Jason Wendlandt is on a mission to educate Minnesota homeowners about the value of roof inspections.
Sure, in theory everyone understands how important it is to keep their roof in tip-top condition. After all, when it’s damaged, you can end up with leaks that can destroy the interior of your home and cost you an arm and a leg to repair. Plus, in extreme cases, a damaged roof can be a major eyesore for you and your neighbors.
But here’s the thing – from the ground, it can often be difficult to see roof problems and therefore many people shrug their shoulders and assume everything is OK up there.
And therein lies the problem.
“People wait too long to have their roofs looked at,” said Wendlandt, who is in charge of new business development of Chaska-based Titan Restoration and Construction. “Then they start to notice a significant issue like a leak or a missing shingle, and it’s often something that could have been caught sooner through some preventative measures.”
That’s why Wendlandt strongly encourages homeowners to get their roofs inspected on a regular basis, especially once the roof is more than 10 years old. It’s kind of like maintaining your vehicle – if you have it serviced regularly, you’ll likely be able to prevent small issues from turning into major and costly problems down the road.
“The value of having your roof looked at is that it gives you an idea of how much life is left in that roof. Maybe you’ll get a clean bill of health or maybe you’ll be told that you’re going to need to make some decisions in the next couple of years,” Wendlandt said. “The good thing is you’ll know what needs to be done before it’s too late.”
Here are a few of the common issues that can be discovered and addressed through a roof inspection:
- Storm damage: When a storm comes through, it can cause major damage to a roof, and it’s not always obvious from the ground. “We could have pea-size hail and people look at their cars and don’t see any dents so they think their roof is fine,” Wendlandt said. That may not be the case at all, and it’s why he recommends always having an inspection done following a storm. If your roof is already nearing the end of its life and damage is detected during a post-storm inspection, your homeowner’s insurance can be an incredibly useful tool in helping you get a new roof. “It’s definitely worth at least having someone come out and take a look,” he said.
- Ventilation issues: A lot of homes in Minnesota have an insulation deficiency and as we start getting into winter, heat travels through the ceiling and it gets into the airspace in the attic. Then, a condensation effect takes place because the temperature inside the attic is 18 degrees or less lower than the dew point. Once water starts collecting and the sun sets, it can freeze, creating frost in the insulation and across the entire attic and increasing the possibility of black mold forming. This can speed up the degradation process of those materials, which can lead to problems on your roof such as a higher likelihood of losing your shingles should there be a major windstorm. When it comes time for a homeowner to get a new roof, Wendlandt makes sure to go over various ventilation options with them so they can pick one that makes sense for their budget – and one that will prolong the life of their roof.
- Missing or damaged shingles: Your shingles protect your home from the elements and when they’re missing or damaged, it can cause issues throughout your property. That said, having a few missing or damaged shingles doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace your roof immediately, although it is a good idea to get them repaired. If you don’t, the surrounding shingles will also begin to deteriorate, leaving your home vulnerable to water exposure that can turn into leaks.
- Granular loss: As your roof ages, the granules in your shingles can start to lose their texture. Sometimes, you may be able to notice this from the ground, but Wendlandt says it’s often difficult to see until you’re actually up on the roof. These granules are important because they protect your shingles from the sun and once they start falling off, the asphalt and the fiberglass are exposed to the elements. This can cause them to oxidize, making them brittle and unable to expand and contract at a rate that keeps up with the wood structure of the house. That’s when thermal cracking can occur and it can be a big problem when it comes to the health of your roof.
For all these reasons – and many more – Wendlandt suggests hiring a professional to inspect your roof periodically. And be selective about who you choose.
“If someone’s just there trying to sell you something, it’s probably not the company you should work with,” he said. “To us, it’s about building a relationship with our customers, helping educate them on why roof inspections are so important and being there for them when they need us.”
To schedule your free consultation and inspection with Titan, click here.
Abra Kadabra Environmental Services is proud to share the wisdom of business owners from our community through our thought leadership series. If you’d like to be featured, click here.