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Is Your Roof up to Code? How You Can Tell

Is Your Roof up to Code? How You Can Tell

The American dream has always been a central idea for many families, and buying a home is a great milestone for yourself and your family. Owning a home is a significant accomplishment and is a goal that many people work towards for a long time.

Though it can be a great source of pride, being a homeowner requires a lot of time and attention. In order to keep your home safe and inhabitable for yourself and your family, all parts of the house must be cared for and properly repaired when they break. City and state codes help to outline what a home must have and how they must be maintained so that homeowners know what their responsibilities are. If you own your own home, it is your responsibility to know these codes and keep your home within the boundaries of these standards.

A home’s roof is perhaps the most important aspect of the house’s safety. Not only do roofs keep critters and debris from coming inside, but they also help to protect your family from weather events and much more. Your roof should be well maintained at all times, as a faulty roof endangers your entire home and investment.

If you aren’t sure whether your roof is up to Ohio building code, fear not. Our experts at Able Roof have a deep understanding of the roofing industry, and we can help you determine whether your roof is in good shape or if it needs a bit of TLC.

The attic

You can begin your roofing inspection without leaving your home. The internal side of your home’s roof can reveal a significant amount of damage that is noticeable. If you go into your attic and notice moisture, this is an immediate sign that your roof needs some help. You should also inspect the beams and the ceiling of your attic. If you see breaks or separations in the wood, your roof may be compromised. This is a sign that a roofer should come to inspect your home’s roof.

Of course, your roof should be sturdy and impervious to rain and weather. If you find any areas in your attic that seem to be leaking, breaking, or sagging, your roof is likely not up to code.


Roofs are made out of many different materials, but most have shingles of some kind. Your shingles should lay on your roof in a single layer and remain attached to the roof. When you view your roof from the ground, you should not see any bumps, warps, or lifts in the shingles. The pattern should be consistent, and there should not be any shingles missing or chipped. Most roofing codes require that shingles must be flame resistant in some way as added protection against housefires.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see the condition of your shingles from the ground of your home. If this is the case, always hire a professional roofer to inspect your roof for you. Attempting to get on the roof is extremely dangerous without proper training and equipment, and many people are injured or killed every year when they try to maintain their own roof. What’s more, you can easily damage your roof by taking a single wrong step. It is always most economical and safer to have a professional do it for you.


Flashing is a key component of a building’s roof. This material can be found on the seams of roofs and at the edges of chimneys and skylights. If you notice that the flashing is cracked or separated from the roof, it is not working as it should be. This can cause leaks and other serious damage if left untreated.

Depending on the type of flashing you have, you may notice rust on it as well. If you see rust, it is a sign that your flashing is at the end of its lifespan and should be replaced. In some situations, replacing the flashing means that you have to replace parts of your roof as well. Talk to an experienced roofer to be sure of what you need to do.

Mold and moss

As mentioned, one of the main purposes of a roof is to keep moisture from the home. If you notice moss, mold, or the smell of mildew, it means that your roof is not doing its job. High levels of steady moisture are necessary for mold and moss to grow. If this is occurring, it means that your roof is not properly repelling moisture.

Mold and moss can not only rot away at your roof and home, but they can also pose a significant threat to your family’s health. Any indication of either one warrants concern.

Gutters and spouts

Your roof’s gutters play a central role in getting water off your roof, and the spout ensures that the water is transported away from your house. If one or both of these features are not working correctly, you are at an increased risk of water damage.

Your gutters should be cleaned regularly and properly attached to the home. If they are dented, falling, or clogged, be sure to have them fixed right away. If you neglect them, you may end up with water in your basement or in the foundation, which can cause larger problems.

Drip edge

A drip edge works with the gutter to keep water from getting underneath the shingles. As discussed, moisture under the shingle or roofing materials can cause mold and other types of decay that compromise the integrity of your roof. A reliable drip edge is key to keeping your roof intact.

Though drip edges used to be optional, they are now part of roof codes in most areas of the United States because they are so helpful in keeping a home safe. If you do not have drip edges or they need replacing, it is best to handle them right away to adhere to local and state laws.

Check your home’s records

Many of these conditions required a trained eye or special equipment to identify. If you are intimidated by this, or if you feel unsure about what you have found, you can look at your home’s age. One of the simplest ways to determine if your home needs a new roof is through your records. Most standard roofs can last up to 30 years. If it has been 20 years or longer since your roof was installed, your roof likely has some issues and may need to be repaired. If it has been 30 or more, you should begin the process of replacing your roof.

The exception to this is metal roofing, which can last 70 or more years with proper upkeep. However, all roofs need to be inspected and maintained, so be sure that you are properly caring for your metal roof during its lifespan.

Selling your home

Keeping your home’s roof in good condition is crucial to your safety. However, specific building codes are not often verified by the government unless there is an obvious problem or if an inspection is required. The exception to this rule occurs when families sell their homes. During the inspection process, the inspector’s job is to ensure that everything is up to code and notify potential buyers of any issues or problems.

If you are planning to sell your home, it is doubly important that you make sure your roof is up to code. If it isn’t, you could be forced to make expensive upgrades as part of the closing negotiations. The longer you leave a problem, the more leverage the buyers will have to negotiate on price or ask you to fix major issues.

The best thing you can do is invest in regular maintenance for your roof. Have your roof inspected annually to be sure that you catch issues before they become significant or expensive.

Inclement weather

If you live in an area with severe weather or polarized seasons, you need to be especially diligent about your home’s roof. Harsh weather can increase wear and tear on the roof and cause significant problems very quickly. Ice dams, for example, occur when water gets under the shingles and then freezes. This process causes lifting and warping of shingles, which is a liability for the roof. A yearly inspection after the winter season is beneficial for most homeowners in cold areas.

Hail, strong wind, heavy rain, and extremely hot weather can also all cause added wear and tear on a roof. These factors can shorten a roof’s lifespan, especially if you do not maintain your roof and keep it up to code. When you are maintaining your roof, opt for materials and methods that are effective in your climate and durable against your local weather.

Contact us

If you live in Central Ohio, our team at Able Roof is here to help you with all of your roofing needs. Whether you need an inspection, a consultation, or a full replacement, we have the tools and the experience to tackle any job. We are proud to be a top roofing resource for the Columbus area. For more information, contact Able Roof online today.