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Depending on the conditions outside, your roof is constantly expanding, contracting, drying, cracking and deteriorating. Inspecting your roof once a year for signs of damage, sagging and aging will help prevent interior damage and an expensive roof replacement, which can cost an average of $5,000.
Take a walk around your home’s exterior and inspect the roof for signs of damage, sagging and aging. Be sure to take notes of all suspicious findings. Then, look for the following warning signs:
Areas with moss, algae or heavy leaves. Extreme accumulations of leaves or moss on your roof can lead to leaks.
Buckled spots in the roof. Buckled shingles occur when hot air from an attic forces the shingles to buckle away from the home. Buckled shingles cannot adequately protect a home from the weather, and they also are signs of inadequate roof ventilation.
Curling shingles. Curled shingles occur when hot air from an attic forces the shingles to curl away from the home. Curled shingles cannot adequately protect a home from the weather. They also are signs of inadequate roof ventilation.
Missing, damaged and aging shingles. Missing shingles expose your roof and home directly to inclement weather. Note: In addition to being unpleasant to look at, missing shingles are one of the leading causes of water damage in homes.
Granule loss. Granules add texture to your shingles, so look closely. Are your shingles still textured? Granule loss often occurs to shingles as they age or when they’ve been exposed to extreme weather. When shingles begin to lose their granules, the roof becomes weaker and less capable of protecting a home from future storms.
Inspect your gutters. Take a look at the gutters and roof overhangs. Look for open joints and signs of rot. To thoroughly clean your gutters, read: Clean Your Gutters.
Inspect your counter flashing. This is a metal, waterproof strip that is installed over places that need extra protection from moisture, such as the area where a brick chimney or wall of your home connects with the shingles on your roof. Look for damaged, cracked or shrinking sealant around the edges of your counter flashing. If the seal has deteriorated your roof and attic will be vulnerable to water damage. Safety Note: To get a good look at your counter flashing, you’ll probably need to climb up onto your roof because it’s not always visible from the ground. If you feel at all uncomfortable about going up on your roof, skip this step!
If you have an attic, look for signs of water penetration under the roof. To do a thorough attic inspection, read: Inspect Your Attic.
Hire a professional. If you do find any of the above issues, we recommend you hire a professional. The risk of serious injury is too high for you to climb on the roof yourself, and the cost of fixing a small issue will be a lot less than an undetected problem or full roof replacement.
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