Cost of a Roof Inspection in Sydney NSW
An often unfortunate-seeming byproduct of modern culture is the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds everything we do. While the foundations of this red tape are usually well-intentioned, it can be frustrating—even unfair—to have to meet standards and regulations that can sometimes feel unreasonable in order to do things with your own property. But, regardless of how you feel about a particular statute or law, the reality remains that you have to meet the requirements of your local government when it comes to any kind of serious building work on your property.
As is often the case with bureaucracy, a good deal of theory is involved before so much as a shovel hits the dirt. In the case of roofing, this means a roof inspection. Of course, building new structures on your property is not the only situation in which a roof inspection may be required. If you have reason to believe your roof needs repair work, or you are just concerned about the state of the roof, you might want to get a roof inspection carried out for your own peace of mind.
Whatever the reason you find yourself needing a roof inspection, it’s only natural to want to know what to expect ahead of time. Things like what is involved in the process, and what the roof inspection cost might be. If a roof inspection finds problems, are you legally required to pay for roof repair work? For answers to all these questions are more, keep reading.
A SHORT ANSWER: A roof inspection is the process of having a professional roof inspector come out to your property—often with a range of specialist tools—to determine if there are any problems with your roof. The cost of this inspection in Sydney NSW will vary depending on the size and complexity of the roof, but will usually lands somewhere in the $200-400 range for a typical residential building. Insurance companies pay roofers a flat rate of $300 to do a roof assessment (inspection). Difficulty in accessing the roof and if doing so involves extensive safety equipment, will, understandably add to the cost. Now, let’s dig a little deeper into this topic.
What Are Roof Inspections?
The roof of your property represents an unfortunate blend of problems in that it is perhaps one of the most crucial parts of the property, and also one of the most difficult to identify many issues, especially the more subtle ones. For one thing, it is on the top of your building—as roofs tend to be—and, depending on the height of your building, you may not be able to see much of it without a ladder.
But even with a ladder, it is still challenging to get a good look at the whole roof. And all of this leaves out the fact that not all roofing problems are immediately apparent to a visual inspection by untrained eyes. Inspecting a roof yourself is even more challenging if the roof is not flat—which is true of most residential properties—since it is unsafe and strongly not recommended for you to go climbing around on a pitched roof.
A roof inspector will be fully trained in navigating these problems, including all of the necessary safety steps that should be taken before attempting to visually inspect a roof. They will also have tools that will allow them to identify problem areas more easily.
The role of a roof inspection is to catch any problems early—you would not ordinarily wait for a problem to develop before calling a roof inspector, as dealing with these issues early on will usually save you on repair costs in the long run since most issues your roof might face will only get worse with time, and require more expensive repairs if left alone.
The types of problems a roof inspector might find include, but are not limited to;
- Broken or missing tiles or shingles
- Sagging in the roof ridge
- Blocked or leaking guttering
- Loose or exposed nails
- Damage to flashing
- Rusting in the metal components of the roof
- Water pooling
All of these represent a potential problem going forward, and your roof inspection will make you aware of them. The earlier you catch them, the less expense you are likely to face.
Why Are Roof Inspections More Cost-Effective?
We mentioned that catching a developing problem with your roof early will often save you money, but it might help to illustrate exactly what this could entail. Let’s take the example of a broken or missing roof tile or shingle.
A single missing or broken tile can easily be overlooked from ground level, even on a single storey building. Unfortunately, the ease with which this problem can be missed does not lessen the amount of damage it can do to your property.
Water will get in through the crack or space where the tile was, seeping into the building itself where it can cause all manner of problems out of sight. For small leaks, it may even not be apparent to a visual inspection from inside the building. Damp is a problem in and of itself, causing wood and other materials to rot. But a more pressing issue is that the added moisture will promote the growth of mould and algae in your building.
Of course, neither rot nor mould growth happens overnight, and it takes even longer for things to progress to a point where irrevocable damage is done to your property. But without regular roof inspections, this is exactly what can happen. Once a material like wood has rotted, there is little to be done but replace it. If that wood is structural, replacing it is an involved process that could require portions of your roof to be dismantled. Mould can also exacerbate the deterioration of wood, but the more pressing matter with mould is the health risks it can pose.
This is just one example of a problem that can become exponentially more expensive to repair if left alone. And, while most roof problems revolve around water getting into your property, there are many different issues that can allow it to happen.
Can I Inspect My Own Roof?
First of all, if your roof needs to be inspected for any kind of regulatory reason, such as having a new addition to your property signed off as up to code, then no, unless you are a qualified and licensed roof inspector, you will not be able to inspect your own roof. Or, rather, your inspection will not be recognised by your local authorities.
For purely maintenance reasons, you can inspect your own roof as often as you like. However, it is worth remembering that roof inspectors are professionally trained to spot the kinds of problems that you might miss. It is also worth remembering that any thorough roof inspection will require an up-close look at the roof, which often means climbing a ladder. If an accident should happen because you were carrying out work, you are not insured to do; you may find yourself in a troubling situation, both medically and financially.
Keeping a wary eye out for problems developing in your property is a smart move. It is not feasible to pay professionals to check everything over every month, but you want to make sure you catch any problems as soon as possible. But, when it comes to your roof, it is best to keep your inspecting safe by staying on the ground.
How Often Should I Have my Roof Inspected?
As a rough guide, it is recommended to have your roof professionally inspected around once a year. Unless there is damage caused by external factors, it is highly unlikely that a problem will develop through normal wear and tear during the intervening year between inspections. You can further ensure the health of your roof by occasionally checking things over yourself. Though, as we said above, you should do this safely, and preferably from the ground.
If you intend to perform any DIY inspection, one of the best places to look is the inside of your roof. For most residential properties, the inside of the roof will be accessible through the attic, and it will be relatively easy to inspect closely for signs of leaking or unwanted airflow. Just remember that attics are not inherently designed for people to walk around in.
If your attic has not had appropriate flooring installed, you will need to ensure you only walk on the rafters, or you may find yourself making an unintentional shortcut to the room below! You should also be careful to not disturb any utilities while you are up there, such as any water tanks or electrical systems.
Ensuring your roof remains healthy and performs the role it was intended for is vital to the wellbeing of your property. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do yourself—unless you are a trained roofer yourself—but having your roof professionally inspected on a regular basis will go a long way towards catching any developing problems before they can do real damage to your home or business. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to be vigilant and check things over yourself from time to time, but stay safe. Even a fall from a single storey roof can result in serious injury.