How to Inspect Your Roof

How to Inspect Your Roof

The fall and winter months can be a rough period for roof of your house. This is a good time to inspect your roof, including its shingles and surrounding gutters, in order to determine whether roofing repairs are needed before the weather gets really bad.

The roof is the first line of defense to any house, and can take a battering from the elements. It is probably wise to check your roof at least twice a year. Inspections should be made in between if the roof has been subjected to a particularly severe weather event, such as a heavy downpour or high winds, or an earthquake, which can be equally damaging to any fixed structure and make it necessary to repair. Roof repair can be expensive, but deferring needed repairs can be far more costly in terms of potential damage to the rest of the house.

When checking roofs that use conventional shingles, look for curling in the individual sheets. Those that are curled need to be replaced. Wooden or shake shingles should be inspected for warping or splitting. It should also be noted that one should never walk on these types of shingles during the inspection process. Shingles made of slate, clay or cement should last the life of the house, but they should still be checked for possible ice damage. These can be checked from a distance with binoculars. Asphalt roofing materials resemble a fine gravel, and the finding of granules in gutters or elsewhere can be an indication that the materials are aging. A metal roof should have a lifetime of around 50 years, but should still be inspected for loose seams, joints or other flaws that can result in leaking.

In addition to checking the roofing materials themselves, the top of a house should be examined for metal pieces, known as flashings, around chimneys, windows and vent pipes. This can foretell a condition in which melted snow or ice can enter the house. Gutters should also be checked for ice damage. Whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor to carry it out, an inspection of your roof today can protect you from experiencing a major headache in the future.

 

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