As every landlord knows, one of the primary obligations of the job is ensuring the safety and habitability of their rental property. With the litany of liabilities and responsibilities present in a dwelling structure, Tri-Cities Roofing thought it fit to outline the importance of keeping your roof in tip-top shape.

The health of the roof factors into the proper functioning and welfare of the rest of the home. So let’s consider the ramifications of having an imperfect or damaged roofing structure.

Protection from the Elements

The roof of a residence will generally catch the brunt end of everything Mother Nature can throw at the home. With it being the crucial line of defense against such things, having a compromised roof can put your tenant, as well as the interior of your property, at risk. Roof damage can easily lead to leaks. These leaks can affect drywall, insulation, framing, decking, and electrical components. 

Other Exterior Components

A proper roofing structure facilitates the satisfactory operation and health of the connected pieces. Whether it be improper installation or damage, issues on the top can lead to more with your soffit, fascia, and gutters. Leaks (due to improper installation or fault) can work their way to your fascia board and soffit. That leads to wood rot and a precarious gutter system. 


Whether the electric bill is paid by the tenant or by the property owner, nobody wants an overpriced power bill. Roof negligence can make a home much less energy-efficient. Damage and age can cause a home to be poorly ventilated, making your AC unit work harder to keep it cool. 

Now that we have covered the reasons to perform regular roof inspections and maintenance, let’s dive into some popular practices to accomplish this. 

1. Missing or Broken Shingles

It is one of the easiest and most important things to look for while examining a roof. Shingles are your roof’s first line of defense against the elements. Damaged and detached shingles don’t necessarily mean you are at immediate risk of leaks or more damage. But they do make your home more susceptible to other forms of damage. 

2. Moss or Algae 

Not only are these growths a bit of an eyesore, but they slowly work their way underneath your roofing material and decompose the shingle and decking. The moisture slowly rots the materials, leading to a damaged and weak structure. 

3. Damaged Gutter and Soffit

One of the jobs of a roofing system is to allow water to flow off the roof while keeping the materials underneath intact. If you notice your gutter slanting or pulling off of the wood that holds it, or if your soffit is rotting, that could point to a malfunctioning roof. Lack of proper installation or damage at the eave of your roof can cause water to run behind the gutter, damaging both the fascia board and soffit. 

4. Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a vital part of any roofing system. It sits in areas where water would make its way into the home without it. You should notice flashing around a chimney and where a roof meets a wall. Look for any signs of damage, rust, or chipping flashing. Any damage to this metal increases the chances of leaking in your property. 

We also recommend that you ensure your home has counter flashings. While this is not building code, it will limit the possibilities of leaks in your property. Counter flashing is inserted into the wall or chimney and sits above another piece of flashing. Without this, water may easily find its way behind the base flashing. 

5. Waves or Sagging in Roof

You can observe this from the ground or by taking a walk on the roof. You may feel that your foot sinks in certain parts. This problem can be mild or give you the feeling that your foot might bust through the roof. Regardless of the severity, there are many incidents of damage or improper installation that may lead to this problem. The most common that we encounter is damaged decking. Over time water may find its way behind the shingle and underlayment and onto the decking underneath. It leads to a diminished loading capacity and will show itself in sagging or waves on the roof. 

Installation of new shingles on top of older shingles may also lead to this. This installation tactic often leads to an uneven fit and results in waves. This method also does not allow the roofer to inspect for damaged decking underneath the previous shingle. That is the main reason we do not recommend this for any property. 

Improper decking or framing installation may also lead to this issue. Regardless of the cause, you will need to address this complication during a tear-off of your current roofing components. 

The checklist above should give any property owner the information and tools needed to know when their roof may be in jeopardy, but bear in mind these are just guidelines. We recommend getting a professional’s opinion if you do not feel comfortable gauging the health of your roof or even completing this assessment. Perform a roof inspection about once a year. When you find any areas of concern, hire a local professional to give you a second opinion.

Posted by Justin Cory on
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