A roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that’s easy to overlook. Your roof should be inspected at least once a year.
Add a once-a-year reminder on your calendar to go out on a warm day and fix any problems you find.
If you’re squeamish about heights, don’t worry. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars.
Or, you can get up close and personal with your roof using a ladder. However, there’s no need to get up on your roof just yet. The less you walk around up there, the better for your roofing — and the safer for you. Work your way around your house, noting any potential problems.
Here’s what to look for:
Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
Missing or broken shingles.
Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
Missing or damaged chimney cap. (OK, that’s technically not part of your roof, but since you’re looking anyway.)
Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.
If you find piles of colored grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign — those sand-like granules cover the surface of roof shingles and shield them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Check the age of your roofing and see if it’s nearing the end of its life cycle.
Easy Fixes for Roofing Problems
Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place.
If you’re comfortable working on a roof, then it’s not too difficult to replace shingles and caulk flashing yourself. Cost: $24 for a bundle of shingles, $6 for roofing caulk. Allow a half-day to make a few shingle repairs.
Metal and vinyl flashing around chimneys, skylights, and attic vents that has separated needs to be resealed with caulk. However, flashing and vent boots that are beginning to rust or deteriorate should be replaced.
Take care of your house and it will take care of you!