Periodic roof inspections for your Toronto home or business are critical in determining what type of maintenance or repairs may need to be performed and are a must-do for every home-owner and home-buyer.
Why Is a Roof Inspection Necessary?
Proper roof maintenance is the key to extending the longevity of your roof. Roof inspections involve comprehensive checklists that are used to determine the integrity of a roof, its current age, what needs to be repaired, maintained, and when it will likely need to be replaced.
With Toronto’s extreme weather conditions, the cycle of freezing/thawing can wreak havoc on an aged roof and leaks can occur overnight. As such, roofs should be inspected yearly, especially ponding-prone flat roofs. Keep in mind that when it comes to repairing or maintaining your roof, it is extremely inexpensive compared to replacing it.
A professional roof inspector does not need to tear into your roof or move your shingles to determine the lifespan of a given roof. They have special procedures that do not damage the integrity of your current roofing system.
Why Choose Archer Roofing to Inspect Your Roof?
All of our roof inspections are conducted by our licensed and certified roofer and carpenter, Pawel Matonog. His techniques and procedures will reveal any potential hazards or issues and recommend ways you can prolong your roof’s life and prevent wear. Pawel’s thorough knowledge of building science and structure, as well as years of experience as a home renovator, ensures that a highly trained and educated expert, instead of a company salesman, is inspecting your roof.
Pawel will walk over the entire roof area, photograph all observed problems and document them in a roof report for your review. He will recommend any corrective actions to be undertaken, prioritizing the work into emergency repairs or maintenance, as well as outline the full costs associated.
The homeowners will then receive an email with their roof report, all digital photos taken, and a plan of action. Depending on their budget and Pawel’s recommendations, they can then decide what roof maintenance or roof repair services they would like to go ahead with and what they would like to hold off on.
With Archer Roofing as your contractor, you will always get a professional and honest assessment about your roof’s health in a timely fashion. Catching problems early on through yearly inspections or maintenance calls can also prevent any expensive repairs from even being necessary. The money you’ll save and the peace of mind afforded is well worth a regularly scheduled roof inspection from Archer Roofing.
Here are Items our Licensed Roofer will Check for:
Debris on Roof
Debris on a roof can be leaves, branches, broken antennas, mortar, bricks, granules, nests, animal droppings, etc. Roof debris can clog up your gutters, prevent proper roof drainage, attract more animals to your roof and sift into your vents. Roof debris should be cleaned off the roof to prevent water from backing up onto the roof deck, which can cause leaks, rot and interior water damage.
Gutters and downspouts are designed to allow for proper drainage during heavy rainstorms and melting snow, thus reducing the risk of water backing up and causing interior water damage. Their inherent design or faulty slope makes them susceptible to getting clogged with accumulated debris, thereby trapping water and snow, instead of draining it. We check to see if the drainage system is free of debris, properly aligned and in good condition.
The external roof covering is assessed for any physical damage like granular erosion on asphalt shingles, curled or missing shingles, deformed edges, tears in the membrane, missing or loose tabs, chipped mortar around chimneys and a general checklist of what needs to be repaired is presented to the client.
This refers to any structural deformations evident on a roof like on the decking, chimney, gutters, downspouts, fascia, ridges, skylights, vents, valleys, underlayment etc. We also looks for deformations on asphalt shingles or the membranes of a flat roof, which includes: holes, punctures, cracks, leaks, visible weathering. These are all signs of an aging roof. Once we have identified any deformations on a roof, we can let the homeowner decide what they would like to repair or replace.
Condition of Membrane Coating
This condition of the membrane is especially important for flat roofs, which frequently have pooling water and are prone to leaks. We look at the overall membrane condition, watching out for: ponding, granular loss, blistering, punctures, splitting, ridging and repair accordingly.
Granules form a protective top coat against UV rays and weather elements on asphalt shingles as well as give them added weight. During an inspection, we check to see if granular loss is uniform across the roof, how much granules are in the gutters and whether there are any bald spots or open blisters on the shingles. If the asphalt shingles lose enough granules, this leads to faster shingle failure and should be addressed.
Blisters look like pockmarks in the roofing shingles, often accompanied by a loss of asphalt. They are formed when volatile gases build up and pop out of the asphalt in shingles. They do shorten the life of shingles, especially if they are widespread on a roof, but, most importantly, they point to a deeper problem of a poorly ventilated and overheating roof. We will repair the blistered shingles if they are limited to a small area, as well as identify the ventilation issues with the roof.
Ponding refers to water pooling or standing on the roof surface for an extended period. Ponding is especially common on flat roofs that have not been maintained. There should not be standing water on the roof surface a day or two after rain or most recent weather activity. We check for the reason behind ponding, be it clogged gutters or slope issues and treat them accordingly. Water that is allowed to stand for an extended period of time on a roof will eventually lead to leaks and the weight from ponding water can cause damage to the roofing structure itself.
Condition of Roof Surface
We check the general appearance of the roof, looking for: cracks, blisters, punctures, or any other deformities on the roof to determine the overall condition of the roof surface. Asphalt shingles are inspected for granular erosion, brittleness, loose or missing tabs, etc., to determine how many years of service the roof has left and what repairs are necessary. Flat roofs are also inspected for granular loss, punctures, blistering, adhesion failure, curling edges, and, most importantly, if water is pooling due to insufficient slope.
Deformed shingles are formed when there is an uneven absorption of moisture by asphalt shingles. The cycle of expansion and shrinking affects the edges of the shingles the most, as they are the most exposed to moisture. Over time, the edges of the shingles lose their volatiles much more quickly and become brittle. This is usually a sign that the shingles are nearing the end of their life cycle.
