The roof over our heads is one of the parts of a structure that we depend so much upon and yet have a very few list of requirements. Most of the time we just want the roof in our homes and properties to have no leaks, last longer and look good. Those things are achievable but only through regular inspection and maintenance of your roofs. The main priority here is to make sure that the roof gets inspected as soon as possible if you have not done it in a long while and have it done professionally in a regular schedule. The inspection can prevent future problems from occurring and the small repairs here and there could avert incurring huge repair bills.
Roof inspection is not a difficult feat however if you are not a fan of climbing on top of roofs you can always contact a building maintenance specialist to do the job for you. If you are planning to do the inspection on your own, it is important to remember that the roofing industry and those that are related to it are continuously ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Climbing a rooftop and inspecting it is not something that you should take lightly since a lot of professional roofers do get injured every year. Safety precautions should be observed if you are willing to take the task into your own hands and make sure that you are physically capable of doing so without risking injury.
Things to consider while doing a roof inspection
Roof and the Local Flora
Asphalt roof shingles (the component of the roof that protects your wood roof from the extreme change of weather and rain) and trees that hover over the roof is not a very good combination. This scene will require more regular roof maintenance compared to those that does not have the same situation. The leaves that are shed by trees have the tendency to gather up and clog parts of the roof you would want rain water to flow freely.
Check for any tree limbs that might be poking the roof. At first they might seem harmless however with stiff wind blows, we can never be too sure that it will not inflict any damage. So just to reign on safe side, over-hanging tree limbs should be trimmed back.
Roof and Debris
Inspect the roof floor if it has any other particular debris together with bunched up leaves. The collection of said debris and leaves will pave a way for water to collect in some parts of the roof and the moisture can ultimately breakdown the shingles on your roof. Additionally the group of debris will eventually deter the proper flow of water away from your roof gutters and the roof itself. In worst case scenarios you will notice leaks coming from joints, chimneys and joints that are protected by the roof flashings (Roof flashings are the sheets of metal used to cover the joints and openings of the roof).
The roof is like the layers of our skin. The first layer is the roof shingles followed by a thick layer of roof felt that is made up of tar paper to assure that the roof remains dry. The roof shingles and roof felt are the most basic components that protect the wood roof from outside elements. Once on the roof, you would have to check if any shingles have come loose. If you found any that have loosen up you can fix it with some roofing cement applied at the underside of the lose shingle. Damaged and/or missing shingles will have to be replaced because that will leave your roof vulnerable.
This is pretty much easy to inspect. You will have to check if there are any collection of leaves and debris inside of the gutter and have some water run through the downspout to check if there are any obstructions.
Molds and Algae
Look for any signs of discoloration or dark streaks on your roof especially when they are on the side that does not receive lots of sunshine or are in constant shade. If you do spot some it might mean that you may have a problem with mold or algae. In this case it is always best to hire a specialist to investigate how bad the damage is.
The easiest way to check for leaks is for you to go to the attic and check for any dark spots on the ceiling. The goal here is to spot small leaks and prevent them from getting bigger. This process might be tedious at some point however it extends the life of the roof and limits the amount and time spent on repairing the roof.