When it comes to doing maintenance around your home, the roof is easy to forget about. Doing a professional inspection once a year is recommended but you can easily inspect your roof on your own. Being aware of the condition of your roof will help you get the most out of it, by correcting any issues you see before more damage is done. The most common cause of water damage is from a leaky roof so it is important to be sure to properly inspect it at least once per year, and also after any major storms. We can easily help you identify things that may be problematic on your own, so you can then make a decision if a repair or full replacement is needed. Inspecting your roof has never been easier with these steps!
What happens during a roof inspection?
First step would be to walk around the exterior of your home, inspecting your roof from the ground to see what you can see at eye level. Inspecting your roof from the ground can still give you a good example of its condition if you don’t have a ladder or you’re afraid of heights. Look for signs of any damage, sagging, or ageing and take notes on what you think might be an issue to let your local roofing contractor know. While you are looking up at your roof, be sure to check out the flashing. Flashing is the main entry point for water and needs to be kept in good shape to work properly. Damaged flashing can cause immense damage under the surface of your roof. If you see damaged flashing a professional inspection may be necessary to be sure there are no underlying issues.
If your home has skylights examine the inside where the seams meet your ceiling and also on the exterior, where the shingles meet the skylight. If you see old shingles around your skylights you may have water damage. Looking closely at soil stacks, if your home has one. This is important to check for any cracks and issues with the “stack boot,” and not to opt for a cheap version that will not last you. Installing a soil stack that won’t last you as long as your roof will only cause you bigger problems down the road.
Inspecting your chimney is an area that you are able to check out without having to hop on top of your roof. Make sure to look around the perimeter of the chimney where water is directed away from your house, during heavy snow or rain, precipitation lands right at the chimney which can cause leaks or damage over time.
Look for moss, algae, or piles of leaves on your homes roof, these areas are notorious for costly leaks and water damage. Moss can severely damage the integrity of a roof because moss absorbs moisture and puts down roots causing degradation. These roots can lift shingles allowing constant moisture which can lead to mold and many other problems. Algae can adhere to the roof causing permanent stains and eventually damage underlying materials. If moisture seeps into the wood of your roof, it will cause rotting and compromise the strength of your roof.
As you are walking the perimeter of your home looking up at the roof, check to see if there are any curled or cracked shingles. Hot air from the attic often can cause shingles to curl away from the roof, putting you at risk for water damage and poor ventilation. Another important place to inspect is the attic, checking for rotted wood on the roof, and how well the insulation is holding up. If the insulation is poor there might be excess wear on the roof where heat can leak through. During cold winter months your homes heat leaking out can create serious issues causing ice dams to form. This happens when snow melts on the roof and runs down freezing along the way.
As you are looking at the condition of the shingles on your roof, also try to check for granule loss. Granules are the texture part of the shingles that feels slightly like sandpaper, these help deflect UV rays, make shingles fire resistant, and also makes packaging much easier. If you see loss of granules it may indicate your shingles have aged or been largely affected by severe weather. If you have a lot of granular loss then the shingles are no longer protecting your home from the elements, and you should consider calling your local roofing contractor for a professional inspection.
Another area commonly overlooked by homeowners is the gutters. Cleaning out your gutters is so important because that is why most water damage is caused by being clogged. A gutter system can accumulate up to 300 pounds of water and debris each year. The best time to clean out your gutters is in late spring, this is the prime opportunity to remove the buildup that accumulates from blooming and lingering winter. Along with maintenance for your gutters, pressure washing them out along with your roof at least once per year is suggested.
When should you inspect a roof?
Inspecting your roof should be a year routine maintenance, like we have said previously it is a great idea to get a professional roofing inspection once per year, usually in the spring, but you should inspect your roof and exterior of your home every few months. If you always have your eye out for potential problems it is much eraser to address the issues before they get too big and expensive.
You’ve completed inspecting your roof, now what?
After you have finished inspecting your roof with the help of these easy tips, review your findings. If you have found potential problems or concerns contact your local roofing contractor and make an appointment. Being proactive as a homeowner will save you a ton of money in the long run. As always when seeking out the best roofing company be sure to read reviews from their customers and look at pictures of their work.