctuality for appointments, their appearance, and whether they use formal contracts and documentation.
  • Understand Their Warranty Offerings: Ensure they provide a warranty on materials and labor and clarify what the warranty covers and for how long.
  • Compare Quotes: Get estimates from several contractors to compare pricing and understand what is included in the cost.
  • Watch Out for Red Flags: Be cautious of experts who pressure you into quick decisions, request large upfront deposits, or have poor communication habits.


Q: How often should I have my roof inspected?

A: It is recommended to schedule a professional roofing inspection at least once a year, preferably in the spring or fall. Additionally, after any severe weather events, it’s advisable to have your roof checked for potential damage.

Q: What are some signs that my roof needs repair or replacement?

A: Some warning signs that your roof may need repair or replacement include missing or damaged shingles, leaks or water stains on the ceiling, significant wear and tear, and visible damage such as sagging or loose materials.

Q: Can I do my own roofing inspection?

A: Conducting a DIY roofing inspection is not recommended unless you have experience and knowledge in this area. Roof inspections require specialized equipment and can be dangerous. Hiring a professional roofing inspector for an accurate and thorough evaluation is best.

Q: What should I do if my roof fails the inspection?

A: If significant issues are identified during the inspection, addressing them promptly is important to prevent further damage or safety hazards. Consult with your roofing contractor to discuss potential solutions and cost-effective options for repairs or replacement.

Q: Will a roof inspection disrupt my daily routine?

A: Professional roof inspections are typically non-intrusive and do not require vacating your property. Inspectors aim to work efficiently and with minimal disruption to your daily activities.

Q: How can I maintain my roof between inspections?

A: Regular maintenance, such as cleaning gutters, removing debris, and trimming overhanging branches, can help preserve your roof’s condition. Additionally, monitoring the attic for signs of moisture or insulation issues can prevent larger problems.

Q: Does the time of year affect roofing inspections or repairs?

A: Yes, weather conditions can impact roofing work. Ideal times for inspections and repairs are usually during dry, mild weather. Extreme heat or cold can affect materials and installation quality, while wet conditions pose safety risks.

Final Thoughts

A well-maintained roof is essential for your home’s safety, comfort, and longevity. Regular inspections by a qualified roofing expert can help prevent costly repairs or replacements and ensure your warranty remains valid. By choosing a reputable roofing professional and staying vigilant with maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of a durable and energy-efficient roof. Always research before hiring a roofing expert, and never hesitate to ask questions or address any concerns you may have.