Boston Roof Inspection

by Matt Goering

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Talk to anyone in the roofing business in Greater Boston and they'll recommend a few preventative steps you can take to help prevent major roofing problems down the road. The first is to walk your roof twice a year, in the spring and fall, looking for any signs of recent damage or wear that needs to be dealt with. Of course, with Boston's unique architecture, including many homes with roofs that are nearly inaccessible, that can be a tough order for many Boston homeowners. Which brings us the second suggestion you're likely to hear: Hire a contractor to come out and perform a roof inspection in Boston at least once a year. They have the equipment, knowledge, and expertise to perform inspections on hard to access roofs. Furthermore, even if you are diligent and take the bi-annual homeowner inspection suggestion to heart, it's still a good idea to bring in an expert for a quick check on an annual basis, just to make sure nothing gets past you. Doing so is often the difference between catching an easy to repair loose shingle off the bat and having to hire multiple contractors and pay out big bucks in order to repair the damage that a roof leak has done in the several years before it was discovered.

Beantown's Weather Makes a Boston Roof Inspection even more Important
An annual inspection might sound like overkill to you. After all, how much can go wrong year in and year out? With the weather in Boston, however, it's a more reasonable suggestion that you might initially think. The Hub's rare combination of bitter northern weather coupled with coastal elements can take its toll on roofing materials in a hurry. High winds from Nor'easters, off-shore storms, and even the occasional hurricane, can loosen and rip off a shingle quicker than you can say "Boston Tea Party." Heavy snows, subsequent snow removal, and the prevalence of ice build up can easily damage shingles as well. Add to that the corrosive abilities of coastal salt laden air and the high humidity and heavy precipitation that are commonplace in Boston, and you've got the perfect conditions for incurring roof damage on a regular basis. Of course, you might find that your annual inspections don't turn up any problems for years on end. But then that's kind of the point. The more regular you do them, the less chance your home will suffer any serious roof damage in the first place.

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Boston Roof Inspections Add up to Huge Savings when you Consider Prevention
The main reason you should hire out for an annual roof inspection in Boston is to catch small problems before they escalate into major ones. An average roof inspection costs about $100 in the Greater Boston area, though even that figure is a bit misleading. You've got to think long term when figuring a roof inspection's value. Consider the cost of minor repairs, the kind that an annual inspection is likely to turn up. Replacing missing or damaged shingles, or reinforcing loose ones, rarely costs more than a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, it's hard to emphasize how expensive dealing with a long ignored roof leak can end up costing you. Usually by the time a roof leak makes itself noticed in the form of a growing brown spot of water damage on your ceiling, it's been at work in your attic space for several years already. During that time it can ruin your roofing materials, the roof decking, cause dry rot, be the source of serious mold problems, and damage your attic insulation. We'll let your imagination run wild with what all that might cost to fix, and we'll also wager that it's a little bit more than the few hundred bucks a Boston roof inspection and minor repair will cost if they're brought your attention right away.

Finding Boston Roof Inspection Contractors
There are two main routes to take if you're sold on the value of a roof inspection in Boston and its surrounding communities. The first is a company that specializes in roof inspections. They cost more than the alternative (which we'll get to here in a moment), but they give you the added peace of mind that an independent inspector brings to any homeowner. Generally what they say goes, and you won't have to worry that they're concocting fictional problems so they can make a few bucks off of you to validate their visit. The other option is a regular Boston area roofing contractor. If you feel like playing the system, most roofing contractors will do a roofing inspection for free. Keep in mind that nothing's really free in this world, however, and the reason they don't charge a penny to drop by and inspect your roof is because they're counting on finding a problem that will make them money in the end. If you go this route and potential repairs do surface, do the smart thing and bring several other contractors to inspect your roof and give bids on the job as well. It's par for the course in the roofing business, and any contractor worth their salt won't think any worse of you for doing your homework before you sign any papers.

Remember, your roof is one of your home's most important defenses against Boston's unique combination of rough weather. An annual roof inspection in Boston is the best way to make sure your roof performs at its highest level and keeps your home, and your pocketbook, out of trouble.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.