Important Terms to Know About Roof Inspections

Written by Acoma Roofing on . Posted in Roofing

For many homes, roof inspections are an essential part of proper roof maintenance and care. Every couple of years, you should schedule a roof inspection to ensure a home has no problems or issues. Anytime a roof is repaired or replaced, perform an inspection as well.

When reading a roof inspection report, a typical homebuyer likely notices several elements that are unfamiliar to them. These various terms are important to the roof inspection process and could show signs of trouble in the future. Understanding the roofing terms will help you process any potential problems along with having a better idea of what goes into the inspection process.

Follow along to learn a variety of terms and how they apply to almost every roof inspection.


Despite inspections focusing on the roof of a home, a number of the terms have to do with water elements or bodies of water. Take, for example, the term alligatoring. The term is used for smooth surface roofing and is a problem with cracks in the roof.

When cracks and shrinkage occurs, roof material often forms into a pattern very similar to the tough skin of an alligator. The term is used as a verb is the active sense because the pattern may spread quickly across the surface of a roof and have continuous growth if not stopped.

A roof inspection will indicate the presence of any alligatoring on the surface. Further details may indicate how much has spread and what types of repairs are necessary.


Another water term in roof inspections is ponding. Roof slopes or flat areas with deterioration may have grooves where water collects and effectively forms a small pond on the roof. When we think of an actual pond, we think of bigger bodies of water, but on a roof, the ponding could be nothing more than a small puddle.

Ponding could eventually lead to roof leaks and further deterioration. When rainy weather and moisture are in the air, ponding is typically a roof problem that needs attention as soon as possible.

Fishmouth and Curling

One problem you may see listed on a roof inspection is fishmouth. Fishmouth occurs when the edge of a shingle curves upward and creates an opening similar to a fish mouth. The openings may leave your roof vulnerable and allow moisture underneath the shingles.

Along with the term fishmouth, the term shingle curling may be used instead. The terms are typically interchangeable, with the use of each one all depending on the inspector and specific language they use. Along with the formation of an opening, the corners of the roof shingles may curl up as well.


Much like a skin blister, a roof blister is an expanded part of a roof with either water or air trapped inside of the roof. The roof area may feel spongy and soft as the air moves around when pressed down. Blisters may form when shingles or roof materials are not properly attached or nails have become loose and create an opening on the roof.

A roof blister typically occurs on flat roofs and must be pushed out or flattened to avoid any further damage.

Granular Loss

For asphalt shingle roofs, mineral granules help protect the roof materials and prevent sun damage. The loss of too many granules could result in roof exposure and potential damages.

Granular loss could occur in a number of different ways, including old age of the roof. After some time, eventually the shingles break down and lose some of their surface structure. In other cases, factors like wind, rain, or hail may cause the granular loss.

Heavy granular loss is one of the big signs your roof needs replacement.

Wind Mitigation

The impact of wind on your home is an essential part of a roof inspection, especially in areas prone to high winds or hurricanes. The wind mitigation inspection process typically includes a score to indicate how secure your roof is and how much wind the home can handle.

A wind mitigation inspection could make a big difference on the cost of your home insurance. Hurricane coverage costs and premiums could go down if you have maximum protection on your roof.

Foundation Anchoring

Another part of a wind mitigation inspection you may come across is foundation anchoring. When a roof anchors to the foundation of the home, the roof has even further protection. Instead of the wind putting direct pressure on the roof alone, the anchoring helps decrease the main load and reduce extra pressure from the roof being damaged.

Foundation anchoring could be present, or an inspector may recommend it. Like high scores in a wind mitigation inspection, foundation anchoring will not only protect the roof but could have a positive impact on home insurance costs.

For more information on roof inspections and details about your home, contact us at Acoma Roofing, Inc. We have years of experience and trained professionals to help with all your roofing needs.

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Acoma Roofing, Inc.

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