Checking Your Roof For Repairs

If you know that it’s been 15 or more years since the last time you had your roof repaired by a roofing specialist, then it’s about time to get one out to your home or business and have them take a look. Otherwise, you can do a decent job of inspection yourself. Why spend money on having a roofer look for problem areas in your roof that you can find yourself?

A good place to start, before ever climbing a ladder (which, by the way, make sure to always use precautions when climbing a ladder and have a second person spot you if possible), you can give your roof a once over from the ground. Use a pair of binoculars to look for any obvious trouble areas- missing shingles, dark spots, and misshaped lines in the roofing material. Also, while on the ground, check downspouts for shingle granules that may have washed off.

Once you’ve decided to go up to have a closer look at your roof, the first thing to look for is missing or loose shingles. Be very careful as you do your inspection! Shingles can be easily damaged, so you should avoid stepping on them whenever possible. Being loose isn’t the only sign of a bad shingle. You should also look for loss of granulation (which may expose the fiberglass mat underneath to UV light), mold and decay, and curling.

If you have had work done to your roof in the past, there’s a chance that the roofer used tar or a patch to fix any small problems. You might see this during your close inspection. The patch might be an obvious hardened blob, or it might be covered with shingles of a slightly different color than the rest of your roof. The roofing cement used in these patches may only last for a few years, so you may also want to check these areas from below-in your attic.

Another thing to give a closer look to is any flashing. Flashings are metal pieces used to waterproof spots of the roof where there may be an interruption in the roofing such as a skylight, a chimney or smoke stack, vents, or any protruding piping. Things to look for here are tears, buckling or puckering in the material, and looseness. Flashings on chimneys are prone to damage more-so than other places. The reason is the chimney will settle and shift separately from the house. While looking at the flashings, be sure to also inspect your chimney for any leaning, damaged bricks, and cracked joints.

Some more general things to look for are any signs of sag or unevenness to the roof. Cupping and buckling could be indicators of weak framing and should be give extra attention. Also check your gutters for rust, and clogs.

If you find any of these problems while inspecting your roof, it’s best to have a good roofing repairman come out to fix it, rather than attempt to do it yourself.