Taking the proper precautions early enough can save your roof. That’s a fact. You roof should be inspected at least once a year if it’s fairly new or twice a year if it’s getting older. As well, if you’ve experienced any major weather conditions such as a heavy wind storm, it wouldn’t do any harm to get your roof inspected to make sure that no damage was done during the storm.
Regular maintenance will extend your roof’s life but it’s not easy to identify some of the problems with an untrained eye. The roof needs to be looked at close-up and no roofing inspection should include only an inspection from the ground.
Water Damage on Your Ceiling
If you’re looking at your ceiling and notice a water spot on it, there’s a good chance that it’s a roofing issue. The problem is, however, that the water may not be coming directly from the roof area above the water spot. It’s possible that the water might be traveling on a downward slope from another area. Climbing up onto your roof to look for a leak where you think it may be coming from could be a fruitless effort on your part.
DIY Versus an Inspection by a Trained Roofer
Roofing professionals have been trained to conduct complete assessments of a roofing system in its entirety. The cost involved with this inspection will depend on the roofing material, the pitch and the size of your roof. If you’re going to get on the roof yourself, you’ll need to make sure that you have protection equipment that includes a safety harness, a roof anchor, lanyard and rope. There should also be another person with you in case of an emergency.
What to Look For
Here are the most important things that you’ll be looking for if you are inspecting your own roof:
Metal roof – If you have a metal roof it should be good to go for 50 years but it’s always good to check it out yearly to make sure that there are no open or loose joints and seams that could possibly lead to leaking. If it is an older roof you’ll also want to look for signs of corrosion and rust that occur naturally during the aging process.
Asphalt roof – If your roof has asphalt shingles you should be checking to make sure that the shingles aren’t brittle and that the granules on the asphalt are still attached firmly. As well, any sign of shingles starting to curl is an indication that you’ll need to replace them soon.
Wooden shakes or shingles – If you have wooden shingles or shakes on your roof examine them for signs of warping and look for dry rot. Warping and dry rot issues will need to be handled quickly by a professional roofer.
Slate and clay tiles – These types of roofing materials can last a lifetime but they can suffer from ice damage during the winter months. Any chipped or broken tiles will need to be replaced.
Flashings – Flashings cover penetrations in the roof made by vent pipes, chimneys etc. They are made of metal and if they are sitting improperly or have any cracks or dents in them, this can lead to problems with interior leaking.
Gutters – The drainage system must also be checked to make sure that there aren’t any signs of large pools of standing water. Standing water can leach out chemicals from the membrane that keep the roof pliable. Make sure that your downspout and gutters are clear to prevent any further damage.
You can always find room in your budget for things that are important and getting your roof inspected once or twice a year should fit into the “important” category. It could potentially cost thousands of dollars to handle roofing problems later on, which would have only cost a few hundred dollars if you had done a simple roof inspection.