When was the last time you took a good look at your roof? If you are anything like me, between getting the kids to school and running in and out of the house I occasionally glance up at my roofline as i'm backing out of the driveway. But doing regular inspections and roof maintenance can prevent costly repairs in the future. Furthermore, in being prepared for the future, a new roof or a roof in good condition can be a big benefit if you decide to sell your home.
Where do I start?
What exactly should you look for when examining your roof? The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that you do a roof inspection at least twice a year, preferably during the spring and fall. The best place to start is inside your house in the attic.
Things to look for in the attic:
- Signs of water damage or leaks.
- Dark areas and trails.
- Areas where the roof deck appears to be sagging.
- Any outside light coming in through the roof.
- Keep an eye out for any yellow water spots on the ceiling in the interior of your home. These are most likely water leaks.
Things to look for on the outside of your home:
- Visually inspect the roof for any missing, torn, or damaged shingles.
- Check to see if there is an excessive amount of shingle granules collecting in the gutters. This is usually a sign of advanced wear or hail damage.
- Inspect the flashing around the roof and around any chimneys as well as checking for any wear and tear on any ventilation units and pipes.
- Take a look at the drainage. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are securely fastened, also make sure drains are clear of debris and blockage that may cause water the backup into the home.
- Check for signs of moisture, rot, or mold. They can appear as large dark spots or greenish stains.
The Path of Least Resistance
If you notice any of these signs, don't jump the gun and and assume you need to replace the entire roof. Many of these signs, if caught early, can be simply repaired rather than replaced. Contact a professional roofing contractor to find out what they thing needs to be done and to get an estimate.
Getting a New Roof
If you decide to start over and replace your entire roof, it's highly advisable that you contact a local reputable professional roofing contractor. Roof replacement is not your typical do-it-yourself project, it can be a daunting task. Any reputable roofing company worth their salt will have a warranty on their labor and certified roofing contractors will have material warranties only eligible to a select few companies. For most, this peace of mind is worth letting the professionals handle it. Fortunately, in Texas, hail and wind damage is so common for Texas residences that most homes that have seen a major hail storm are eligible for an insurance covered roof replacement. A basic inspection of the health of the shingles by a roofing contractor can determine weather or not your roof is eligible to file a claim. Don't worry, hail and storm damage claims do not increase your insurance premiums like a car wreck claim would. Please ask your insurance professional regarding hail and wind claims for your home.
Detecting Problems Early - It Could Otherwise Cost You
Don't wait until water is pouring into your home causing thousands in water damage to both your home and your belongings. Start protecting your home today by making some simple observations while letting the above list serve as a guide. If you are unsure, give your local roofing contractor a call, most offer free estimates and can offer a world of knowledge about your roofing system. Your roof is what keeps both your family and your possessions safe from the elements. Take care of it so that it can serve you and your family well for years to come.