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How To Inspect Your Roof: A Simple 6 Step Process

Mar 21, 2017

Roof shingles, like anything else, are subject to wear and tear.  As your first line of defense from the elements, it is a good idea to know what to look for, and what to expect when it comes to caring for your roof.

Because every region of the country has different weather patterns, roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that if neglected can cost you way much more than what it normally would in terms of damaged roof boards, studs, and even interior ceilings and walls.

It is recommended that homeowners inspect bi-annually, depending on environmental factors. We recommend inspecting the weekend of Daylight Savings so it is easier to remember.  It is always a good idea to check your roof after high winds or an unusually harsh winter storm if possible. High winds can damage traditional shingles, causing damage to the interior infrastructure, and large ice buildups can often damage flashing and the roof membrane. Ice buildup in gutters can push up under the edge of the roof, leading to infrastructure damage

When inspecting your roof, you will need to be on the lookout for the following items:

  1. Shingle Issues

As a cursory starting point, you should look for shingles that are curling, blistering, cracked or peeling. Additionally, you should also look for loose or missing shingles.

  1. Flashing

Check flashings on the roof. Flashings are the metal components of a roof that cover interruptions in the roof plane, such as around dormers, chimneys, and vent pipes. If it appears there is damage, such as cracked caulk or rust, fix these problems right away, or call a roof contractor to repair. Inadequate or faulty flashing will allow water and condensation to enter the interior, causing not only rot or mold but possible damage to interior walls.

  1. Vent Pipes

Homeowners should carefully inspect the seals around vent pipes to ensure they are in good condition to keep moisture from working into the underlayment.

  1. Signs Of Decay

In your roof inspection, you should look for the presence of moss, lichen, or mold. This could be a sign the roof is decaying underneath. Note: Black Algae stains are cosmetic, and not indicative of decay. Your roof should not have a spongey feeling like walking on a track or child’s playground. Soft spots indicate water damage, and are a sign replacement is necessary.


  1. Ice Damage

Ice damage can occur in areas where water may have the ability to sit on the roof. As ice dams occur, it can have negative impact on your roof. Always inspect under eaves and overhangs to look for damage that might indicate water leakage, especially at points of the roof that don’t conform to the regular roof plane, such as dormers or skylights.

  1. How To Tell If It Is Time To Replace

Asphalt roofing materials have a granular surface, much like fine gravel. As the asphalt ages, it becomes brittle, and these granules will be lost over time. If you find piles of colored grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign — those sand-like granules cover the surface of roof shingles and shield them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Look for bare spots in asphalt shingles, and inspect closely for signs of tearing or warping. If you notice shingles curling up, it is time for replacement.


If you find upon inspection that you have questions as to what is normal, or are not sure if you need to consider replacement, give Erie Construction a call for a FREE inspection. Your roof protects your family and your home investment. Let Erie Construction help keep you covered with a longevity that will keep you covered for years to come.


Related Articles: Longevity Starts At The Top, Anatomy Of A Roof

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