Given the high cost of a new roof, extending the life of a roof becomes a goal of most homeowners. One way to work towards this goal is to commit to regular inspections. Since many roofing problems are progressive, the faster you discover a problem, the sooner you can have it repaired and the less of an impact it has. Make sure you're protecting your roof.
When To Inspect
The general rule is for homeowners to inspect their roof at least once a year. However, this is only a starting point. Any time there is a significant storm, including snow, rain, hail, or wind, you need to follow this up with another inspection.
These weather scenarios can cause shingle damage, which will subsequently lead to a leak and other structural issues. It's also a good idea to start inspecting the roof more frequently once it gets close to its expected lifespan. For example, on a roof with an anticipated lifespan of 25 years, semiannual inspections might be good around the 23rd year.
What To Look For
The overall goal of a roof inspection is to assess the condition of the roof. For this reason, you need to inspect a variety of areas. Start with the gutters. If you see a collection of tiny, black granules collected and you have an asphalt roof, this is likely a sign that the shingles are deteriorating and in desperate need of replacement. Next, move on to the shingles to spot any raised or loose areas. You can then focus on the flashing to ensure they are securely attached.
Lastly, if you have shake or wood shingles, inspect the area to make certain there isn't any dry rotting. As an added tip, take a phone or a camera on the roof with you so that you can take pictures. These pictures will serve as a great reference point and can help you describe the issue to a roofing professional more accurately.
How To Keep Safety First
Make sure you are keeping safety the primary focus. While you can perform an inspection on your own, this is not something you have to do. Many roofing companies won't just perform the inspection for you, but also set you up on a schedule for your recurring inspections, eliminating what you have to worry about. If you cannot safely access your roof, don't hesitate to contact a professional.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.stevensroofingcorp.com.