It is recommended by roofing professionals that you have your roof inspected at least twice a year, usually before and after the extreme weather seasons. Regular roof inspections and maintenance can, and will, increase the longevity of your roof, while not inspecting your roof has been known in some cases to void your roof warranty. Of course, there are definite advantages to checking your own roof. Other than saving you money, self-checking will give you a more intimate understanding of your domain, to help you make more informed maintenance decisions in the future.
When deciding to do your own inspection and maintenance, developing and having a checklist is critical. It will ensure that you do not overlook any important elements that need a proper inspection. Additionally, your proof of proper maintenance can be submitted as proof for insurance and warranty claims. Here are some important elements that need to be included in your checklist:
1. Interior Signs of Roof Problems
Before climbing onto the roof, it is important to check the interior for signs of any problems that may be lurking. Look for signs of water damage, such as: mold, mildew, drips and leaks, water stains, or peeling paint. Be particularly vigilant with this inspection as water often tends to cause damage away from the place where it comes in. Areas of your roof that hold heavy loads, either snow or equipment, should have their beams and trusses checked annually for any structural damage, rot, or rust.
2. Check for Cleanliness
Once atop the roof, inspect for any accumulation of dirt and debris. These can cause roofing surfaces to decay prematurely, and clog your drains. Fallen tree limbs may do damage to membranes and other elements aswell. Perhaps a tree maintenance schedule is in order?
3. Check Your Roof Surface
Check for any signs of damage or weathering.
- Flat Roof: low spots will collect standing water and are a big red flag. Note any blistering, cracking, holes or tears, and abrasions in the membrane.
- Gravel-Top Roof: check for gravel uniformity and bear spots
- Metal Roofs: Inspect for corrosion and loose/damaged panels
- Tile and Shingle Roofs: Check for any loose or missing pieces and replace immediately
As a note, also check for any fungus or moss buildup and remove it to prevent roof deterioration.
4. Expansion Joints
Inspect them thoroughly for cuts, gaps, and tears, if they are present on your roof.
These areas do need some extra attention. Make sure that they are not pulling away from the roof or leaving gaps, this is a massive potential for water entry. These areas should also be checked for mold.
Backed up water, watermarks, moss, and mold are all signs of clogged drains. Flashing and seals also need to be checked and if damaged, should be repaired or replaced immediately.
7. Exterior Structural Components
Chimneys, vents, skylights, and other equipment should appear on a separate checklist as they are all of equal importance. Look for signs of aging, such as peeling paint, rust and rot, as well as the cleanliness of their surfaces. It is important to look for any structural damage that may be present.
8. Old Repairs
This is rather important, as old repairs, if not done by professionals, are often the first things to break or damage. List each repair separately so that when it comes to future inspections, you know exactly what to look for. Check to make sure the previous repair is still in good order and working properly.
I hope that these checklist tips will help you to better care for and maintain your roof. After all, it does take pretty good care of you.