As a Homeowner, Can I Inspect My Own Roof?

The answer to this question is YES, you can inspect your own roof and do so safely.  While you can certainly hire a professional to inspect your roof, it’s a good idea after any serious weather event like hail or a heavy storm, to take the time to look for signs of wear and tear.  The two most common reasons for water damage in a home are flooded basements and leaky roofs.  Here in Florida it’s unlikely that you have a basement so the roof would be the primary cause of water damage.

What Are the Steps to Inspect My Roof?

Depending on your comfort level with ascending a ladder, you can still inspect your roof from the ground without the need to climb.  This can be done with the naked eye but is best done with binoculars to show greater detail.  If you do opt to use a ladder take caution to secure the ladder from the ground with the help of another person.  Some ladders are designed to anchor themselves to the roof line eliminating the need for assistance.  As always, when using a ladder beware of power lines

Step 1 – One of the easiest things to look for if you have a shingle roof is curling, missing, or cupped shingles.  This is the #1 cause of roof damage and can lead to water entering your attic and home.  Any signs of sagging are also a strong indicator that the roof has structural issues that will need immediate attention.

Step 2 – As you inspect your roof for shingle damage also take note of areas that are covered with moss, algae, black stains and leaves.  Over time these areas can develop leaks leading to water damage.  While you likely won’t need to replace the shingles in these areas, you should consider having your roof professionally cleaned.

Step 3 – Look for granule loss from your roof’s shingles.  If you have the use of a ladder, you may also find granules in your gutters or downspouts.  While some granule loss is normal, if you see granules in large amounts it is a sure sign that your shingles are either old or damaged and it’s probably time to consider a roof replacement.

Step 4 – If possible, inspect the Flashing on your roof.  Flashing is the metal strip that is installed in areas of the roof that require additional moisture protection.  Inspect the seal between the flashing and the area of the roof it is protecting.  If the seal is deteriorating, you will want to have this repaired or replaced as the roof is now more susceptible to water entering the home.

Step 5 – If your home has an attic and you can gain access to it, use a flashlight and look for areas that show signs of water penetration.  This is likely a sign that there is some damage at least to this location on your roof.  Being diligent and identifying a small problem today can save you big bucks down the road.

If you’ve performed your inspection and notice one or more of these signs of roof issues it makes sense to contact a professional roofer to perform a more thorough inspection.  We hope you never experience an emergency that requires our services, but If you should, make Brian Sikes Roofing your first call!  Please find out more about us at