There are at least three good reasons to get a roof inspection: maintaining a roof that will add years to the lifetime of the roof, finding any damage that may have occurred during a recent storm, and protecting your investment when you're buying a new home. Austin isn't particularly known for its extreme weather, but this doesn't mean roof inspections are superfluous. They are a vital part of maintaining your roof. Roof inspections, for Austin homeowners, should be done on a regularly scheduled basis. This may sound obvious, but in other places, different factors may determine when you schedule a roof inspection. In Houston, for example, a roof inspection should be done after a hurricane or tropical storm has hit, in addition to regular inspections.
Roof Inspection Recommendations: National Roofing Contractors Association
The NRCA recommends you have a roof inspection twice a year: once in the fall, once in the late spring. While you should never underestimate the importance of maintaining your roof, biannual roof inspections in Austin may not be necessary. The NRCA suggests a fall and spring roof inspection in relation to harsh, winter conditions. A better idea may be to have your roof inspected in the summer, shortly after the rainy season in late spring or after periods of heavy rain like we had this summer. The lifeline of your roof can also play a role in roof inspections. Inspecting a roof a year or two after it was installed is still a good idea, although this inspection is more likely to uncover problems with poor installation than age-related repairs. If you have a roof that's more than ten years old and/or the warranty on your roof has expired, it's probably time to start having your roof inspected at least once a year.
The Cost and Length of Roof Inspection in Austin
The average cost of a roof inspection in Austin is $300 and may take, more or less, about a week to set up a time both you and the inspector have free. You may get lucky and find an inspector who can look at your house right away, but you shouldn't necessarily take immediate availability as any indication of the quality of the inspector. Although a roof inspector should provide you with a detailed, written result of the inspection, you should plan on being there so you can ask questions about anything you don't understand. Without being able to talk to the inspector, you may not get as much as useful information as you could from your inspection.
Roof Inspections, Repairs, and Scams
You may be able to find an Austin roof inspector who will do a roof inspection for significantly cheaper. In fact, roofing contractors will sometimes offer free roof inspections as a way of creating business. Unfortunately, SOME of these free inspections are scams. A roofing contractor may come to your home, do the inspection, and make-up or, worse, physically create roof damage that he or she then offers to cheaply fix. Worse yet, this roofing contractor may have done this to previous clients who then provide positive references because they don't know they were scammed.
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This doesn't mean every roofing contractor offering a free inspection is dishonest, but you should definitely be careful. One way to avoid this scam is to hire a roof inspection company that only does inspections and not roof repairs. Of course, this company may be colluding with another roofing contractor, although this scam is less common. Hopefully, you're able to develop a relationship with a roofing contractor either through the initial roofing installation or through some kind of trustworthy referral. Never hire someone who comes to your door offering to do a roof inspection.
At ServiceMagic, we prescreen all the contractors in our network and provide useful reviews and ratings for our contractors, but there's simply no way to protect against every roofing scam out there. That said, by using our database and conducting your own interviews with multiple contractors, you can become reassured that you're getting quality service from a reliable, honest roofing professional.
Roof Inspections vs. Home Inspections
If you're considering a roof inspection, as part of routine maintenance, you might think about a home inspection instead. Home inspections often don't cost anymore than roof inspections. Roof inspections are part of a general home inspection. Of course, if you're primarily concerned about your roof, you'll want to ask your home inspector about his or specific experience with roofing. You don't want to sacrifice a quality roof inspection, but it might be possible to have the general condition of your home checked and maintain your roof. If you're having your roof inspected after a storm or suspect something's wrong specifically with your roof, you may as well just go ahead and hire a roofing inspector. On the other hand, you'll want to maintain and regularly inspect other things in your home than just your roof. Unless you've developed a relationship with your roofing contractor, you may want to see if you can kill multiple birds with the same inspecting stone.