Use this as a roofing inspection checklist. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year — spring and fall. The best place to begin is inside your house — grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic.
Here are four things to look for on the inside:
- Places where the roof deck is sagging
- Signs of water damage or leaking
- Dark spots and trails
- Outside light showing through the roof.
When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains).
What to check on the outside:
- Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.
- Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.
- Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like large grains of sand) in the gutters — this is a sign of advanced wear.
- Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly — within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.
- Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
- Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space.
It is extremely important to contact a professional if for any reason you believe your roof is in need of replacement or repair. And remember that early detection by regular inspections is by far the best plan to avoid expensive repairs.