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Roof and Attic

Roof Inspection

Generally, a roof inspection is carried out with a visual inspection of all aspects of the roofing construction, from both the interior and exterior of the structure. Proper roof installation is, of course, one of the most critical aspects of building construction. A well-constructed roof assures the longevity of the structure, as well as the comfort of the structure's occupants. It is also the most exposed aspect of any building, and competent roofers are well aware of the construction techniques and materials necessary for a roof to stand up to weather and abuse. Part of any roofing project involves the implication that frequent and competent roof inspections will be undertaken on a regular basis.

As a rule, a roofing inspector will begin the roof inspection by locating the various dormers, chimneys, crickets, gutters, and any flashing points needing special attention. A closer inspection may be made, especially of the condition of the roof surfacing material — with binoculars for a difficult, higher pitched roof — or by actually accessing a lower pitched, or a flat roof. Obviously the exterior inspection will focus on the condition of the roof surface, exposed flashing, gutters, and chimney construction. Digital pictures are taken of the roof and attic since clients are discouraged from following the inspector(s) onto/into these potentially dangerous areas of the house. Digital pictures are also used to document salient building defects.

Attic Inspection

An attic reflects the history of a home. It can provide clues to serious problems that might not be disclosed or even known by the current occupant of the home. While the roof might look sound and secure, inside the attic you could find broken trusses or rafters. An inspection would disclose stress cracks that could lead to a loss of integrity and would also give buyers peace of mind that the size of the lumber was correct and up to code.

Attics can be insulated in a number of ways, including blowing in insulation or laying fiberglass batts. Insulation is rated with an R factor, meaning the higher the R number, typically the higher the insulating factor. Ask your home inspector if the batts are facing the right direction (paper up or paper down).

Squirrels, raccoons or rodents often enter attics through the eaves or loose boards and can cause considerable damage. The first sign that a critter has been living in the attic is often evidence discovered in the form of tiny pellets. Squirrels can eat through the insulation around pipes and chewed through the Romex plastic coating, down to the bare wires.

Water flows from the top down and rarely enters a home sideways. Inspectors will look for staining on the wood supports or on the walls which would provide evidence that water had leaked or is leaking through the roof somewhere. Condensation can form around pipes, which can cause wood to rot.

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