Your roof is largely out of sight and out of mind. If there's a leak, missing shingles, soft wood, or other problems, however, your roof will likely be the first thing on your mind until it's repaired. You can minimize damage and your repair expenses by inspecting your roof regularly. You can do this yourself or hire a roofing contractor to do the inspections, but if you do find areas that need to be repaired, it's always best to consult with a professional roofing contractor.
Why Should You Inspect Your Roof?
Whether it's after a storm or just as a result of hot sun, snow buildup, and the wear and tear that naturally occurs, your roof is prone to a variety of damage. Finding the damage early can save you time, energy, and money. Keep in mind that if your roof is damaged, it's very likely that water, insects, and other elements will begin entering your home, causing damage to your attic and then the rest of the home.
A leaking or insect-infested roof will not be apparent at first. If you have an attic that is largely unused, you could end up with water damage, mold, or a large insect infestation without even knowing it. Once the damage moves down to the first floor of your home, you'll have a major clean-up job on your hands. If mold is involved, you will need to have it professionally mitigated to avoid getting sick. Regular roof inspections can prevent this type of damage.
When Should You Inspect Your Roof?
It's a good idea to inspect your roof twice per year. If you live in a climate that involves snow and ice in the winter, the best times to inspect your roof are before and after the winter season. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you'll want to inspect your roof before hurricane season begins. This can prevent minor damage from becoming worse during a storm.
How Should You Inspect Your Roof?
If you don't want to hire a roof contractor to inspect your roof for you, there are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Remember: safety first. Begin by checking the attic for signs of water or other damage before attempting to walk on the roof. Know how to use a ladder properly, and make sure that you are inspecting the roof while someone else is home. Do not try walking on the roof if it's wet, covered in moss, made of tile, or otherwise could be slippery or unsafe. If you aren't comfortable walking on the roof, just stand on the ladder and use binoculars.
- Look for signs of damage. Buckled and curled shingles, protruding nails, and missing or torn shingles are all signs that there is damage lurking. Also, check the shingles to be sure that they are still textured. Once the rough coating wears off, it's generally time to replace them.
- Check for ponding. After a rain, you can stand on a ladder and check the roof visually for places where the water tends to sit. When the roof is dry, take a closer look to see if the shingles or, if you can access it, the wood underneath is damaged.
- Clean out the gutters. As part of the inspection, you will want to see where debris is building up in the gutters. Pay special attention to the shingles in those areas, and clean the gutters while you're up there.
If you find problems with your roof, it's time to call a roofing repair company. They can advise you as to whether you should have the roof replaced or repaired. Even if you don't find any problems, it's a good idea to have a roofing contractor take a look every year or two to be sure that you're not missing any signs of damage that could impact the rest of your home.