How often to you look up to check out your home’s roof? For me the answer is rarely. Life is busy when I am outside I am playing with kids, jumping in the car to shuttle kids to sports or doing work in the yard. Occasionally I glance up at the roof as I am pulling in after work but I never truly inspect the roof. This is a mistake for sure. I have learned that small damage left unnoticed takes something that could have been repaired simply into a new roof having to be installed.
A question I often ask is where do I start with maintaining my roof? Finally when replacing my roof I decided I could take the opportunity to ask the professionals. The roofing contractor explained that it is important for families to start by understanding that roof inspections were something that needed to occur two times a year. The perfect times being the spring and fall seasons.
The first thing he told me to do was to grab a flashlight and head up into the attic area of the home. From there I was to look for four basic things:
1) The first thing I was looking for areas where the roof was sagging inward. He said I would be able to visually see where the plywood was sagging.
2) The next thing is to look for water damage and leaking throughout the interior of the roof. Water for sure can cause issues that are expensive to fix, not only with your roof but ceilings and installation as well.
3) Another thing to look for is dark spots, which could signal water had been there and dried. Also trails of water where spots could have started leaking and been trickling down.
4) Another thing to look from on the inside of the home is light peeking in. This would signify a hole in the roofing materials.
The next step is to check the exterior of the roof. It is important to pay attention to damage in the flashing, missing shingles, any shingles that are curled, buckled or rotted. Here are some basics to pay particular attention to:
1) Twice a year head up top on the roof to check visually for cracks in the roofing material, bald shingles or missing shingles as well.
2) While you are on the roof scan the roof the roof lines for loose materials and wear around the chimney, vents and pipes.
3) Check your gutters for extra granules from the composite shingling. This is a sign of progressive wear.
It is so important that any signs of wear are immediately taken care of and repaired to avoid the need for total roof replacement. Many roofing contractors will come out to your home access the extent of the damage and give the homeowner a written estimate to repair the roof and prevent further damage to the roof. Just make sure to take in all of your options before committing to the expense of a new roof. Many times even water damage can be repaired and prevented from happening again. New roofs are expensive. Make sure the roof you have has lived it’s life out to the fullest before investing in a new roof.