Most homeowners do not think about their roof on a daily basis, if at all. They assume that it is performing its duty unless something happens that tells them otherwise, such as a leak. Realistically, there were probably signs of roof trouble well in advance. Luckily, there are some very simple tasks that can be done to help you keep an eye on the condition of your roof so your home and investment are properly protected.
Do-it-yourself visual inspection
Look around your neighborhood for other roofs being replaced, especially if the homes were built around the same year as yours. Chances are if your neighbors’ roofs are showing signs of wear and tear or are being replaced, it may only be a matter of time before it’s your turn.
When doing yard work, take a moment and look along the ground around your gutter downspouts to see if there are abnormal amounts of granules washing off the roof. Granules not only give your shingles a distinct appearance, they also protect the asphalt against premature aging. Finding a small amount of granules is normal, but large piles of them may mean that your roof is losing its ability to protect against water and UV rays.
If you live in a two story home, while on the second floor of your house, look out a window that overlooks part of the roof and look for shingle wear and tear or missing shingles. Likewise if you are on a ladder cleaning out your gutters, you can conduct many of the same inspections. Cracks, rips, tears, curling or missing granules showing patches of black asphalt could mean it’s time for a new roof.
An additional area that is often overlooked in a visual inspection is what is underneath the shingles. Whenever you are in the attic, take a few minutes to look for problems such as water stains on the back of the wood decking or on the rafters. Also, make sure your attic ventilation system has free air flow. A balanced system of air intake and exhaust is essential. Often times, the air flow can get blocked at the soffit by insulation, which affects the performance of the system and can result in poor ventilation throughout the attic which in turn can lead to a whole host of issues.
A healthy roofing system is important for providing shelter for your family and for protecting your valuables and financial investment. Being proactive in monitoring the condition of your roof before being surprised by a leak will inevitably cost you less in the long run. These few easy tips can help you properly maintain your roof, which can result in long-lasting comfort, beauty and overall energy efficiency.