A regular roof inspection is an excellent way to stay on top of potential damage that may develop on your home throughout the year. It’s good to inspect your roof at least once every three years, and after bad storms that hit your neighborhood. Homeowners can hire roofing contractors to spend a few hours inspecting their roof for damage. This is beneficial because you’ll get the knowledgeable opinion of a professional.
If you have a little know-how you can complete a decent roof inspection yourself. Homeowners with a good eye for detail can find the visible as well as the hidden spots of damage on a roof. However, you’ll need to be as thorough as the roofing contractors and avoid the temptation to cut corners.
Visual Inspection from the Ground
Most inspections actually start on the ground. You’ll want to look at the front of the house from a fair distance, say the end of the lawn. Check the roof line for any of the following:
- Bent or missing gutters
- Visible damage to the eaves and soffits
- Sagging roof line
- Loose or missing shingles
- Moss growth
- Leaves and debris
Next, you’ll want to walk around to the back of the house and repeat the examination. Take note of any of the listed issues.
After this, you’ll want to walk around the house completely. Check all of the gutters, soffits, and eaves. It also pays to look at the ground around your home. You may see fallen shingles, flashing, or other bits of material from the roof, indicating further damage up top.
Climb Up to the Roof Safely
You’ll have to climb up a ladder to perform a more thorough inspection. For this, a sturdy ladder is essential. A roofing company will usually have a selection of ladders of different lengths to choose from for all of their customer’s houses. You only need one that is about seven to 10 ft. taller than the highest point of contact, which would be the home’s roof line.
Make sure you follow the instructions for extending the ladder and placing it against your roof. Angle the base of the ladder out from the exterior wall of your house 1 ft. for every 4 ft. you want to climb. This ensures that the ladder isn’t too steep or too low and at risk of sliding off the roof.
Here are a few tips for safely climbing up on the roof:
- Place your ladder on firm ground, such as the pavement.
- Avoid placing your ladder close to power lines or utility lines.
- Maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times when climbing.
- Use a hooked bungie cord to secure the top of the ladder to the gutters.
- Have a friend or family member spot you at the bottom of the ladder.
Inspecting the Roof
If you have a very steep roof it is best to stay off of it and hire a roofing company. Walking the roof is a dangerous task, especially if you don’t know proper roof safety. If you get up on the roof, there is also a risk of accidentally doing more damage to the shingles. That being said, if you have a flat roof or one with a very low slope, it is a little less slippery, but walk it at your own risk.
You can look at the roof from a good vantage point on the ladder. This is usually enough to see what is going on with the roof, especially if you have a simple gable roof, shed roof, or hip roof.
Here are the things to check out from the ladder:
- Look to see if the gutters are clogged or damaged inside.
- Examine the shingles for curling. (A little curling at the corners is okay, but lots of curling means the shingle has reached the end of its lifespan.)
- Look for missing shingles or holes in the roof decking.
- Look for piles of shingle grit that have accumulated in the roof valleys or gutters. (It means the shingles are old.)
- Check that the rubber and seals around pipes are intact.
- Check that the flashing around chimneys, windows, and in roof valleys is intact.
Interior Inspection of the House & Attic
It’s also important to thoroughly inspect the ceilings and walls throughout your home, especially on the top floors. If you have an attic, go up there to look at the underside of the roof decking. Any mold or dark colored spots may indicate moisture seeping through to the decking. Check for any visible light coming through to the attic, as this indicates a hole in the roof too.
When checking the other rooms of your home, look for brown or black circles and spots on the ceilings and walls. These water spots mean that you have a leak somewhere, either a pipe or from the roof.
Learn More About a Roofing Inspection from the Experts
If you are seeing any signs of roof damage or just want to get a professional roof inspection, reach out to National HomeCraft. We can send a licensed and certified roofing contractor out to inspect your home for an affordable price.
If we find any damage we’ll provide a free quote for replacement roofing or repairs. Just give us a call or fill out our online form to make your appointment now.
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