Mosthomeowners don’t inspect their roofs until there is a problem. If you haven’t done a roof inspection you’re not alone! The two most common causes of water damage in the home come from stormwater and leaky roofs.
You should inspect your roof at least twice a year, and after every storm or severe weather event. However, don’t call for a professional roof inspection! You can do a simple, quick, and money saving inspection yourself.
Walk around your home’s exterior, inspecting the roof from the ground for signs of damage, sagging, and ageing. In addition, take notes of any possible problem areas or areas in need of closer inspection.
Identify areas with moss, algae, and piles of leaves – these areas are notorious for causing costly leaks and water damage.
Keep your eye out for cracked and chipped roof tiles! Hot days and cold rain often cause roof tiles to crack and chip. After heavy wind storms also check for dislodged tiles. Hail storms may puncture roof tiles, putting your roof and home at great risk for weather damage.
Look for missing, damaged, and aged roof tiles. This is the leading cause of roof damage. Missing tiles equal direct exposure to inclement weather, plus, they are an eyesore!
It is so important to clean your gutters and roof overhangs and maintain your downpipes! Furthermore, as you’re performing these essential tasks, make note of open joins and signs of rust and rot, as those are typical indicators of larger issues.
Look closely for granule loss (texture on roof tiles) or paint loss. Granule and paint loss indicates that tiles have aged or have been affected by severe weather. As a result, they are no longer protecting your home against damaging storms. Therefore, if you find that the surface of your tiles is deteriorating, it’s time to replace!
Grab Your Ladder! While on top of your roof, inspect your counter flashing. Counter flashing is a metal, waterproof strip installed over areas in need of additional moisture protection. When inspecting, note damaged, cracked, and shrinking sealant around the edges of the counter flashing. In addition, if you find that the seal has deteriorated, your roof and ceiling will be highly-vulnerable to water damage.
Does your roof have space between the roof finish and the ceiling (roof space)? If not, skip this step! If your home does have roof space, look for signs of water penetration under the roof.
You’ve Completed the Roof Inspection, Now What?
After you’ve completed the roof inspection, take some time to review your findings. Did you stumble across any potential problem areas or major concerns? If so, contact a local professional immediately. Remember, a smart homeowner is a pro-active homeowner! Fixing minor problems and concerns before they become disasters is the key to stress-free home maintenance.
WHAT IS ROOF CROCODILING AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR FLAT ROOF?
Waterproofed concrete and composite flat roofs on residential and commercial buildings require more maintenance than sloped roofs. They react differently to sun and moisture than tiled or sheeted roofs and require more frequent maintenance to ensure they function as they should. One common problem with many flat roofs is crocodiling.
What is Crocodiling?
Crocodiling is a crazed cracking pattern in the surface of the waterproofing. It looks like crocodile skin, which is where the name comes from.
Crocodiling is a sign that your waterproofing is ageing. The sun’s UV rays dry out and damage the waterproofed surface, and after five years or more years, the coating may develop small cracks. The older your roof gets before you repair the crocodiling, the more expensive it will get.
Extreme temperature changes, changing from hot sunshine to sudden cloudbursts and rain, and even hot winter days and very cold nighttime temperatures will cause new cracks to appear and will make existing cracks worse.
Leaves and debris will allow water to pool on the membrane which, together with the elements, will hasten the deterioration of protective coating and waterproofing itself.
Spring has arrived at last! However, you should have inspected and maintained your gutters and roof by the end of winter. But, if you haven’t, you better do so now! They may be clogged with leaves, debris and dust.
Gather up your ladder, a plastic bag, your hosepipe and get busy. If you don’t, the timbers supporting your gutters may soon look like this!
If your roof does not have gutters installed, the roof structure probably has damage to the feet of the roof trusses. Check under the eaves of the roof for moisture damage before it’s too late.
Consider installing gutters before the roof timbers rot and fail. If they have rotted the repairs will be extensive and expensive!
