What to Look For During a Roof Inspection

The roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home and it should be kept in good condition for as long as possible. The roof is exposed to all kinds of weather and it is important that it be cared for and maintained so it can continue to protect your home and family from the elements. Regular roof inspections are an important and necessary step in keeping your roof in top condition.

If you’d prefer to make your own inspection, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. You can inspect the roof from the ground using a pair of binoculars, but if you choose to venture out on to the roof be sure to take the necessary safety precautions. Make sure to check for any obvious defects like sagging or uneven areas, which may be a sign of a damaged roof deck.

You should also look for missing, loose, cracked, pitted, broken or otherwise damaged shingles and inspect the flashing to make sure it has not pulled away from the surface.  Check the rubber boots on any vent pipes or other features for rot or decay and

Other areas to inspect are the attic space, if it’s accessible, and any interior ceilings within the house itself below the roof. If you enter any crawl spaces or attic areas, take extra care in where you step or explore to look for damage, since one misstep can cause unnecessary damage and costly repairs.  In the attic, look for signs of water entry such as water stains, wood rot, mold and mildew. Be sure to have any necessary roof repairs completed as soon as possible.  Delaying roof repairs only leads to more serious damage and more extensive repairs. 

It is easy for a homeowner to miss important signs of roof damage such as missing ceramic granules due to hail.  If you have any concerns about the condition of the roof, it’s worth a call to a reputable local roofing professional.

 

Roof Inspections to Extend The Life of Your Roof

A periodic roof inspection is an important part of a good maintenance plan for your roof.  Regular inspections can spot small problems before they become big problems and can alert you to the need for roof maintenance.

A roof inspection involves climbing a ladder to get a good view of your roof.   In some cases it will be necessary to walk on the roof to take a closer look at areas of concern.  Safety is paramount when doing a roof inspection.  Make sure your ladder is firmly placed and have a helper to steady the ladder.  If you go out on the roof, use a safety harness to prevent you from accidently falling off of the roof.  If you are not comfortable doing the inspection yourself, call a reputable local roofing contractor.  Most good contractors offer free roof inspections.

When inspecting the roof, look for any loose, damaged or missing shingles.  If you find any of these, they should be repaired immediately to prevent serious damage.  Check around chimneys, pipes and other features to ensure that the flashing is still in place and no crack are noted.  Look for buckled or cupped shingles.  These can be a sign that the roof is nearing the end of its useful life. 

Check the gutters to make sure they are free of debris.  While you are looking at the gutters, take note of the amount of ceramic granules that are present in the gutters.  Some granule loss is normal, but if a high volume of granule loss is noted, it is an indication that the roof may have suffered hail damage.

Asphalt Shingle Roof Maintenance

Asphalt shingle roofs are by far the most common roofing material in use today.  Asphalt shingle roofs have a proven track record of providing excellent protection from the elements at a reasonable cost.  They are relatively easy to install and repair and require minimal maintenance.

Asphalt shingle roofs can last as long as 25 years, but many roofs fail long before then.  The most common reasons for roof failure are poor installation and lack of maintenance.  Asphalt shingle roofs are low maintenance, but to maximize their service life a little maintenance goes a long way. 

First, you should have your roof inspected at least once a year and twice a year would be better.  Most reputable local roofers offer free roof inspections so having your roof inspected should not be much of a burden.  You should also have your roof inspected after any severe weather event such as hail or high winds or if you make any changes to the roof such as installation of a satellite dish, solar panels, or skylights. 

Any loose, missing, cracked, or otherwise damages shingles should be repaired immediately.  Damaged shingles allow water intrusion that can cause serious damage to your roof and the inside of your home.  Be sure to use a reputable local roofing contractor for any roof repairs.

Keep your gutters and your roof clear of any leaves or other debris.  Leaves and other debris hold moisture that contribute to the growth of mold and mildew that can harm your roof.  Trim back any branches that hang out over your roof to minimize debris from falling on your roof.