Buckling is when asphalt shingles do not lie flat on a roof deck. Differing humidity levels can contract/expand roof decking and wrinkle the underlayment, buckling the shingles on top. Moisture needs to be released from the roof system to prevent further buckling. As part of our inspection we make sure the roof is properly vented.
Curling occurs when the edges of asphalt shingles start turning up, most commonly caused by the accumulation of moisture on the underside of the shingle. Inadequate ventilation is the main culprit, since a lack of ventilation traps heat and moisture in the attic, which penetrates the roof deck and leads to shingles curling.
Missing shingle tabs are usually caused by high winds lifting up loose or improperly fastened shingles. During an inspection, we will check if shingle tabs are lifting easily and hand seal them if they are limited to a small area.
All metal parts on or around the roof are inspected for corrosion. Any trapped water on the roof results in metal rusting and corroding faster. We can treat light corrosion, repair failed metal parts and prevent trapped water to extend the life of all metal parts on a roof.
Fascias are the finishing edges of a roof which cover otherwise exposed wood boards behind the gutter and act as a buffer against the elements. They give the roof a clean, sharp look and should be periodically checked to see if it is peeling, or damaged in any way. If they are, the wood boards inside and the soffits underneath become exposed to water and degrade over time.
Soffits are located on the underside of the overhanging part of the roof. They contain tiny holes that allow for attic ventilation. If those become clogged or damaged, the attic won't have proper ventilation, leading to moisture and rot. Animals like birds, raccoons and squirrels love to make nests in and around the soffits and will exploit any weak spots to make their own homes there. As part of our inspection, we make sure that the soffits are in good working order, that they are free of debris and animals and that the house has proper ventilation.
Gutters are hung from the edge of a roof and attached to downspouts, creating a system that ensures the flow of water is directed off the roof and away from your home. Because metal gutters are subject to corrosion, we check for holes, weak spots and broken or disconnected areas, repairing accordingly. Gutters can also be sloped poorly, which leads to debris accumulation and water backing up on the roof.
Skylights have metal trim flashings that require periodic maintenance to ensure they are in good condition and not leaking or rusting. In addition, the glass of the skylight can fail and the gaskets can crack or shrink. In most cases, a skylight can be repaired without it needing to be replaced.
Chimneys and Vents
As part of our inspection, we inspect any chimneys or vents and check that they are not obstructed in any way. Proper ventilation ensures that heat and moisture do not build up in the attic space, which could lead to costly mold and ice damming issues.
We look for water stains, rusting, wet spots, or other signs of excessive moisture on ceilings that is a sign of serious roofing problems. Unchecked, this leads to the deterioration of the building envelope.
Leaks tend to form around chimneys, vents, and skylights – and if they’re not noticed in a timely manner, damage can occur to the underlayment, sheathing, and joists, leading to potentially expensive repair and replacement costs. The interior ceiling directly under the roof can also show signs of leaks with water damage, rust spots, etc. The attic rafters and roof trusses can also be inspected for signs of water, mold, mildew or rot in extreme cases. If a leak has been left to linger, this could lead to expensive structural damage repairs being necessary.
Wall Surface Deterioration
Raised or deteriorated areas on the walls surrounding a roof are indicative of a serious roofing problem, such as roof leakage.
Stains on Walls
Stains on walls are telltale signs of improper drainage, where the water 'backs up' during rain storms, or allows for the buildup of snow and ice during the winter.
Cracks in Exterior Walls
In almost every building, there are cracks in exterior walls, varying from minor ones caused by water expansion to serious cracks that are indicative of deeper foundation problems. Our knowledgeable roofing inspector with training in building envelope design and renovations will be able to tell how serious the exterior cracks are and provide possible solutions.
If there are windows near the roof, we look for signs of leakage around the window frames such as the deterioration of the window frame, discolorations, and cracks.
Membranes are commonly punctured by vegetation that has contact with the roofing surface, such as tree limbs. Foot traffic, sharp objects, and exhaust fans discharging cooking oil can also potentially degrade a roof membrane. Membrane punctures are identified and fixed by our inspector.
We check for cracks in roof shingles, in the caulking, around roof penetrations such as skylights, vents, drains, etc., filling them in to ensure a watertight seal on the roof.
Flashing is sheet metal custom cut and shaped to meet the waterproofing needs of certain roof areas, such as where the roof changes slope or direction, or at perimeter walls, valleys, around chimneys, skylights, curbs, and areas that are especially likely to leak. We carefully inspect flashings, as they are susceptible to damage and corrosion, and should they fail, leaks are likely to occur.
Think you might need a roof inspection for your home?
In our experience, people generally don't consider something like a roof inspection to be a valid expenditure. However, a roof is the only part of your home that is exposed to peak heat in the summer and freezing cold and snow in the winter. Over the years, flashings will pull away, animals will make nests, shingles will break off, and sealants will disintegrate. It’s very important that these common issues are caught before any significant damage occurs.
Keep in mind that just because there is no puddle on your bedroom floor, does not mean that the roof is not leaking. The insulation in your attic does a great job of holding a significant amount of water (much like a wet sponge) before any of it is evident inside your bedroom. Many leaks develop for quite a while before they are visible inside your home.
If you have any suspicions about your roof's current state or would like to speak with us about it, please get in touch and Pawel, who will be more than happy to come out and spend some time talking to you about your concerns, inspect your roof and let you know what can be done to keep it in great shape.
If you require a thorough roof inspection, with a detailed report and photographs, there is a $350 charge for this comprehensive service. Otherwise, if you feel your roof is in need of maintenance, repair or replacement, site visits and inspections are free.
Standing water, as well as slow leaks in your attic, can feed mold growth in your building envelope. And more importantly, the longer the water has been inside your home, the greater the damage. Catch these problems early on by having a roofer you can trust do a thorough inspection on your roof. Get in touch with Archer Roofing today!