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How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

More blog posts about roofing:

  1. I’m buying a ‘50s house with a “gravel” roof. Is the roof going to be a problem.

  2. What are the right words for talking about a roof?

  3. Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?

  4. What is the cost difference between asphalt shingle and metal roofing?

  5. What is the minimum pitch of an asphalt shingle roof?

  6. What’s the difference between a gable roof and a hip roof?

  7. What do you look for when you inspect a roof?

  8. What is roof pitch?

  9. What’s the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

  10. What are the most common problems with older houses?

  11. I saw some staining on the ceiling. Do you think the roof is okay?

  12. What is a TPO roof?

  13. What are the roof sheathing requirements for a roof replacement in Florida?

  14. Can metal roofing be used on a slow slope/pitch roof?

  15. How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home?

  16. What is the difference between plywood and OSB?

  17. What is an H-clip?

  18. Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?

  19. What can I do to prevent roof leaks?

  20. What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?

More blog posts on home inspection:

  1. How can I tell if a house has insulation?

  2. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  3. Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it?

  4. How do you determine when the house was built?

  5. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  6. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  7. The house has asbestos siding. What should I do?

  8. How do I get insurance if my home can’t pass a 4-point inspection?

  9. There’s an old fuel oil tank underground in the yard. Is it a problem?

  10. What is “knob and tube” wiring?

  11. Why do the floors slope in this old house?

  12. The garage has been converted to a family room. Is that alright?

  13. What is the minimum pitch for a metal roof?

  14. What does “lack of tab adhesion” in an asphalt shingle roof mean?

  15. How do I find out the age of a roof?

  16. What is the difference between galvanized and galvalume metal roofing?

  17. What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?

  18. What are the different roof deck attachment discount categories for a wind mitigation inspection?

  19. What is the difference between roll roofing and modified bitumen?

  20. What is a roofing boot?

  21. What are roofing purlins and battens?

  22. What is a “square” of roofing?

  23. Why are most house roofs slanted instead of flat?

  24. How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   Both reflectance and emittance are rated on a scale ranging from zero to one, with one being the highest rating. The EPA’s Energy Star program, which rates cool roof materials as a basis for a rebate plan, requires that cool roof products have a reflectance of 0.65 at installation and not less than 0.50 after three years of weather exposure. Standard asphalt shingle roofs, by comparison, have a reflectivity of between 0.06 and 0.26, which results in transfer of large amounts of solar heat into the home.

   Cool roof materials can be manufactured panels or flexible sheets, such as metal coated with a high-white finish or white TPO (Thermoplastic PolyOlefin -rubber-like, single-ply roofing, shown in photo at top of the page), or they can also be a coating applied over an existing roof. The graphic below is from a catalog for Gulf Coast Supply and Manufacturing’s metal roofing color selections, with the reflectance and emittance ratings below two of their  whites. You will also see a “Solar Reflectance Index,” which is a summary rating of performance.

  To learn more about cool roofs, click on the link below to download a report by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC)


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.


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