One of the most essential systems of your home is your roof. It’s your first line of defense against Chicagoland’s unpredictable and sometimes harsh weather, vastly improves your home’s energy efficiency, and adds value to your property.
However, to ensure that your roof continues to function properly, it’s important to have it inspected regularly and perform regular maintenance. If you’re buying a new home or preparing to sell one, you’ll definitely want to know the age of the roof and its current condition.
Let’s explore why getting a professional inspection is crucial, the signs of possible damage, and everything Chicago homeowners should know about this vital home system.
Protecting Your Investment
Over time, weather conditions such as rain, snow, hail, and extreme temperatures can cause damage and compromise the integrity of your roof.
Home expert Bob Vila believes a yearly inspection can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate, saving you from costly repairs down the line. With preventive maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your roof and ensure its optimal performance (and ROI).
Vila recommends getting your roof inspected in the fall before the frigid temperatures and strong winds of winter arrive. If you need replacement shingles, they will seal better if the weather is slightly warmer.
However, homeowners should always be on the lookout for interior and exterior signs that indicate the need for immediate action. These include:
- Water leaks, stains, or damage
- Missing, cracked, or curled shingles
- Loose or deteriorating flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights
- Accumulation of debris in gutters and downspouts
- Signs of mold or mildew growth
Chicago has a rich heritage going back almost 200 years, as well as many historic homes and several unique architectural styles. The most common roof designs in the area are gable, hipped, mansard, Dutch gable, and gambrel.
The area is also seeing more frequent and intense storms, with 5 of its wettest years ever occurring since 2001. Heavy rainfall can not only damage your roof, but it can also lead to structural damage, flooded basements, and highly unpleasant conditions inside your home.
If the worst happens and your home sustains major damage due to a weather event, the current condition of your roof could significantly affect the results of your homeowner’s insurance claim. Having a documented history of regular inspections demonstrates that you have taken appropriate steps to maintain your home.
What to Expect
When it comes to inspecting your roof, it’s always recommended to hire an experienced professional. They have the knowledge, experience, and tools to identify even the most hidden issues accurately.
A knowledgeable inspector will visually assess the condition of your roof, provide detailed reports, and offer recommendations for repairs or maintenance. They will evaluate the elements listed above, your attic and insulation, and often-ignored vent pipe covers.
Gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in redirecting water away from your roof and foundation. Clogged gutters can lead to serious problems, water intrusion, and eventually, structural degradation. They can also encourage insect and pest infestations.
Your inspector will check for damage, or detachment, which can lead to moisture accumulation and the need for costly repair work.
Investing in regular maintenance and inspections will save you money in the long run. Adequate insulation and a well-functioning roof will help lower your monthly utility bills.
If you find you need to replace it completely, consider going with a cool roof, which is designed to reflect more light, absorb less solar energy, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Sustainability and energy efficiency are increasingly important for today’s hopeful buyers as many Chicagoans are going green. Eco-friendly abodes can demand a higher sales price in this competitive market, so ensuring your home is properly sealed and insulated will add to its appeal.
A regular home inspection will give you peace of mind and let you identify and address issues early, which can save you from expensive fixes, mold infestation, foundation problems, and water damage inside your home.
As the Chicagoland weather gets wilder, savvy homeowners should be prepared by investing in preventative maintenance. Partnering with one of the region’s top home inspection companies helps you protect your family, your investment, and your property.
Don’t delay — reach out and schedule a consultation with one of our licensed and experienced home inspectors today!