Your roof protects your home from the elements and helps you to preserve the investment you have made. Something as important as your roof requires regular attention and inspection. While an inexperienced homeowner should never attempt to inspect his own roof, there is still a checklist of things that a homeowner needs to attend to each year to make sure his roof is in good condition.
Clean and Check the Gutters
Clogged gutters are one of a roof's worst enemies. When your gutters are clogged, the water can back up all along the gutter and that water will start to seep into your roof. One good rainstorm could cause significant water damage that could have easily been avoided if the gutters had just been cleaned.
Leaky gutters also cause problems for your roof and the rest of your house. If you are unable to patch a leaky gutter on your own, then you need to contact a professional contractor to take care of the problem immediately.
Remove Low Hanging Branches
Some homeowners love to have large trees on their property that offer shade in the summer and places to put up tire swings as well. But as trees grow, they tend to grow out over your roof and create a significant hazard. Do not allow branches to hang over your roof as those branches could snap during a storm and damage your shingles or roof decking. If you are unable to remove the branches safely on your own, then have a tree company come in to remove the branches.
Have Your Inspected Once A Year
As you make up your roof maintenance checklist, you need to include an annual inspection by an experienced and professional roofer. A professional roofer can look over your home and make sure that there are no areas that need immediate attention. Your roof could be leaking in areas you cannot see and you would not know it. But a professional roof inspector can see those problems and bring them to your attention.
An annual visit from a professional roof inspector should be part of your regular roof maintenance program. A professional inspector can let you know what repair projects need to be done and he can also help you plan for larger replacement projects so that they do not take you by surprise.
Do an Inspection from Inside the House as Well
While a homeowner may not be qualified to do a professional inspection of a roof, he can still make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no leaks to worry about. It is a good idea to inspect your roof from the inside at least once a month to make sure that there are no concerns that would require the attention of a contractor.
If you have access to your roof via your attic, then bring a flashlight and examine the roof to look for small leaks or any other kind of damage. Open closets and check the places you would normally not look to see if there is any sign of water damage. If you see any indications of trouble, then call a professional roofing contractor immediately.
Look for Roofing Particles
Another type of inspection that homeowners can do on their own is to look for parts of their roof in the gutters or scattered around the lawn, especially after a rain or wind storm. If you see the small white particles from your roofing shingles in your gutters, then that could mean that the time to replace those shingles is approaching.
Shingle pieces in the yard after a windstorm indicate that your roof has sustained some sort of damage. Missing shingles can lead to leaks and other problems that can be avoided if you contact a professional roofer the moment that you see shingle pieces in your lawn.
Check the Flashing
The areas where your roof meets your home's siding are critical in protecting your home from water damage. A professional roof inspector will make the flashing areas around your roof a priority as he does his inspection, but these are also areas that the homeowner should keep an eye on during the rest of the year.
The flashing is the channel material that seals the spots where the roof meets the siding. If you notice that flashing is missing, or if you see cracks in your flashing, then you need to contact a roofer immediately. Those areas where the roof meets the siding can create water channels that could cause leaks in a variety of places in your home. It is always best to report these problems to a contractor immediately and get them take care of before mold and water damage occur.