Don’t head up the ladder just yet — it’s actually more advisable to refrain from excessively walking on your rooftop while doing your inspection. Your roof can sustain more damage this way (especially If you have a tile roof) and it’s highly dangerous to walk around the surface of the roof, which can be slanted or slippery.
Instead, do a perimeter check first, which can be done with a pair of binoculars. There are telltale signs of roof damage that can show themselves on the surface of the roof, on the exterior walls, and even from inside your house. Water damage can be easily spotted from the stains they leave on the walls, while other damages such as curling shingles can easily be seen by the naked eye.
Things to Look Out for During Your Inspection
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, here are the things you should look out for when you have a shingle roof:
- Loose shingle tabs
- Cracks in shingles
- Broken or missing tabs
- Buckling or curling shingles
- Blistering tabs
- Granules worn off tabs
As for roof penetrations, here are the things you should check:
- Are penetrations well-sealed and tight?
- Are there gaps or signs of missing sealant?
- Are there badly-deteriorated holes and gaps?
When it comes to inspecting off-ridge and ridge vents, check for the following:
- Do the vents wiggle back and forth?
- Are they well-attached?
- Are there screws attaching turbines or caps off-ridge vents?
- Are vents tightly screwed down?
- If nails are used, are they properly attached?
To inspect for roof leaks, make sure to watch out for these signs of damage both outside and inside your home:
- Leaks in the attic
- Water stains on roof decking — look around the chimney, and around the vents, pipes, and valleys
- Discolored roofing deck, rafters, or trusses
- Water stains on the ceiling
- Cracked wall or ceiling paint
- Peeling wallpaper
Some aspects, like mold or algae growth, are more cosmetic in nature and can be put off for a while if you’re not bothered by the appearance, but they can also be indicative of other problems if they accumulate for too long. Other damages, like granulation buildup in your gutters, may not be as severe as you think if they were newly-applied, but a consistent presence is a sign that you may be dealing with something that needs immediate addressing.
After Inspection — What Now?
Once you’ve completed your inspection, document everything you found and start thinking of a strategy to address them. Minor repairs can easily be solved within a dedicated day and will cost you very little, but if you suspect that there is more than meets the eye with how much damage you’ve accounted for, never hesitate to contact a roofing professional ASAP. While you can repair these damages yourself, you might only be putting a band-aid on more severe wounds but not actually addressing the root of the problem.
For professional residential roof repair services, check out what we can offer you here at Fahey Roofing Contractors, or call us at (304) 736-7663 to learn more.