Home Maintenance Series: Roof Inspection

The roof is your first line of defense from the elements and roofs get more abuse from these elements than any other part of the building. Regular roof inspection will lead to early detection of roof problems such as signs of weakness, deterioration or hazard. It also determines if the roof system is performing according to its intended function and spots the parts that needed any repairs.

Roof inspections are carried out at least twice a year, end of winter and right after summer is preferable. Informal inspections are done immediately after unusual occurrences such as extremely heavy rains, bad wind storm, hail, or even nearby fires.

Steps in roof inspection include:

1. Pay extreme and careful attention to flashings around chimneys and plumbing vents. Poor or faulty flashing will allow snow meltage to penetrate the interior, causing not only infrastructure rot, but potential damage to interior walls.

2. Look for signs of tearing, curled or blistered shingles. If you notice any problems that are irreparable, then it may be time to re-roof.

3. For asphalt shingles, inspect for dark patches indicating that granular coating has worn away.

4. If you find any exposed nails, this can be source of leaks.

5. For metal roofing, detect signs of pitting, rusting and corrosion that can be the natural consequences of aging. Look for loose or open seams and joints that can lead to leaking.

6. Check for sagging gutters.

The purpose of proper roof inspection is to maximize the life of any roof, as well as to avoid premature roof failure. It is better to employ a trusted roofing contractor to do the inspection for you. They are more used to walking around on the roof. Some of these professionals will provide the service free of charge.