Checking the Roof in Winter

With all of the different types of climatic conditions the Lower Mainland has been experiencing recently, you might be wondering how your roof is weathering the storms. Even if there are no obvious indicators of a leaking roof, your roofing system still might have sustained some type of damage. Here are some suggestions on how to safely check the roof in the middle of winter and what to look for.

On the Roof

When walking directly on the roof, take all necessary precautions. Pick a day that is not rainy or windy and one with temperatures above freezing (0 degrees Celsius). Take note of any parts of the roof that feel soft or have a little too much “give.”

Look for:

  • missing shingles
  • damaged (curled or cracked) shingles
  • patches of damp that should have dried up since the last rainfall
  • loose flashings
  • missing flashings
  • roof projections not securely fastened
  • accumulation of debris in roof valleys

Don’t forget, the gutters are part of the roofing system too. From your birds-eye view, inspect them for clogs. If there is only a small amount of debris in the gutter channel, it most likely won’t do any immediate harm and can wait until the gutters are cleaned in the spring.

Roof by Ladder

If you don’t want to brave direct contact, conduct a roof inspection by ladder. To help you see as much as possible, reposition the ladder as needed. Use binoculars; they’ll let you zoom in to take a closer look without having to actually walk on the roof.

Check for missing roofing tiles, water stains, and flashing and roof projections that have become loosened or are damaged. “Smudged” shingles or dirty patches could be an indication of roofing tiles that have lost their protective granules.

Check the fascia – ensure the gutters have not pulled away from the house or are sagging.

From the Ground

If you want to avoid climbing up on the roof or hauling out the ladder, you can still see what your roof is up to by conducting a visual inspection from the ground. With a pair of binoculars, look for anything out of place, potential trouble spots and missing shingles or sections of flashing.