If you like to work with your hands and enjoy high places, inspecting and repairing your own roof is appealing and you’ve probably done it well. For the rest of us who are doing it because we want to save some money, these five things to look for will help you get the most out of your DIY. The best and safest day to get on your roof is when it’s warm and clear with almost no wind. This guarantees that you’ll be safe when you inspect and the wind won’t be counterproductive to your efforts to repair it.
Cracked or Missing Shingles
As you are walking around on your roof, look for cracked or missing shingles. Cracked or missing shingles can lead to more damage to the interior of your home. Even if it’s a small crack the best way to prevent a growing problem is to repair or replace the shingle in question. Depending on your type of roof this can be easy to do yourself.
Look for Divots and Bumps
Your roof is made to be square and as level as possible. If you take a good look at your roof line and there are bumps and divots, it could mean something is going on under that shingle. It’s important to note these areas then inspect them and repair or replace the shingle if necessary. Use care when you’re inspecting these areas because they could mean you have mold or damage that could become hazardous to walk on. Pay attention as you approach the area for any give or spongy feel and stop immediately if you see or feel that happening. It’s best to call a professional to go further. If there is extensive damage, you can finance a new roof to start from scratch.
Inspect Worn Footings and Damaged Vents
The most vulnerable part of a roof are places where openings are built into the roof, such as bathroom or kitchen exhaust pipes, furnace vents, or fireplace flues. These areas are places where rust and debris can collect around and under the flashing. This causes gaps that can be a direct funnel right to your interior attic and the bare wood inside. Repair and replace any rubber footings as well as the metal flashing underneath. Damage to these areas can be a major cause of a failing roof. Be sure to check these areas twice a year at least.
Look for Live Plants, Algae, or Moss
Any greenery on your roof that you didn’t plant is a bad thing. These plants can cause extensive damage to your shingles and can damage your roof if their roots take hold. If you are seeing a black stain on your shingles, this is a good sign that algae or moss may be living there. Especially in corners where your roof naturally has a level place and debris and soil can accumulate.
Inspect Your Eaves for Damage
Eaves are mostly built into the spine of the roof or small vented overhangs and are used to help with heat exchange. Damaged eaves or eave vents are a great way for moisture to find its way into your home and create havoc. A damaged eave or vent can cause heat to build up and cause damage and warping of your interior support structure.
Be sure safety is a top priority, so here is an extra tip about that.
If you plan to get up on your roof, you’ll need a ladder to get there. Here are some things to think about in ladder safety.
- Don’t use a ladder alone. Always have another person there to hold the ladder and help you.
- Keep both feet and hands on the ladder at all times you’re using it.
- Never use a ladder in poor weather. The best day has favorable weather with no wind.
- Never over reach while you’re on the ladder. Always move the ladder to a more ideal spot if you can’t easily reach what you’re after.
- Always ensure your ladder has firm footing and isn’t wobbly.
- Never use a crooked ladder or step higher than the recommended rung.
Those are the 5 key things to look for when you DIY your roof inspection and repair. These are important to making your home healthy and safe for years to come. They don’t have to hard as long as they are done on a regular basis and can actually be a fun way to get a different view of your property.
These tips will help you keep your roof in fine working order and you safely on the ground afterwards. Remember to use a professional on any repairs or inspections that are beyond your capability.