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How to Assess the Quality of a Roof Installation

Date: June 4, 2024

A well-installed roof is not just a matter of aesthetics; it's a critical component of your home's structural integrity and protection against the elements. Whether you're building a new home or replacing an existing roof, assessing the quality of the installation is paramount.

A properly installed roof not only enhances the curb appeal of your property but also provides peace of mind knowing that your home is safeguarded against leaks, moisture damage, and other potential hazards. The process of assessing the quality of a roof installation involves a comprehensive evaluation of various factors. Let's look how to assess the quality of a roof installation.

1. Initial Inspection

A visual inspection of the roof's exterior serves as the first step in identifying any visible signs of damage, wear, or installation errors. Taking the time to thoroughly inspect the roof's surface can reveal potential issues that may need further attention.

During the initial inspection, it's crucial to carefully examine the condition of the shingles or roofing materials.

  • Look for any signs of cracking, curling, or missing shingles, as these can indicate underlying issues such as water damage or improper installation.
  • Check for uniformity in the alignment and spacing of the shingles, as unevenness could suggest errors in the installation process.
  • Pay close attention to the flashing, which is designed to prevent water from seeping into vulnerable areas such as valleys, vents, and chimneys.
  • Ensure that the flashing is securely attached and free from any gaps or damage that could compromise its effectiveness.
  • Inspect the gutters and downspouts for debris buildup or signs of corrosion, as proper drainage is essential for preventing water damage to the roof and underlying structure.

2. Roofing Materials

Assessing the roofing materials involves evaluating their durability, suitability for the climate, and adherence to industry standards. Before installation begins, it's essential to verify that the selected materials meet the requirements for the specific roofing project.

When assessing roofing materials, consider factors such as the type of shingles or roofing tiles being used.

  • Different materials, such as asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or clay tiles, have varying levels of durability and resistance to weathering. Evaluate the manufacturer's specifications and warranties to ensure that the chosen materials are designed to withstand the local climate conditions and provide adequate protection against elements like wind, rain, and UV exposure.
  • Consider the aesthetic appeal of the roofing materials and how they complement the overall design of the home. While appearance is subjective, selecting high-quality materials that enhance the curb appeal of the property can add value and visual appeal. Take into account factors such as color, texture, and architectural style when choosing roofing materials that align with the desired aesthetic vision.
  • Inquire about the environmental sustainability of the roofing materials, including their recyclability and energy efficiency. Opting for eco-friendly roofing options can not only reduce environmental impact but also contribute to long-term cost savings and energy efficiency. Look for certifications such as ENERGY STAR or LEED compliance to ensure that the chosen materials meet recognized sustainability standards.

3. Installation Techniques

The quality of installation techniques employed significantly influences the performance and longevity of a roof. Proper installation requires adherence to industry best practices, manufacturer guidelines, and local building codes.

Assessing installation techniques involves evaluating the craftsmanship and attention to detail demonstrated by the roofing contractor or installation team.

  • Check the thoroughness of the preparation work. This includes proper surface preparation, such as removing old roofing materials, repairing damaged decking, and ensuring a clean and smooth substrate for the new roof.
  • Assess the accuracy and precision of the installation process, including the alignment and placement of roofing materials. Ensure that flashing, vents, and other roofing accessories are installed securely and properly sealed to prevent leaks and water damage. 
  • Verify that the installation team follows recommended safety protocols throughout the installation process. Roofing can be a hazardous job, and adherence to safety guidelines helps minimize the risk of accidents or injuries. Look for evidence of proper safety equipment, such as harnesses, scaffolding, and fall protection systems, as well as adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

4. Water Drainage

Effective water drainage is essential for preserving the integrity of the roof and preventing water damage to the underlying structure. Assessing water drainage involves evaluating the functionality of gutters, downspouts, and other components designed to channel water away from the roof and foundation of the home.

Proper water drainage helps prevent issues such as roof leaks, mold growth, and foundation damage.

  • Start by inspecting the gutters and downspouts for any signs of damage, such as cracks, rust, or clogs. Gutters should be securely attached to the roofline and pitched slightly downward to ensure proper water flow toward the downspouts. Remove any debris, such as leaves, twigs, or sediment, that may obstruct the flow of water and impede drainage.
  • Evaluate the condition of the downspouts and ensure that they extend at least several feet away from the foundation of the home to prevent water from pooling near the structure. Consider installing splash blocks or extensions to further divert water away from the foundation and landscaping. 
  • Assess the slope of the roof to ensure adequate drainage and prevent standing water, which can accelerate deterioration and promote the growth of mold and algae. Flat or low-slope roofs may require additional measures, such as the installation of tapered insulation or a drainage system, to facilitate water runoff.

5. Energy Efficiency

An energy-efficient roof not only helps reduce utility bills but also minimizes environmental impact by lowering energy consumption. Evaluating the energy efficiency of a roof involves considering factors such as insulation, ventilation, and the choice of roofing materials.

