The Importance Of Roof Inspections

It's the ultimate out of sight, out of mind object. It just sits up there sunning itself and weathers the weather with nary a thought. Until it starts to leak, you barely give any thought to it. Then it's too late and soon your roof takes over your life and you can't get the sight of the saplings growing from the gutters and the missing shingles out of your mind. Your roof needs a good once-over several times a year so that it can be out of sight, out of mind for the rest of the year.

Natural Hazards Are Disastrous for Roofs

Snow, wind, and ice contribute to roof damage as much as the sun. The asphalt shingles have a chemical coating to make them impervious to water, but as they weather on the roof, the sun bakes the coating off and rain runoff sends it down the gutters. If you live in a climate that has lots of wintry weather, the weight of snow and ice weaken the shingles and the water will rot the boots and rust flashing.

The occasional hailstorm is a roof's worst enemy and if one hits you need to check the roof as quickly as possible for damage. Let your insurance company know immediately if you suspect hail damage and they'll send someone out.

The Green Enemy

A lovely and lush tree canopy is also up there on the "Roof Enemy List". If your house is shaded by big old oak trees, keep in mind that the gutters on your roof are not the ideal place to start a tree farm. Leaves, branches and other debris accumulate in your gutters, making the roof a highly desirable location for squirrels looking for a spot for their penthouse. It's a short hop from the roof to the soffits and a few bites into the attic—and voila the squirrels and their chipmunk companions have taken up residence in your attic all while damaging your roof.

If your gutters are gross, chances are your downspouts are clogged with the same gunk—not the roof per se but certainly part of the overall mechanism of keeping you dry.

The DIY Approach

Get a ladder and a buddy and just go up and look around. Don't walk on the roof unless it's absolutely necessary.

What you're looking for is this:

  • Shingle damage—missing, broken, blistering or curling up.
  • Flashing—check for rust, cracks, or loose pieces
  • Caulk—look for missing or cracked caulk
  • Rubber Boots—around the vent pipes, check for cracking and wear
  • Moss or lichen—sign of roof decay

It doesn't take long to get an idea of the roof's condition and if you need to call a professional for repairs. You can do a quick inspection yourself, but remember that you need to have a formal inspection annually by a professional to make sure your roof stays in great condition. If your roof is damaged, consider roofing repairs by Standard Roofing Corp.