Your roof takes the brunt of the elements to keep you and your home safe, yet we tend to overlook or completely forget about the necessary preventative maintenance tasks to keep it in proper condition. The purpose of a roof inspection is to identify any minor problems so they can be resolved before becoming major problems. A roof inspection doesn’t need to be performed weekly or even monthly, but it’s important to take the time at least once a year to check things out. Afraid of heights? Don’t worry, a comprehensive roof inspection may not require physically getting on the roof, or even using a ladder for that matter. Check out these tips for completing your annual DIY roof inspection!
The most obvious sign of a leaky roof is water spots on your ceiling and walls, or even pooling water in your home. The first step in your roof inspection should be surveying the inside of your home from these symptoms. Be thorough− move furniture/appliances as necessary to inspect areas that are usually hidden and check inside closet/storage rooms.
If getting up on your roof is not an option, an attic inspection may be forthcoming of issues that would otherwise be revealed from on top of the roof. Before heading up to the attic, you’ll want to make sure you have a flashlight, nails, and chalk with you. Start by inspecting ridge beams, rafters, and sheathing (sheets of plywood or other materials that are placed across floors, rafters, and studs). Look for water stains, dark areas of moisture, and soft wood, all of which indicate dry rot. Mark these areas with chalk so they can be easily identified later.
The next step is to turn off all lights and look for any sunlight that may be streaming in from above (this indicates holes in your roof). If you find any holes, shove a nail or wire through them so they are easily identifiable when you inspect the roof from the outside. Remember, it’s a good idea to wear gloves, goggles, or even a respirator when inspecting your attic, especially if you’ll be handling fiberglass insulation.
Begin your exterior inspection by walking the perimeter of your home and observing the edges of your roof. Look for loose flashing (metal strips installed to prevent leaks around the chimney, vents, windows, doors, skylights, and along seams in the roof) and broken, curled, or missing shingles. Stand in your yard and examine the ridgeline of your roof (the highest point where slopes meet). This line should be perfectly horizontal. A sagging ridgeline is a sign of structural damage and will most likely require professional help.
If you’re not experienced or well-equipped, getting on top of your roof for closer inspection can be dangerous and even cause further damage. If this is the case and your roof is due for a check-up (and it probably is after this year’s spring storms), allow the experts at Blackstone Exteriors to give it a free, professional inspection!