As storm season comes around you might start thinking about your roof. Lost shingles, leaks and other hazards of storm season can cost a pretty penny to fix if they get too bad.
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However if you catch the problems in time you can usually get it fixed for much less money. But how do you tell if your roof needs repair or maintenance before damage occurs? Here are some things to look for:
- Dark Spots – The first place you should check for evidence of roof damage is inside your attic. Using a flash light, check out the underside of your roof. Keep an eye out for any dark spots or water trails. The wood should be clean and dry without discoloration. If you see any dark spots make a note of the location and check that spot out on the roof surface.
- Light Spots – Before you leave the attic, turn out your light. Give your eyes a few minutes to adjust and then look around to see if there are any ‘light leaks’. If you can see sunlight coming in your attic you should immediately check that spot on the outside of your roof. If light can get in than water can also.
- Loose Shingles – Once you are on your roof, inspect your shingles to see if they are loose. If you can easily lift a shingle then you have a problem. Shingles should be tightly packed, but not bumped together, in neat rows. Keep an eye out for cracked, buckling, or crooked shingles as these can cause problems.
- Unsealed Nails – Every visible nail should be sealed. Unsealed nails provide an avenue for water to get under your shingles and inside your home. Make sure you check along the roofline especially for unsealed nails as a leak there can undermine a large section of your roof.
- Missing Flashing – Flashing are the metal pieces that are placed around any intersection or projection in a roof system such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys and joints at vertical walls. These keep the water out. If they are missing you may have a leak.
- Soft Spots – As you carefully walk along your roof, be aware of how the roof feels. There should be no give or softness. A soft spot can be a sign of water damage and should be repaired immediately.
- Debris Buildup –Your roof should not hold any debris. Leaves and twigs may occasionally get caught in cracks but large amounts of settled debris can lead to rotting and leaking. Make sure your roof is properly angled and shingled to offset debris buildup.
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year, in the spring and fall. Hopefully these tips will help you to know what you are looking for and spot problems before they become disasters. Remember that it is much cheaper to repair your roof than to replace it.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.
For more about roof care visit HomeAdvisor’s YouTube channel.