Being a homeowner comes with several responsibilities in keeping your home safe and functional. The roof is one aspect of your home that you should do routine inspections and maintenance on to keep it from leaking. Inspections can be done in the spring and the fall (after and before the winter snow). Here are some things that you should check for when doing a roof inspection and how to stay safe while walking around on your rooftop.
Start In The Attic
When inspecting your roof, start inside the house by going up into your attic to take a look at the ceiling. You should be looking for telltale clues that there may be a problem on the other side. This would include areas where light is peeking through, areas that look as if they are drooping into the attic, areas that have blackened stops or trails on them and areas that are wet or dripping. All of these signify that something will need to be repaired from above, and they will give you a spot to start checking when you get up on top of the roof.
Staying Safe On The Roof
You will need want to take a trip up to the top of your roof to look for additional areas that may need repair. In order to do this safely, you should be wearing a pair of non-skid soled shoes so that you do not slip. You will want to make sure that your ladder is anchored sufficiently so that it does not wobble or fall to the ground. A good idea when getting on the roof would be to have someone there to spot you in case you do slip. They can also hold your ladder in place when you go up and down, giving you extra stability.
When walking around, test the area you are stepping on before putting full pressure on top of it. Do this with each step in case there is an area that seems weakened. Do not touch any electrical wires while on your roof.
What To Look For On The Roof
When you are doing your inspection, you will be searching for areas where the shingles are crumbling or curling. Peel back the shingles and look underneath to see if there are signs of water damage. If so, this area will need new roof paper and shingles. Check all areas where flashing is located to see if it is rusting or if the caulking should be replaced. Often areas where the roof leaks will be in an area where flashing is located near a skylight, chimney or vent.
Check the entire surface of the shingles for any mold or mildew, as these areas may have water damage underneath. Do a thorough check of your gutter area, including the shingles above them. In the winter, water can become blocked in your gutters and get trapped underneath the bottom layer of shingles, causing areas to become waterlogged and damaged.