A quality, well-installed roof should last for many years. Regular inspection and maintenance will help to ensure your roof lasts. We may give it a glance after a bad storm or some strong winds, but it’s a good idea to add inspecting your roof to your fall and spring checklists. You do not have to be a professional or climb on your roof in order to watch out for problem areas. Grab your binoculars and this list and make sure everything looks as it should.

Begin Inside

Start in your attic. Scan your attic space with a flashlight and look for sagging in your roof deck, outside light shining through, or mold and rot – which are signs of water damage or leaks.

Water damage on your ceilings or walls inside is also a sign that your roof could have cracks or deterioration that might not be visible from the outside. If you find something that concerns you, call a professional right away. Putting off fixing problems, especially when moisture is involved, leads to major issues and costs down the road.

What to Watch For Outside

  • Damaged or curling shingles. As you walk around the exterior of your home, can you see obvious signs that the shingles are blistering, decaying, or rotting? That’s a cue to call a professional. Curling shingles may indicate that your roof is old and ready to be replaced. They can also signal poor attic ventilation or improper installation. Regardless of the cause, if you see curling, call a professional to inspect your roof.
Curling shingles begin to lift up at the corners, allowing wind to loosen them or moisture to get underneath.
  • Missing shingles. Shingles can only protect your roof if they are there! Replace any shingles that disappear due to wind damage or a tree branch hitting your roof. If you are missing shingles for no clear reason, that may indicate that your roof is old and should be replaced.
  • Excess granules in the gutter. As described in our post about asphalt shingles, shingles are made up of a composite of materials. Over time the top granules will wear down. This is common, but if you see an excessive amount of granules in your gutters or obvious bare patches on your shingles, it is time to replace them.
  • Damaged flashing. Flashing is the metal sheeting installed at the angles or joints in your roof and around your chimney or vent pipe. It provides protection so water does not leak under the roof. If this is damaged, pulled back, or missing, leaks could occur.

Other Things to Consider

Pay attention to your heating costs – are they going up more than expected? Are you regularly needing to repair your roof? Is your roof close to or older than 20 years? Sometimes home owners insurance is higher with an older roof. Weigh the costs of maintaining an aging roof with putting on a new one.