Your home's roof is one of the biggest investments you make in your property. Not only is it a significant portion of the house itself, but it protects or fails to protect everything below it. This means that keeping the roof solid and undamaged is vital to the overall health of the house. 

So what can you do to protect the roof over your head? Conducting an annual (or post-storm) inspection is a great first step. If you've never done one, here are a few steps to guide you through.

When to Inspect

Most residential homes should be inspected at least once per year. In states like Michigan, definitely, inspect your roof after winter as snow and ice damage roofs constantly.
In addition, if you have an extreme weather event, such as a large wind or snow storm, take a look at the roof once things calm down to ensure that there's no damage or excessive debris sitting on the roof.

Safety First

Before climbing a ladder to get on the roof, prepare for a safe inspection. Pick a sunny day when the roof will not be wet, but don't get distracted by the view. Wear shoes with a solid rubber sole and reliable traction. Grab a buddy and never work alone. Make sure your ladder is in good condition and placed on solid ground. Wear a safety harness if possible and avoid going beyond your experience and comfort level.

If you're not comfortable walking or standing on the roof, perform a roof inspection with a good vantage point and a set of binoculars.

What to Look For

As you look at the roof, pay attention for the following things:
  • Water stains on the roof, along walls or inside the attic spaces
  • Damage to flashings
  • Curling, blistering or warped shingles
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Damage to rubber boots around vent pipes
  • Cracked or missing caulking
  • Asphalt granules in the gutters, which could indicate shingles are losing their protective coating
  • Loose or missing chimney caps
  • Tree branches hanging over or too near the roof that could cause damage if they break
  • Signs of dry rot around wood shingles
You may be able to notice some of these problems from the ground, so don't automatically assume you have to get on a ladder and onto the roof to notice issues.

Gutter Cleaning

While you're assessing the roof, take the time to clean out the gutters. Clogged gutters can easily damage the roof or the inside of the house if water and ice become backed up and fail to drain properly.

Place tarps on the ground underneath the gutter to make cleanup much easier. Remove debris from the gutter, and then spray it down with a hose until the water runs out of the downspout clean and freely. 

When to Get Help

If you find problems that need to be addressed and you're not experienced in working on a roof, call Armstrong Enterprises Inc. It's important to maintain safety first and you won't regret leaving roof repairs to the professionals.

Even if you can complete minor repairs, such as fixing popped or loose nails or replacing damaged shingles, larger issues should be handled by a pro. Water stains either inside or outside the home may signal more serious problems. Moisture or mildew under shingles or in the attic and signs of ice dams on the roof should be inspected by a roofing professional who can help get to the root of the issues before they become bigger problems. 

Your first roof inspection may take a while to complete, but as you get comfortable with the appearance of your home and how to spot small problems, you'll quickly find that it's not as difficult as you may think.