Your roof is your home's unsung hero, shielding you from the elements year-round. But to ensure it continues to do its job effectively, regular inspections are crucial. In this guide, we'll walk you through the importance of roof inspections, how often you should inspect your roof, the materials you'll need, and provide a step-by-step explanation of how to inspect your roof.
Why Inspecting Your Roof is Important:
Regular roof inspections offer several benefits:
Early Issue Detection: Spotting problems early can prevent minor issues from turning into costly repairs. For example, in the U.S. it costs on average $1,089 to repair a roof and $9,192 to replace a roof.
Prolonged Roof Lifespan: Proper maintenance can extend your roof's life, delaying the need for a replacement.
Preservation of Home Value: A well-maintained roof ensures the integrity of your home's structure, safeguarding your property's value.
How Often You Need to Inspect Your Roof?
The rate at which you inspect your roof varies depending on the age of your roof. Generally speaking, the younger your roof is, the less often you have to inspect it. Meaning you can inspect your roof every three to four years, and you may only need binoculars depending on your roof. However, as your roof enters into the second half of its life expectancy it is smart to inspect your roof more often, every one to two years. It is also smart to inspect your roof during the fall to spot any potential damage that can be fixed before heading into winter. It is also good to check your roof after severe weather. For example, if you experience heavy wind or hail in your area, make sure to check your roof for any damage or issues.
Materials Needed for a DIY Roof Inspection:
Before you begin, gather these essential materials to make this DIY project quick and simple:
Sturdy Ladder: Ensure it's in good condition and can reach your roof safely.
Safety Gear: Wear non-slip shoes and consider a safety harness for steep roofs.
Flashlight: With fresh batteries for inspecting dark or shaded areas.
Binoculars: Useful for a close-up view without stepping on the roof.
Notepad and Pen: For documenting your findings.
Camera or Smartphone: Optional but helpful for visual documentation.
Bonus: If you need a reliable ladder look no further! We stock Werner Ladders in a variety of sizes at our warehouse located in Rostraver, PA.
Step-by-Step Explanation of How to Inspect Your Roof:
Safety First: Safety should be your top priority. Place your ladder on a level surface, ensuring it's stable and secure. Wear appropriate safety gear, including non-slip shoes and a safety harness if needed.
Bonus: If you’d like extra comfort or reassurance, consider buying a pitch hopper, a tool commonly used by roofers to provide a more secure place to walk along the roof.
Inspect the Interior: Before looking at the roof itself we need to begin with the foundation. Start inside your home by examining the attic or crawl space. Always take notes of any issues or concerns and look for the following:
Water Stains: Check for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling or walls, as these can indicate roof leaks. Note their locations for reference.
Mold or Mildew: Moisture infiltration can lead to mold or mildew growth. This may suggest ventilation or insulation issues. Consult a professional for evaluation and remediation if needed.
Examine the Roof's Exterior: Move outside to inspect your roof's exterior. Use binoculars to observe from the ground or use your ladder to climb to the roof. Again, always take notes of any issues or concerns and assess the following:
Missing or Damaged Shingles: Missing, damaged, or deteriorated shingles should be replaced promptly to maintain roof integrity.
Curling Shingles: Address curling or buckling shingles to prevent water infiltration. Curling often occurs at the edges.
Sagging Roof: A visibly sagging roof suggests structural issues requiring immediate attention. There may be an indication of this issue when inspecting the attic, as you are looking beneath the roof. Document the sagging areas and consult a professional for assessment and repairs.
Roof Valleys: Roof valleys are where two planes meet and are prone to leaks. Ensure they're debris-free and that shingles in this area are intact and properly sealed.
Check for Granule Loss: Asphalt shingles often lose granules over time. This is a normal process that occurs as your roof ages, but may be amplified due to weather conditions. If you find granules in your gutters or scattered around your property, it's a sign of shingle wear and may warrant repair or replacement.
Algae or Moss Growth: Excessive growth may trap moisture and accelerate shingle deterioration.
Damaged Flashing: Examine the flashing, which consists of metal pieces around roof penetrations such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. Damaged or deteriorating flashing can allow water infiltration and should be repaired or replaced as needed.
Inspect the Seals and Caulking: Inspect seals and caulking around roof penetrations. Damaged or deteriorating seals should be repaired or replaced to maintain a watertight barrier.
Check Gutters and Downspouts: Clear debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Overflowing or sagging gutters can lead to structural issues, water damage and more. Pay attention to:
Downspout Blockages: Ensure downspouts are free of blockages, allowing water to flow freely. Document any issues with gutters and downspouts.
Bonus: Learn why gutter guards are your quick and easy solution to clogged gutters.
Assess the Roof's Age: Consider your roof's age and expected lifespan. Plan for replacement as it nears the end of its expected life, even if it appears in good condition. Accounting for your roof's age helps with long-term planning.
Get ahead of potential roofing issues with regular DIY inspections. By following these steps and staying vigilant for damage signs, you can catch problems early and address them promptly.
At CGR Wholesale Roofing & Siding Supply Center in Rostraver, we've got a variety of sturdy and reliable Werner ladders and a range of materials for all your roofing and siding needs. Don't wait until it's too late. Visit our warehouse or website today and choose the right products for your DIY project. Our team is here to ensure a smooth and successful home improvement experience.