The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that you self-inspect your roof at least twice per year, inspecting it in each of the hot and cold seasons. In addition, you should do a close inspection any time you suspect damage due to weather or any other cause.
Professional inspections are also recommended. If your home has asphalt or wooden shingles, a professional inspection should take place every three years, while a tile roof can be professionally inspected every five. A professional should also be called any time damage is found during a self-inspection.
Is It Time To Inspect Your Roof?
Before you climb that ladder, make sure you know what you’re looking for. Shingle condition, cleanliness of the roof, blocked vents and the condition of your chimney are just some of the things that require your attention.
Inspecting Your Shingles
How long have they been there? Most asphalt shingles are designed to last approximately 20 years. Weather factors such as ice damming (when melting snow refreezes at the overhang), can cause premature wear and tear. Are the shingles buckling, curling, or showing other signs of wear such as holes? These indicate that shingles may need to be replaced. Are there multiple layers? A maximum of two layers of shingles is the desired amount. Is there mold or moss growing? This is another sign of wear.
Loose material around the chimney, gutter or pipes can cause problems and should be removed. The roof should remain free of debris in valleys and gutters, so that water can run off uninterrupted. If the roof is dirty, water can build up under the shingles and cause leaking into the home.
Nails should not be protruding, bent, or otherwise damaged. If they are, they should be replaced.
The top of the chimney should be free of cracks to prevent water from making its way inside the chimney, doing further damage and threatening the structural integrity of the chimney and its ability to work properly .
Sagging and Ponding
Check for signs of pooling water in spots where the roof has begun to sag. If there are signs of ponding, it requires attention from professionals.
Check for signs of previous repairs. If any are found, be sure to document them and pay special attention to those areas in the future to ensure repairs continue to work as intended.
Plumbing vents should be free of blockage. Animals often make nests in vents, so it is important to regularly check to make sure they are not blocked, in order to avoid dangerous and unpleasant issues within your home.
Remove any branches or limbs lying on the roof. Also note any surrounding trees that have the potential to cause problems in the future due to their proximity.