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Your Home: Time to Inspect the Roof

Cary, NC – Spring has arrived! Right now is the best time to move and inspect your home to determine what marks have winter left on it and the best way to start is to look up and examine your roof. 

Weather’s Impact on Roofs

While we’re all enjoying the warmer climate and days that last longer, we cannot ignore our outdoor duties and maintenance jobs. Bad weather is no longer excuse, my friends, to stay inside and watch TV or read a book.

You might be wondering why you should have your roof inspected, but the answer is an easy one. You should have your roof inspected because, by catching problems early on, you can fix them before they become bigger and much more expensive problems. Almost all small problems with the roof can and will require expensive repairs if not fixed promptly. Catching them early and addressing them saves you money and protects your home. If you possess some carpentry skill, you might even be able to fix some of those problems by yourself.

Steps to Inspecting Roof

The best place to start is at the ground level.  Look up at your roofing system and take a walk around your home to examine gutters at the same time. Do you notice missing or loose shingles or tiles? Do your gutters seem clogged? Are there water stains on your walls that hint that the overflow might be your problem? Notice pieces of flashing that seem out of place? Also, look for debris because a pile-up of branches and leaves can lead to not only clogged gutters but also moss, mold and algae growth.

You should wait for a sunny day with no clouds and especially no wind before you take your ladders to action. Keep in mind, when using ladders, it is vital to set them on a clean, stable surface. Falling off of a ladder is not something you want to experience – trust me on that. Fasten them to the roof starting from the top and use both hands to climb at all times! By doing this, you will be able to circle your roofing system and inspect from close up if there is any damage present. This will allow you to perform repairs such as replacing cracked, missing or damaged shingles. If you don’t feel confident enough regarding that, you can always contact your local roofing contractor to that job for you the right way.

While up there, you should clean your gutters by removing all debris and clogs of material. Also, don’t forget to check to see that your gutters are fastened to each other and to the eaves. If you detect a crack, a hole or any other kind of damage to your gutters, you should consider replacing the damaged area or even the whole system if the damage is widespread. That way, you can be sure that your drainage system is in the best condition possible. Damaged gutters can cause water to pool around your foundation and that is a serious problem.

Other Areas to Check

Also while on your roof, you should carefully examine the chimney, the pipes and the area around them. Look for indications of leaks and ensure that the flashing is in great condition. Just because you don’t have leaks inside your house on the ceiling or on walls, that doesn’t mean that your roofing support structure hasn’t been compromised by water damage. Wood can rot when in contact with water and replacing your roof support is a big, expensive problem to solve. Examine the area around your chimney and mortar. If your mortar is crumbling, or even missing along with the bricks, you will need to contact a skilled specialist to solve those issues.

It is true that some basic problems with roofing systems you can handle and fix by yourself. But if you notice problems with your roofing system that you can’t fix on your own, contact your local roofing contractor to get the best service available.

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David M. Piterski is a contributor to CaryCitizen and owns A&H Forensic Roofing. Photo by damongman.