Check your roof and gutters
Cut back trees and branches that deposit leaves and dead wood on the roof. Remove any debris from your roof. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a good roofing contractor to get the job done. This should be a priority. Debris prevent the free flow of rainwater off the roof! Roof tiling and roof sheeting are not 100% waterproof. These roofs are water-shedding systems rather than waterproofing systems.
Check your tiled roof while you’re up cleaning your gutters! Check for broken or cracked roof tiles, dislodged tiles and cracked mortar on the ridges and hips.
Foot traffic easily damages the tiles on your roof. If you walk on your tiled roof you will probably cause some damage. Also, consider the safety aspect! A fall from your roof can result in serious injuries and even death. Roofing specialists should repair any defective or broken tiling
Any structure requires ongoing roof inspection and roof maintenance to prevent leaks. By identifying minor problems you can save yourself major repair costs in future. You can thereby also extend the lifespan of your roof considerably before needing to replace it.
Types of Roofs
Together with walls and windows, roofs are a primary component which protects the interior of the building.
There are two main types of roof systems: low-slope (flat) and steep-slope roofs.
Most multi-unit residential buildings use low-slope roofing, while townhouse buildings and single detached houses generally use steep-slope roofing.
Both roof types may be used in some buildings.
Low-slope roofs have a waterproof membrane and a series of drains that remove water from the roof surface. As they are low-slope, these roofs must be water-tight to function properly.
The roofing membrane is applied as;
A liquid that cures or dries to form a waterproof surface,
Or fabricated from pre-manufactured sheets, joined together to create a surface, impermeable to water.
These membranes seal all openings and penetrations through the roof to prevent water leaks. With frequent roof inspections and maintenance, the membranes can provide a leak-proof for up to 20 years.
Steep-slope roofs have overlapping roofing materials to create a surface that, together with gravity, sheds water effectively. The roofing materials include:
asphalt or fibreglass shingles,
and asbestos/fibre or metal sheeting.
Why roof maintenance?
Reduce the likelihood of premature leaks and ageing by regularly inspecting your roof, and doing maintenance work where necessary. Sunlight, rain, hail, wind and temperature changes gradually break down the roofing materials. Eventually, the roof will need to be replaced. However, proper maintenance and care will maximize the service life of the roof.
Roofing systems generally have an anticipated “leak-free life”. The roof should not leak over this time span if properly designed, constructed and maintained. After this time the roof system may still continue to provide many years of service. Leaks will, however, occur eventually. These may increase up to a point when the entire roof will need to be replaced.
After a severe windstorm, or extreme weather, inspect your roof for damage.
Proper roof maintenance reduces costly premature damage. Undetected leaks can damage the building’s structure and interior finishes.
Roof inspection, maintenance and repairs
All roofs require regular inspection. Because of safety issues, a professional home inspector or professional roof inspector should be employed for this purpose. A professional inspector has specialist knowledge, uses the proper equipment and meets all safety requirements. You, your body corporate or maintenance manager should coordinate this work.
A possible roof problem can be identified by damage to the ceilings or walls of the home. If you are renting or living in a complex, notify your body corporate or maintenance manager.
The qualified professional inspecting the roof should
be familiar with the roofing system in your building,
be able to identify potential problems, and
know how to take the necessary safety precautions while doing an inspection or maintenance work.
Specific items for roof inspection and maintenance will depend on the type of roof(s) on your building. You will find a checklist of common roof maintenance items at the end of this article.
Inspect twice a year;
in the autumn or spring to address any possible summer or winter damage, and
In the spring or autumn to prepare for the upcoming summer or winter rain.
After any storm, high winds, extreme rain or hail, inspect your roof, including flashings and other accessories. If construction has taken place on the roof, check for leaks.
The roof inspection should include the underside of the roof structure and the outside of the building. These areas may show up potential problems with your roof.
Who does the roof inspection?
Hire an InterNACHI certified home inspector to inspect and review the condition of the roof.
A professional roof contractor should carry out any required roof maintenance. The professional will have the necessary tools and knowledge to repair identified the problems. Skylights and other roof penetrations may require specialized attention. A specialist supplier or manufacturer may need to be employed.
