Like all roofs in South Florida the roof on a Fort Lauderdale home takes a beating from our tropical climate that can easily create conditions that can lead to a roof leak. The sun’s UV rays can seriously deteriorate older shingles while high winds and rain can potentially damage a brand new roof particularly if shortcuts were taken in its installation.
A professional roof inspection is a prudent measure for any homeowner and it is a critical item for anyone looking to purchase real estate.
Our experience as a professional home inspection service suggests that poor quality installation is just as common as environmental damage on the roofs in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida in general. For roofers in the area, business can be feast or famine. In the relatively dry and delightful fall and winter business is slow but after the first good downpour or blow, crews are swamped and pressed for time. During these busy times it’s not uncommon to see shortcuts appear.
Common Roof Inspection Findings
As a homeowner you’ll want to know the condition of your roof but we encourage you to use a professional inspector and not get on the roof yourself. Walking on the roof is dangerous.
Here are a few common trouble signs that your inspector might find:
- Improperly protected roof valleys. The low point where two rooflines meet is called a valley. Inexperienced roofers or roofers in a hurry will not adequately cover the valley with shingles and leave the underlying tarpaper exposed. Obviously the paper doesn’t offer the protection that shingles do.
- Improperly protected ridgeline. The same holds true for the "peak" of your roof. Specially shaped shingles should be used to cover both sides of the ridge. Installations without the special shingles, or standard shingles bent to cover the ridge are invitations to major roof leaks.
- Improperly installed flashing. A poor flashing fit or flashing separating from the caulking leaves the roof vulnerable to leaks.
- Pooling on flat roofs. Flat roofs are popular particularly in Mediterranean and Spanish designs. Over time the roofing material can form low spots allowing for water to pool. This not only is a potential leak situation but also can result in algae growth on the roof.
- Exposed or loose roofing nails. Nails should be covered by overlapping shingles. Strong wind can "lift" a shingle loosening the nails securing it. If nails are found in the gutter or are visible coming out of a shingle there is a leak just waiting to happen.
For those of you who are in the market to buy a home in Fort Lauderdale, make certain that you take advantage the contingency clause in most real estate contracts that allows for a home inspection. Hire the inspector yourself to ensure that the roof, and every other component of the home are in acceptable condition.
If you have questions about home inspections, you can contact us at Windridge Olen Exports. Call today.