What to Look for When Inspecting Your Roof

Winter is not far away, and inspecting your roof before inclement weather arrives is critical for maintaining the safety and integrity of your home. Here, the roofing experts at Forbes Design Center explain what to look for when inspecting your roof.

Before Inspecting the Roof, Check Inside

Walking around on your roof can be dangerous, and doubly so if the roof has a leak or is otherwise unsound. Before inspecting your roof from the outside, be sure to check for signs of damage from the inside. Water marks, rot, mold or mildew, as well as dripping noises, can all point to signs of a roof leak or other form of damage. Also be sure to check for damp spots alongside fireplaces and water stains on pipes venting water heaters or furnaces. These problems can be very expensive to fix if they are left unattended and become major, so be sure to act quickly upon finding areas of concern.

Determine the Age of Your Roof

Most asphalt roofs last between 20 and 25 years, and your roof will likely require replacement if it is that old. Roof age, however, can be subjective—if your roof has been continuously hit by heavy storms or major winter weather, or other forms of wear and tear, it may need to be replaced sooner. Conversely, if you practice good roof maintenance and regular repair, the longevity of your roof may be extended.

Look for Multiple Layers

Sometimes, new layers of roof covering are placed over old ones during repairs. While this is a common repair technique, more than two layers can become problematic, and are often prohibited in many cities and towns. Furthermore, a second layer cannot be treated to guard against water and ice, making it easier for water to seep between the roof layers and cause damage beneath.

Keep an Eye Out For Curled or Buckling Shingles

Inadequate venting in attic spaces can lead to trapped heat and moisture, which can cause shingles to curl. Defective, poorly installed or old shingles may also buckle or curl, especially on the sections of roof that have the most exposure to the elements. Inspect the roof from all sides, paying attention to the edges of individual shingles.

Spot Damaged Roof Valleys

Roof valleys—V-shaped areas of the roof that run up and down the folds of a roof—help water and debris flow into gutters. If shingles in the roof valley area are damaged or missing, its functionality is compromised, and may encourage roof leaks.

Roof Board Issues

A spongy or bouncy feeling while walking on the roof is a sign your roof may need replacement. This could indicate rot or leakage, which is weakening the underlying decking. Observing the attic space for daylight coming through roof boards is another sign they have been compromised, and need to be repaired.

Flashing Damage

The flashing, or sealant around the edges of chimneys, vent pipes, skylights and other roof projections, can become damaged from heavy rain, storms or excessive heat. Flashing that is cracked or peeling from the edges of the projection may allow water to penetrate the roof, and should be replaced with a water-tight sealant.

Forbes Design Center Can Help You Replace, Repair and Maintain Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most important features of your home, protecting you and your loved ones from the elements. Proper roof repair, maintenance and replacement is critical to maintaining a safe and structurally sound home. At Forbes Design Center, our expert technicians can help you choose and install new roofing, perform maintenance and do repairs, ensuring your house is beautiful and secure for years to come.

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