There are many roofing tasks that are best left to the professionals, but inspecting your roof for wear and tear is something most homeowners can do, and it could help you to spot some damage before the problems gets more serious, and expensive.
Don’t forget your roof
There are any number of reasons why you might not have inspected your roof for some time, but considering how fundamental your roof is to the integrity of your property, it would seem like a good idea to commit to inspecting your roof at least once a year.
It is perfectly understandable that some homeowners simply don’t fancy the idea of climbing a ladder, if they don’t have a great head for heights, but even if that is the reason why you haven’t attempted to inspect your roof recently, you can still take a look from the ground.
With most properties, it should be possible to use a pair of binoculars and gain a reasonable vantage point to look closely at most parts of your roof.
Whether you are carrying out your inspection from the ground or from a good vantage point on your ladder, there are a number of things to look out for.
Signs of damage
It is advisable to avoid actually standing on your roof itself, not just from an obvious safety point of view, but also because you might end up unintentionally causing some damage.
Take a good look around for any shingles that appeared to have buckled, or show signs of blistering or curling. Just as vital, is to make sure that all of the shingles are still in place where they should be. If not, make a mental note of where and how many missing or broken shingles there are on your roof.
Pay particular attention to the chimney cap and any area that is often vulnerable to damage, such as around any pipes that are coming out of the roof.
Check the guttering and see whether it is clear or needs some debris removing from it.
If you notice that there are large clumps of moss and lichen, that could be an indication that your roof is suffering from decay underneath the surface, although black algae stains are normally just cosmetic and should normally be interpreted as a sign of a major problem.
Do you have a leak?
The earlier you detect a leak the better it will be, for both the inside of your property and the roof itself.
Take a look around the rooms closest to the roof and see if you can spot any dark patches on the ceiling, which may be a sign of water ingress.
Any water stains, peeling paint on the underside of your roof hangings or damp spots, however minor, should never be ignored and the root cause of the leak needs to be identified before the problem gets any worse.
Following the seasons with your inspection routine
The very minimum inspection routine should be an annual check of your roof’s condition, but is recommended that you commit to carrying out inspections and some general maintenance tasks, at the beginning of each major season.
Summer can be just as severe for your roof as a cold winter, as solar UV radiation is higher and this means that your roof could suffer a case of thermal shock as a result of sudden cooling, caused by cool rain showers following a hot period.
Quite rightly, most homeowners will consider the winter period to be the time of the year that is most likely to cause some damage to your roof. Cold weather, storms with high winds and driving rain, all have the potential to take their toll on your roof.
Which is why regular inspections are key, so that you can spot any damage and arrange to get it fixed before the problem is allowed to get any worse.
A standard roof should give you a minimum of 15 years of loyal service and hopefully a lot longer, provided you are a proactive homeowner and commit to the idea of ensuring that you quite literally, manage to keep over your head in the family home.
There are some minor maintenance and DIY tasks that you might be able to do yourself, but if you want to get the best life out of your roof, protect your investment with regular inspections and get to know a good roofing contractor, who can put things right when needed.
About the Author
Andrew Gardiner is an entrepreneur who graduated from Westminster College. Mr. Gardiner, with more than ten years experience in the building and construction industry specializes in the roofing, reroofing and repair of residential, commercial and industrial premises. Mr. Gardiner currently resides in Brisbane Australia.