Weathering reduces the expected service life of the roof. Furthermore, it also affects the appearance of the roof. A yellow or brown stain on the ceiling could be an indication that moisture is leaking from the roof.
Roof leaks can result from overflowing gutters or backed-up downpipes. Debris in gutters and downpipes can prevent proper water drainage. Moreover, this may also result in water backing up and overflowing into adjacent building walls and moisture damage to the roof structure.
This makes periodic roof inspections essential!
I will do a RoofInspection and Report which will identify problems with your roof. The report will include the condition of the roofing products, materials and flashings. Furthermore, the report will also include any other roof maintenance issues.
Because of my experience and training, I offer SEVEN different types of home inspections or property assessments to suit the needs of home buyers, home sellers, homeowners, business owners, landlords and those of you thinking of building or extending your home.
There are 6 different types of comprehensive inspection depending on your inspection requirements. This can be inspections for previously owned homes, new homes or existing homes or properties.
a) Home-buyers inspection or buyers inspection
Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive transactions you can make.
A professional home inspection can help you optimise your investment by identifying issues before you finalise the purchase and price of your new home. This inspection will save you money in the long run and prevent the stress associated with such a large investment.
Importantly, with this purchase, you must remember to insert a home inspection contingency in the Offer To Purchase and negotiate a contingency period with the seller.
Before moving into a newly built home the need for a professional home inspection cannot be more important!
A home inspection (snag list) is performed to validate the finishes and condition of your home’s components. In addition, the snag list can be done prior to you taking occupation or during the 90-day patent defect period after you have taken occupation.
Follow up inspections are also provided if required.
check out all the main systems of your home—roof, walls, foundation, air-conditioning,
electrical, plumbing etc. In addition, I will flag anything that might be
starting to malfunction.
I will uncover problems you have not noticed. I will detect the little signs that something is starting to go wrong. This may be small cracks, spots, uneven wear, or fixtures such as a geyser reaching the eventual end of it’s live. Furthermore, I will also make you aware of the regular maintenance you should be doing in your house.
Having a Rental Inspection Report as part of a written tenancy agreement is advantageous to both the landlord and tenant.
Rental Housing, Unfair
Practices Regulations and Consumer Protection Acts, dictate the practice around
home inspections and the refund of the damages deposit.
Both the landlord and the tenant must undertake both ingoing and outgoing inspections as required by The Rental Housing. However, if either party is unable to attend, they may send an assigned representative on their behalf.
Landlords or rental
agents who have not conducted a property inspection when the tenant takes
occupation will not be able to take any action in the event that the rental
unit has been damaged during the course of the rental period.
Generally, a landlord or rental management agent will be able to withhold the rental deposit to mitigate any financial cost of repairing any damage to the rental unit. However, if no property inspection was done beforehand, they will not be within their legal rights to do so and will have to absorb the full cost of the repair. Therefore, it is advisable for landlords to also undertake a midterm inspection approximately halfway through the tenancy agreement in order to monitor the state of the property and intervene early if there is any breach or damage.
If contracted, I provide the initial, midterm and follow-up inspections when tenants are leaving and new tenants are occupying the premises at a very affordable fee structure.
However, I only perform rental inspections in the Pretoria and Centurion area to keep them affordable to landlords.
Whether you are considering buying or renting a commercial property it advisable to have a Commercial Property Inspection. As part of your “due diligence”, I can provide you with a detailed evaluation of the condition of the building and its components. Furthermore, I will make recommendations regarding maintenance and improvements.
offer commercial property inspections of:
small manufacturing facilities
My commercial property inspections include a comprehensive evaluation of all major components of the building. For example, this includes the structure, roof, electrical system, interior and exterior elements, heating & cooling systems, plumbing and more.
Critical Home inspections are for both buyers and sellers. The critical inspection costs about ¾ of the price of a comprehensive inspection.
A critical home inspection is for the budget-conscious, homebuyers and sellers who only require that the major components of the home be inspected! Consequently, I only focus on the critical components of a home which are the roof, structure (inside and outside), windows and doors, and electricity and plumbing installations.
critical inspection includes unsafe, functional or structural issues which, in
my opinion, requires prompt remedial attention to preserve the safety,
functional or structural integrity of the home or major installation.