  • During the assessment, verify that the insulation is properly installed and meets or exceeds local building codes and energy efficiency standards. Consider upgrading insulation levels or adding supplemental insulation to improve energy performance and reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Assess the attic ventilation system to ensure adequate airflow and ventilation openings, such as soffit vents, ridge vents, or gable vents. Proper ventilation not only improves energy efficiency but also extends the lifespan of the roofing materials by reducing heat and moisture-related damage.
  • Evaluate the solar reflectance and thermal emittance properties of roofing materials to determine their energy-saving potential. Additionally, consider the long-term benefits of energy-efficient roofing options, such as reduced maintenance and replacement costs.

6. Professional Inspection

While a homeowner's initial assessment of a roof installation is valuable, a professional inspection conducted by a qualified roofing inspector provides an in-depth evaluation of the roof's condition and performance. A professional inspection is essential for identifying hidden issues, assessing structural integrity, and ensuring compliance with industry standards and building codes.

Here's why a professional inspection is crucial:

  • Expertise and Experience

Professional roofing inspectors have specialized knowledge and experience in evaluating roofs of all types and identifying potential problems that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. They are familiar with common issues associated with different roofing materials and installation techniques, allowing them to provide accurate assessments and recommendations.

  • Comprehensive Evaluation

A professional inspection involves a thorough examination of all aspects of the roof, including the roofing materials, flashing, ventilation, and drainage systems. Inspectors use specialized tools and techniques to assess the condition of the roof and identify any signs of damage, deterioration, or installation errors.

They also inspect the attic space for signs of moisture intrusion, inadequate insulation, or ventilation issues that may affect the roof's performance.

  • Compliance and Certification

Professional roofing inspectors are trained to assess roofs according to industry standards, manufacturer specifications, and local building codes. They ensure that the roof installation meets all necessary requirements and complies with relevant regulations.

Some inspectors may also hold certifications or memberships in professional organizations, indicating their commitment to high standards of professionalism and ethics.

  • Detailed Inspection Report

Following the inspection, the roofing inspector provides a detailed report outlining their findings, including any areas of concern, recommended repairs or maintenance, and estimated costs. The inspection report serves as a valuable tool for homeowners, providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their roof and prioritize any necessary repairs or improvements.

  • Peace of Mind

By hiring a professional roofing inspector, homeowners can have confidence in the condition and performance of their roof. A thorough inspection can uncover potential issues early on, allowing for timely repairs or maintenance that can help prevent more extensive damage and costly repairs in the future.

At the end of the day, knowing that their roof has been professionally inspected provides homeowners with peace of mind and reassurance that their investment is protected.

7. Maintenance Considerations

Maintaining a roof in good condition is crucial for preserving its longevity and performance over time. Regular maintenance helps prevent minor issues from escalating into major problems, prolongs the life of roofing materials, and protects the home from water damage and other hazards.

Here are some important maintenance considerations for homeowners:

  • Regular Inspections

Schedule periodic roof inspections by a qualified professional to assess the condition of the roof and identify any signs of damage or deterioration. Inspections should be conducted at least once a year, preferably in the spring or fall, and after severe weather events such as storms or heavy rainfall.

  • Clear Debris

Remove debris such as leaves, branches, and dirt from the roof surface and gutters regularly. Accumulated debris can block drainage systems, causing water to pool on the roof and increase the risk of leaks and water damage.

Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free-flowing to ensure proper water drainage away from the home's foundation.

  • Repair Damage Promptly

Address any signs of damage or wear identified during inspections promptly. Repair cracked or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and deteriorated sealant to prevent water infiltration and maintain the integrity of the roof. 

  • Trim Overhanging Branches

Trim back overhanging tree branches that may pose a risk to the roof, especially during storms or high winds. Branches can cause physical damage to the roof surface and gutters and provide a pathway for pests such as squirrels or raccoons to access the roof and attic space.

  • Monitor Attic Conditions

Check the attic regularly for signs of moisture buildup, such as water stains, mold, or mildew. Proper attic ventilation and insulation are essential for preventing condensation and moisture-related issues that can compromise the integrity of the roof structure and insulation.

  • Professional Maintenance

Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as sealing roof penetrations, inspecting and repairing flashing, and applying protective coatings or sealants as needed. Professional maintenance ensures that the roof remains in optimal condition and can extend its lifespan significantly.

Roofing Insulation Techniques for Phoenix Homes

Phoenix, Arizona has temperatures that can soar to extreme highs which highlights the importance of roofing insulation technique. However air conditioning costs can skyrocket during the sweltering summer months, which hilhights the role of proper insulation.

Roofing insulation serves as a barrier against heat transfer, helping to keep homes cooler and more comfortable while reducing the strain on air conditioning systems. It also helps prolong the lifespan of roofing materials by minimizing thermal expansion and contraction, which can lead to premature deterioration.

In a desert climate like Phoenix, where water scarcity is a constant concern, roofing insulation can also help conserve water by reducing the need for excessive cooling. 

About Mikku & Sons
Mikku and Sons red repair track with its logo painted on its side- roofing company track wraps
Our roofing company was founded in 2001 by Michael Riutta, who is still part of the ownership and management team. Between Michael, his two sons and co-owners, Devin and Joshua, and our crew members, we have many years of experience to handle any type of roof repair or roof installation solutions you may need.