How to Diagnose Roof Problems

Jul 19, 2012 No Comments by

Short of having a roof blown off in a tornado, very few homeowners recognize the signs that it’s time to either invest in roof repair or a new overhead covering altogether. Here are five steps you can take toward evaluating the condition of your roof without actually having to climb up on it:

  1. Wait for the day after a good rain and go outside with a basic pair of binoculars. First, inspect the downspouts on the western and southern sides of the house, where the roof gets the most sun exposure and therefore deteriorates most rapidly. Check for roofing granules (the little ceramic fragments that give a roof its color). If there are enough granules to fill half of your palm, it’s a sign of roofing troubles.
  2. Take the binoculars and stand in a safe, but well-placed spot and inspect the roof’s shingles. Shingles that are in good shape are straight, flat and fully intact, not curled up with cracks.
  3. Inspect the ventilation pipe on the roof, paying particular attention to the black plastic sleeve at its base. If the sleeve is cracked that is another indication of trouble.
  4. Check the seals around the chimney and ascertain if they are free of cracks, gaps or peeling, which could send water into the siding. Also check the flashing—the metal beneath the shingles that keeps water away from the home—as well as the gutters, where protruding nails are a signal of loosening.
  5. Inspect the attic ceiling for water stains with the lights both on and off, which often gives you an opportunity to confirm such things as cracked vent pipes.

Once you have inspected your roof thoroughly and suspect that it is deteriorating, you need to decide whether you are going to take the do-it-yourself approach to repairing it, or hire a contractor to do the work. In many cases the latter option is the best one in terms of safety and quality. Before hiring anyone, however, be sure to ask for references that you can call, and make certain that the contractor carries liability insurance to protect you in the event of any accidents during the work.

Contractor, Home Improvement, Home Services, Installation, Roofing

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