Such issues are frequently NOT plainly obvious to any observant layman after carefully viewing the property.
These include structural cracks in walls, ceilings and floors, or damp, roof leaks, illegal or unsafe geysers, windows or door issues and unsafe electrical and gas installations. In addition, I also report surface drainage, vegetation and foliage issues which may affect the structure adversely.
Other external elements such as boundary and yard walls, the site, swimming pools driveways, walkways, carports, garden sheds etc. do not form part of the critical inspection. Furthermore, the internal wall, floor and ceiling finishes are only inspected for signs of damp or staining from moisture intrusion or for structural issues. Furthermore, cupboards and counters are only inspected for moisture intrusion.
A walkthrough is not a formal home inspection. It is an informal inspection. As a result, I perform a visual walkthrough inspection of the home and provide you with comments summarizing my observations. Furthermore, my comments will be nothing more than a subjective summary of my initial observations during the walk-through.
What is involved in a walkthrough inspection?
A walkthrough requires, on average, about the same time as a comprehensive inspection (1½ to 3 hours depending on house size). Moreover, you can ask questions and take notes while I explain the defects.
Because a walkthrough is less formal, I do not adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. If you are present at the walkthrough I do not generate a written report of any kind. I simply communicate my observations orally to you. You make your own notes during the inspection. In this way, you save time and money because there is no written report at the end of the inspection.
Furthermore, because it is an informal inspection, an inspection of this type is also very affordable.
However, you will need to sign an InterNACHI Walk-Though Inspection Agreement before the walkthrough. This is to protect me against liability as a result of deviating from the requirements of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for Home Inspections.
4) Itemised Limited Home Inspections(Single Component Inspections)
I often receive calls from clients who are looking for a home inspection for a single component in the home. For instance, this can be roof leaks, bulging ceilings, or damp problems and so on.
A single component inspection is also the cheapest inspection, starting from R1500.00 depending on where you are in my inspection area. Moreover, if you want more components inspected at the same time, this will only cost an additional R750.00 per component
A multi-unit inspection is normally for more than 4 units and is regarded as a commercial property inspection.
For this type of inspection the following options are available:
a) Critical area inspection
Plumbing for leaks, drainage and hot water.
A representative number of windows and doors
Structure (exterior and interior) including roof from the ground and at least one point at the eaves on a ladder (where applicable and practical).
Stove and other fixtures (air conditions etc.) not forming part of an Electrical CoC.
Presence damp and mould in ceilings and walls.
The units’ common areas are not inspected unless it is specifically requested!
b) Sampling comprehensive inspections
A sampling formula of comprehensive inspections of a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in, where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. This will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
A comprehensive report on the units will be provided for every unit inspected. The units’ common areas are inspected.
c) Sampling critical area inspections
A sampling formula of the type of inspection detailed in the critical area inspection option with a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. In addition, this will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
I will not inspect common areas in this case!
d) Your choice of specific items and number of units
Your choice of specific items and/or the number of units you wish to have inspected.
NOTE: I do not recommend options b, d or c as unsafe, damaged or problem units can slip through the net that may be expensive to bring to standard.
It is advisable to carry out mould inspection when you suspect you might have a mould problem in your property. Moreover, I strongly recommended that you have your property professionally inspected when you experience sleep loss, breathing difficulties (shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or respiratory irritation). Also, you may also experience neurological difficulties (headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea).
If your house is already suffering from obvious mould contamination such as parts of the wall or ceiling, an inspection is essential. My mould inspection will identify and confirm the true extent of the problem and provide a recommendation on how to rectify it.
are signs of termites in your garden or you are in a known termite problem area
you should regularly have your home inspected for a termite infestation.
They might be in your built-in cupboards, the floor skirtings or in your roof. Therefore, my termite inspection will identify and confirm the extent of the problem and damage. I will provide recommendations on how to rectify it.