A home inspection is an examination of the condition of a real estate property. It usually takes place in connection with the property's sale. There are several main types of home inspections, but today this article is particularly about roof and chimney inspections.
A qualified home inspector assesses the condition of a property, including its heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical work, water, and sewage, as well as some fire and safety issues. In addition, the home inspector will look for evidence of insect, water, or fire damage or any other issue that may affect the value of the property.
Preventive roof maintenance can save homeowners thousands of dollars on average each year throughout a roof’s lifespan. A roofing contractor can examine a roof and ceilings for signs of leaks or damage, flag trouble spots such as mold growth that might mean rotting wood underneath, and even use a handheld infrared scanner or drone inspection to look for spots where heat is escaping.
There are several methods to inspect the roof. We recommend the following:
- Walk the roof from the ground
- View roof from a ladder in different locations around the home
- View roof from the ground using binoculars
- View roof from a window inside the home
If a house has a roof that’s 20-25 years old; shows visible signs of damage such as loose shingles, cracks in the structures, or algae growth; or your real estate agent or inspector expresses concerns over the roof’s lifespan, then consider a roof inspection.
Consider asking for a roof certification, a document from a roofing professional that identifies the need for any roof repairs, and provides an estimate of the roof’s lifespan. Roof certifications are typically valid for 2 to 5 years after the inspection.
A chimney inspection assesses whether the chimney and fireplace are venting properly if the mortar is cracked or deteriorating and if there’s a heavy buildup of creosote (a byproduct of burning wood), which can combust. This prevents chimney fires and smoke or odors from seeping inside when you’d go to light the fireplace on a chilly day.
You’ll need to inspect the chimney before you use the fireplace anyway. If a house has a chimney, inspect it so that you don’t have to worry about unwanted guests nestled up there such as birth and etc, the risk of starting a fire, or extremely dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning.
Unless the sellers of the home have paperwork to show they’ve inspected the chimney recently, go ahead and get this inspection before closing if time allows.
There are three levels of chimney inspections you can find a lot of help and information on Smoke Signals’ website, which can also be useful if you need a free virtual chimney assessment.
Potential home buyers often hire home inspectors to research a property and provide them with a written report that details the property's condition, including an assessment of necessary or recommended repairs, maintenance concerns, and any other potentially costly issues. The home inspector will assess the physical structure of the home, from the foundation to the roof, as well as the home's systems, making sure that the home is up to code.
A home inspection can tell a homebuyer a lot about a newly constructed or existing house that can save them money and aggravation. It can identify needed repairs or builder oversights and upkeep requirements. For sellers, having an inspection done before putting their home on the market can afford them the chance to make structural repairs or upgrade/replace systems that may increase the likelihood of a sale.