Because gutters and the roof work together to protect your home from the effects of water damage, they both should be checked on a regular basis. Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and fall, while your roof should be inspected at least once a year. If you know what to look for, an annual visual inspection will alert you to any potential problems and allow you to take the appropriate action before any serious damage can be done.
To inspect your roof:
- Use a ladder. Make sure it sits level on the ground and that you use standard safety precautions.
- Clear away any debris. You want nothing obstructing your view of all parts of the roof.
- Look for shingles that are damaged – buckling, curling or blistering are all signs that the shingle has been comprised and needs replacing.
- Any missing tiles or shingles? They should be replaced as soon as possible.
- If material is loose or shows signs of wear around roof penetrations such as chimneys and pipes, it could lead to water seepage, mold, etc. Inspect the flashings closely: flashings that display marks of wear and tear could become cracks which might lead to leaks.
- Examine the gutters for shingle granules. The granules weigh down the shingles, while protecting them from UV rays. Large amounts of shingle granules in the gutters could indicate that it’s time for repairs or even a new roof.
- Target areas around drains. Standing water may be an indication they are not working properly.
When conducting a visual inspection, see past just the surface of the roof. Look for anything that could become a potential problem. Whether you call a professional or repair it yourself, think of it as preventative medicine.