Finding potential damage on top of the roof is not as easy as it is inside. Use a safe roof access ladder to get up on the roof and look at the house from the top. While things such as loose material around chimney pipes or damaged shingles may be easy to spot, there are a number of problems that are not as easy to see
While painting the exterior of the home can protect the house as well as enhance the curb appeal of the property, every homeowner should take time to inspect that which is not easily visible to the naked eye. The eves, downspouts, and roof are the shield against the forces of nature. They protect the house against wind, rain, and snow damage. In the spring get up on the roof to inspect the quality and condition of these important and often forgotten home features to safeguard against damage inside and out.
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that every homeowner inspect the roof twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Winter can be hard on a roof so inspecting in the spring can give homeowners the opportunity to find and fix any potential problems before they become a major hindrance. Spring rain and summer heat and hail can also cause unseen damage to a roof, so in order to safeguard against the dangers of the coming winter homeowners should inspect the roof for possible repairs.
Inspecting the Roof Inside
Finding the problems on the roof can be done both inside and out. When inspecting inside look for some of the obvious signs of damage such as dark spots or trails, water damage, sagging roof decking, or visible outside light by getting into the attic with a flashlight and inspecting everything (including walls). Most of the problems inside the house are visible and obvious, but even if there are no obvious visible signs inside that does not mean there are no problems outside.
Inspecting the Roof Outside
Finding potential damage on top of the roof is not as easy as it is inside. Use a safe roof access ladder to gain access to the roof and look at the house from the top. While things such as loose material around chimney pipes or damaged shingles may be easy to spot, there are a number of problems that are not as easy to see.
Excessive shingle granules in gutters and downspouts is a sign that the shingles on the roof are wearing down and it may be time to consider roof replacement before leaks begin. Shingle granules look like large grains of sand. While it is natural for shingles to lose a little of this granule, it is a sign of advanced wear if there is excess. It can also cause drainage problems in eaves and downspouts that may result in flooding around the house or in the basement.
Moisture, rot, and mold are serious problems that can develop quickly, between 24-48 hours after first manifesting. It is a disease that can quickly spread and affect the entire roof. Make sure to find it quickly by inspecting the roof and replacing the damaged area as deep as possible. If the damage managed to get all the way do the roof decking the shingles will need to be stripped down and the decking replaced before further prevention methods can be used.
Make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached and not sagging and that all vents are attached all the way out of the house. If gutters are not securely in place the weight of the water can make them sag or break and the water will get damage the soffits and potentially flood the basement. Likewise, if the vents are not secured all the way through from appliances or in-home vents water can get into the attic or other parts of the house and cause serious damage to the roof and interior of the home.
If there are problems on the roof it doesn't mean the whole thing needs to be replaced. Many of these problems can be fixed on your own. Keep the home safe all year long through a little preventive maintenance.
While things such as loose material around chimney pipes or damaged shingles may be easy to spot, there are a number of problems that are not as easy to see.