The roof overhang of your home offers protection from a number of factors including the effects of rains, ice, snow, and the glaring sun. However, the roof design is expected to have more than just an aesthetic value, it should also be effective in its performance.
Roof overhangs and gutters help in ensuring the roof performs to its optimal standard. The overhang is an inclined distance from the load-bearing wall. Gutters, on the other hand, are components which are installed along the roof’s edge in order to capture and direct runoff away from the walls of the house and its foundation.
A home inspection ensures that these components are assessed, and recommendations made on the best way to improve their efficiency.
Overhangs are designed to perform a number of functions. During a home inspection, the inspector understand these roles and they conduct their inspection based on them. These roles are as follows:
- Wall Protection – this involves protection from both the sun and rain. Overhangs protect the exterior siding materials from water ingress, as well as providing the house walls with additional shade.
- Ventilation – overhangs provide a quick release to the hot air that rises from the house ensuring that there is sufficient circulation in the house.
- Structural Integrity – overhangs can be used as an indicator of the structural integrity of the house. An indication of movement of the overhang would require further investigation into the entire structure of the house.
The home inspection process covers the following areas as far as overhangs are concerned:
Ventilation – home inspectors the quality of ventilation provided by the overhangs.
- Gaps in material – some pests are known for entering the house through overhangs where soffit materials have soft gaps. The home inspection ensures that any gaps are reported on and recommendations on how to address them made.
- Drainage of the roof – roof overhangs normally have gutters attached to them on the downslope. The inspector ensures that these gutters are correctly attached to the overhangs and that they have the proper number of downspouts for drainage.
- Window and Door flashing – windows and doors that are near overhangs do not require flashing over them, however, home inspectors check whether the ones further down have flashing and if not they recommend them in their report.
Gutters are designed to handle one major role and that is capturing direct runoff and leading it to a predefined and desirable direction. Gutter inspection can be a simple DIY process, however, due to safety issues, it is best to consult professionals.
The gutter inspection ensures that:
- Leaves that have settled on the gutters are scooped away as well as other major debris.
- Smaller debris on the gutter are flushed out using a hose
- Downspouts are unclogged to ensure that there is free flow of water through them
- The sloping of the gutter is checked to ensure that water flows smoothly without stagnating at any point.
- Areas where there are seams and ends that are are missing sealants are identified and corrected.
- Areas where leaks are observed are also sealed fresh by removing the old sealant and applying new ones.