Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 by Danny Peterson
Chances are, you didn’t wake up this morning and immediately think about inspecting your roof, or calling in a professional roof inspector. Roof inspection is something most of us think about only when there’s a problem—a leak, or some obvious storm damage—or perhaps when we are buying a new home. Pre-emptive or preventative roof maintenance simply isn’t on the radar of the average homeowner. This way of thinking is detrimental, though. Inspecting your roof regularly helps you catch problems before they snowball out of control. Preventative roof maintenance, meanwhile, can dramatically extend the life of your roof, or prevent a bad roof from causing further structural damage to the home—and preventative maintenance always starts with an inspection.
When the Time is Right for a Roof Inspection
The question is, how often should you be having your roof inspected? We recommend that you conduct a DIY roof inspection at least twice a year—in the spring and then again in the fall. You don’t necessarily need to get up and walk around on the roof; you can scan the roof from the ground, and also head into your attic to look at it from the inside. You don’t need to have a professional roof inspector come out twice a year. That would be overkill. However, we would certainly recommend having the roof inspected every few years, and also keeping your eyes peeled for any warning signs. As you conduct your own DIY assessment, you can be on alert for any signs of damage or deterioration—and if you spot any, that’s when you should call in a professional roof inspector to give you a frank second opinion.
Signs of Wear and Tear
So what are some of the red flags and warning signs you should watch for, as you inspect your roof? A few items of possible worry are listed below:
- Of course, you’ll always want to pay attention to your shingles. Are any of them missing? Are there any bald patches on your roof? Are any of them visibly cracked or broken? Any such signs will warrant a professional roof inspection.
- In particular, look at the chimney, at rooftop ridges, and at vents; look for any debris or pieces of material that look to be loose. These, too, are signs that the roof has undergone some significant wear and tear, and a professional inspection is very much in order.
- Are your shingles deteriorating? The clearest sign of this is that you’ve got a bunch of shingle debris—it will probably just look like sand—filling up your gutters.
- Any signs of moisture and mold should be taken as cause for an immediate, professional roof inspection. You may notice these on the roof itself—places where there always seems to be standing water—but more often you’ll notice it inside the home, in the form of water spots and black mold patches inside your attic.
When You Spot a Problem
Spotting a problem with your roof can be disconcerting, to say the least—but don’t panic, and don’t jump to the conclusion that you need a whole new roof. Often, roof problems can be repaired. This is especially true if your roof is less than 20 years old. Roofs don’t last forever but they do last a good while, and there’s no reason to be anxious if your roof is brand new. Do get it inspected, though. The last thing you want is to allow a minor problem to spiral into something far graver. Having an inspection is ultimately a precaution against bigger, more severe damage.