3 easy steps for inspecting your roof

October 4, 2014

For any homeowner, learning how to inspect your roof safely is imperative. Regular roof inspections can help identify potential trouble spots so they can be fixed before they become expensive problems.

While it may be tempting to inspect your roof without any professional help, this is almost always a recipe for disaster. Not only does a professional roofer utilize the latest safety equipment, but they are also trained in spotting troublesome areas such as insulation, drainage and structural problems. To ensure that your roof remains in excellent working shape, it should be inspected twice a year. Additionally, the roof should be checked immediately following any severe weather like snow, sleet or wind that could lead to significant damage.

3 easy steps for inspecting your roof

1. Check the gutters

Unless a roof is made from asphalt shingles, it is important to check the gutters for any pieces of the shingles that may have broken off. In addition to being one of the least expensive types of roofing materials, asphalt shingles also require less maintenance. With that said, asphalt shingles are not advisable for areas prone to constantly changing weather. Inclement weather such as heavy snow and rain can cause the shingles to rot and decay. In addition, the gutters often become stuck with leaves, dirt and more that can lead to significant problems with leaks and roof damage. Gutters should be examined and cleaned twice a year.

2. Look for dry rot

Roofs made from wooden or shake shingles must be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that there is no rot or warping. Homeowners will want to inspect their roof for dry rot at least twice a year. However, if there has been a large storm, the roof should be inspected more frequently. If present, rotten or warped shingles need to be replaced immediately.

3. Examine the flashing

Flashing is pieces of metal that cover areas on the roof that shingles cannot reach like along the vent pipes, chimneys and dormers. Look for visible damage such as dents or cracks in the metal. If not properly repaired, this problem could lead to interior leaks from improperly sealed areas near windows or other openings into the home.

Given that the average roof replacement ranges in cost from $2,000 to $12,000 depending on the size of the house, it is always best to repair rather than replace. When looking for a roofing inspector, be sure to find one that has years of experience in the business. Always ask for past references and verify that the contractor is certified, licensed and insured to work in your neighbourhood.

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