The roof is one of the most important components of your home, which means that it’s critical that you maintain it properly throughout its useful life. Regular roof inspections can play a critical role in maintaining the structure. This is because it gives you a chance to find leaks, shingle damage or other problems while they still may be relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to perform a DIY roof inspection.

Pick a Nice Day for a Climb

Ideally, you will wait for a day that features sunny weather and relatively mild temperatures. This is so that you won’t have to worry about snow, ice or a severe thunderstorm. That makes it unsafe to be on top of your home long enough to take an adequate look at the roof.

In addition, you want to wait for a mild day because temperatures on the roof are typically much hotter than temperatures on the ground. Therefore, you don’t want to put yourself at risk of heat stroke or other temperature-related issues while you are outdoors for an extended period of time.

Know How to Climb Your Ladder

It’s critical that you understand how to climb and secure a ladder safely throughout the inspection. A general rule of thumb is that you want to have contact with three points at all times while climbing up to or down from the roof. You’ll also want to make sure that the ladder is positioned on level ground and that another person holds it in place if possible.

Wear the Right Equipment

A slip, trip or fall could result in serious injury whether you land on the ground or simply stumble back to the roof’s surface. At a minimum, you’ll want to wear shoes or boots that have non-slip soles to maximize your balance. You should also wear sunglasses or specialized goggles to help keep the sun out of your eyes.

Finally, be sure to wear a harness that will keep you secure on the roof in case you slip or trip. You can hook the harness to an anchor point on the roof for safety. It can also prevent you from falling to the ground in the event that you trip over the gutter or otherwise can’t stay on top of the house.

Look for Obvious Signs of Damage First

After getting on the roof and checking that you’re secure, the first step is to check for any obvious damage. For instance, you might begin by looking at shingles to see if any have missing granules, are shriveled up or were improperly nailed. If there are any missing shingles, you’ll want to look for signs of moisture, mold or other damage to exposed areas.

You should also check the gutters for damage such as cracks, holes or pulling away from the house. There may also be clear signs of leaks or damage near chimneys, skylights and other fixtures.

Finally, you should take note of any weak spots as it could be a sign that the structure is vulnerable to a collapse. Ideally, this will be the time when you abandon your DIY efforts and call a professional for assistance.

If You See Algae or Fungus on the Roof

It’s not uncommon to find algae or other types of green fungus on the roof. Typically, it will grow on shaded parts of the roof or those that are consistently moist. In some cases, it could be a sign of excess moisture and a possible leak. However, it could also stem from the fact that it has been rainy and cloudy over the last few days.

You can clean the material off of shingles with a soft sponge for a temporary fix. However, you may need to call a professional to diagnose the cause of the growth to ensure that it doesn’t come back or keep getting worse.

Check the Attic and Other Interior Spaces

Typically, a roof inspection will also include a look inside of the attic to determine if there are signs of a leak. Looking inside of the attic might also help you determine if there is sufficient ventilation inside of the space. If not, warm and humid air can get trapped, which can cause the underside of the roof to be hotter or have more moisture than it needs.

During the winter, this can cause snow or ice to melt and refreeze and cause the shingles to expand and contract more frequently. During summer, it could result in moisture damage to the underside of the roof. This can lead to mold growth and other issues that can be prevented with basic attic maintenance.

Finally, be sure to look for other clues of a roof leak such as stains on interior ceilings or walls. You might also notice that insulation or wires in the attic are extremely wet. A musty smell could indicate that mold is present in areas where you don’t have easy access.

It is extremely important to mitigate mold as quickly as possible because it can cause damage to your entire house if left unchecked. It can also cause serious health issues for anyone who is exposed to the mold inside of the property for an extended period of time.

If an Inspection Does Show Signs of Damage

During the inspection, you should take note of anything that you see that doesn’t seem right. These notes can help you better explain your roof’s current condition when you call a professional for help fixing the damage.

While it may be tempting to try to fix the damage yourself, it is generally not in your best interest to do so. This is because you could seriously hurt yourself while working at heights or during hot or inclement weather. Even if you have a friend helping you, there is no guarantee that they are healthy or capable enough to complete the work properly and safely.

Hiring a professional to fix any issues with your home is ideal because you aren’t liable for anything that happens to them. If your friend were to fall off of the roof, you would be on the hook for any losses that they might incur while working on your property.

Furthermore, having a professional work on your home means that you’ll get a warranty or service guarantee. At a minimum, you probably won’t void the warranty or service guarantee that you received when the roof was first installed. If you’re going to file an insurance claim to cover the cost of needed repairs, having an expert do the work increases your chances of having the claim approved.

Your Trusted Professionals

If you are in need of roof repair or replacement services, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Schmidt Roofing in St. Cloud, MN and surrounding areas today! We can also install windows and skylights, install new siding and take care of ventilation and insulation issues on your property in a timely and affordable manner. Call us today and ask about our storm damage repair and inspection too.

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