12-Point Roof Checklist
Your roof goes through a lot in the winter. Snow, ice, wind, and frigid temperatures can create common fixable issues that lead to major problems and costly repairs in the future. Once the snow has melted, and winter has ended, make checking your roof the first item on your to-do list with this Post-Winter 12-Point Roof Checklist.
Ground-Level Outside Inspection:
Give your roof a thorough, 360-degree inspection from the ground. Walk across the street (or as far away as your roof’s slope requires) and look for at least 30 seconds for anything obvious. Keep an eye out for:
- Dark patches – These stains, often dismissed as dirt, are usually a sign of mold, mildew, or algae growth.
- Disturbed shingles – It is not uncommon for a few shingles to lift over the life of a roof. Still, they need to be nailed back down or replaced immediately to avoid a roof leak.
- Damage around chimneys or vents – The flashing around chimneys and sealant around vents are common places for your roof to leak. A roof specialist can repair these for a low cost, saving you from an expensive leak later.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are secured – Over time, gutters can pull away from the house. They are easy to nail back into place but be sure to do it right away. If your gutters are not functioning properly, they cannot successfully direct water away from your home’s foundation.
Pick a direction and walk 10 yards, scan again for 30 seconds and repeat. It’s important to scan incrementally from different vantage points because lighting, reflections, or shadows could mask damage from any given angle.
Hire a professional to walk your roof. Make sure to hire someone who has the ability to do small repairs and won’t just try to sell you a new roof. An experienced roofing contractor will inspect and check for:
- Loose, cracked, worn, or bulging shingles – These are common signs that your shingles may need to be replaced.
- Plumbing stack flashings are sealed, and rubber fittings aren’t cracked – A professional roofer will seal these immediately, as they will lead to costly roof leaks later.
- Leaks around the edges of the chimney and roof valleys or attic vents and fans, as well as furnace vents – These are also common places that a roof will leak, but they shouldn’t need a full roof replacement to fix.
Make sure gutters and downspouts are unclogged – If gutters are clogged, remove debris and run water through them to check for leaks.
After evaluating the exterior of your home, it’s time to go indoors. If your home has attic access, venture into your attic space. Once in the attic, you want to check for:
- Stains or ruptures in the roof sheeting – If the plywood decking in your attic is stained, it is a sign that the shingles and underlayment have leaked.
- Rust or staining around nails – Again, this is a sign that water has leaked through.
- Nails can be resealed from above. Signs of animal activity in the form of scratching or shredding, droppings, nesting materials, and chewed surfaces – If you see signs of animals in your attic, call an extermination service right away.
- Signs of any condensation or water leaking – Leaks need to be remediated, but also make sure that your insulation hasn’t gotten wet. If your insulation is damp, it is no longer effective and will need to be replaced.
Water leaking and condensation in your attic can breed mold. If you see mold, do not touch it, and call a professional immediately. Some mold can be extremely hazardous.
Every winter that passes increases the likelihood of damage to your roof. Conducting a yearly inspection can prevent the need for future professional work and expenses. But it can be frustrating to deal with roofing companies and quotes when all you need are a few small repairs. That way, you can get a report on the health of your roof, common maintenance will be performed, and you don’t have to deal with a pushy sales associate. When it’s time for your roof to be inspected, or if you notice any of the issues above, schedule an appointment with one of our roofing specialists.