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Roof Maintenance: DIY Roof Inspection How To

Roof Maintenance: DIY Roof Inspection How To

Roof Maintenance- DIY Roof Inspection How To

Taking care of your roof and catching problems before they become major issues is something that every homeowner needs to do. Inspecting your roof on a regular basis will help you discover issues before you start to notice things like leaks. However, a DIY inspection won’t always catch every problem; sometimes you need a trained professional to see everything there is.

Getting Your Roof Inspected

It’s always a good idea to inspect your roof about twice a year in the spring and fall. If you notice changes in your roof from one inspection to the next, you can call a professional in to take a look, rather than waiting for a leak or major issue.

Unfortunately, most DIY roof inspections have you looking at the house from the inside and from the ground. And while this can spot several issues, most of the time, if you can see it, it’s gone too far. This ends up costing you more money because the earlier that a problem is spotted the easier it is to correct. Therefore, in addition to undertaking your DIY inspections make sure that you get your roof regularly checked out by a reputable roofing company as well, particularly if you think there may be a problem.

DIY Interior Inspection

Believe it or not, the first step of your DIY roof inspection should be inside your home. Many problems can be more easily seen from within your attic and crawl spaces than they can be from outside. Grab a flashlight and head to the attic to begin your inspection.

Examine the Roof Deck

Take the time to begin your inspection by looking at the underside of the roof deck. Often problems will show up here before they do anywhere else. Look for signs that moisture has been getting in such as wet spots, mold, mildew, or streaks on the wood.

Next, check to see if the deck is sagging in any place, and look for signs of wood rot. Swelling of the wood, dark spots, or a spongy feel can all indicate a problem.

Look for Signs of Moisture

In addition to checking the roof deck itself, examine the rest of the attic for signs of moisture. Sometimes water can travel along the top of the roof deck quite a ways before it penetrates your home, so just because you don’t notice obvious signs of a leak doesn’t mean water isn’t getting in around the soffits and under any damaged flashing.

Look for Sunlight

Shut off the attic lights and your flashlight. You would expect your attic to be pretty dark with the exception of any vents. If you find unexpected sunlight filtering through the roof deck anywhere, though, it can be a sign that you need some roof repairs.

DIY Exterior Inspection

Once you’ve finished your interior inspection, it’s time to head outside. Check your roof for these signs; any of them will warrant a call to have a professional inspection done to confirm or find the damage.

Check the Gutters

One of the first signs that your roof may have a problem could be in your gutters. When the granules begin to come off of your shingles, or your shingles begin to crack and break, the pieces will get washed into your rain gutters where they will often sit. If you find an abundance of granules or what look like pieces of shingle, you’re in need of some roof repair.

Examine the Shingles

Take the time to look at the shingles themselves. What you’re looking for is anything out of the ordinary such as:

  • Missing shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Curling corners or edges
  • Missing granules

Any of these signs can indicate a larger problem, particularly if the problems are widespread and not confined to just one or two small areas.

Look at the Color

You should have a pretty good idea of what color your roof is supposed to be, so checking for color changes isn’t too hard. Areas where the shingles are darker in color can indicate moisture, while a greenish color can indicate algae problems, both of which need to be addressed.

Examine the Flashing

The flashing around skylights, chimneys, and the edges of your roof is another area that needs to be check out. Just like with the shingles, if you notice it missing, damaged, or lifting up off of the roof in places, you need to have it repaired.

Look for Loose Material

Take a quick visual sweep of the roof and look for anything that appears loose or out of place. Make sure the ridge caps appear well secured and level, and that you don’t notice anything that appears to be coming free or moving in the breeze.

Inspect Twice a Year

To help make sure your roof remains in good condition, undertake a DIY roof inspection about twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring – and make it a point to have your roof professionally inspected annually as well. Your roof is important to your home and everything inside it; don’t let problems sneak up on you, and get your roof inspected regularly to catch problems before they become expensive and invasive to fix.


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