On a more serious note, I do not know of anything that can ‘get you down’ worse than falling through that roof. Discovering structural damage to your house caused by a leaky roof that should have been replaced years ago does not make for a good day.
Depending upon the climate where you live, and the amount of extreme weather you may experience, roofs, more specifically, roof condition, should be monitored more regularly than most house owners ever stop to think about. Many people pay more attention to their shrubbery and lawns than they do their roofs.
The roof, along with the foundation, is the life of a house since the roof is its covering. Regular roof inspections should be a part of every house owner’s regular maintenance.
After a severe weather event, one of the first areas to check is the roof. Annual roof damage figures demonstrate just how much roof damage weather causes annually. Estimates range from $1 billion to 29 billion during the most active weather years.
Steps House Owners Can Take To Protect Their Roofs
Since your house is the major investment you will make for your family, it is wise to take some steps to first evaluate your house roof’s condition. If you do not like what you see, call in the professionals to just confirm what you may find if anything. If your house has a 9/12 pitch or greater, I would not recommend your trying to do a close-up inspection without help. Steep roofs can get slippery.
- Stand on the ground and visually inspect your roof. Foot traffic is not good for shingles. Use a ladder to get a closer look if warranted. While you may not be able to see minor damage, or damage that is just starting, you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of shape it is in. Note any broken, discolored or missing shingles.
- Pay special attention to the rubber boots or seals surrounding the bottoms of turbine vents, stove vents and plumbing vents. Vent boot or seal leaks are one of the most common sources of leaky roofs.
- Carefully examine ridge vents. If you do not have ridge vents, check out the ridge shingles for bulges or missing shingles.
- Take note of the roof edges and inspect the end shingles on the eaves of the roof. While you are at the eaves, check the caulk and look for any gaps caused by old, shrunken caulk.
- Check the roof overhangs for any water damage.
- Inspect the roof from the attic. Take a strong flashlight and shine it on the underside of the roof as you walk every section of it.
- Pay special attention to any areas that have a water trail. Look closely for any holes which used to be filled with roofing nails. That hole is now a leak. If roofers use the wrong size roofing nails for the type of shingle, this is a common consequence.
- Check the rafters and ceiling joists for any signs of mold or mildew.
- Examine the insulation for moisture.
- Look for daylight at every section of decking, especially at the lower edges of the roof that meets the gutters.
If you spot any of the aforementioned signs of damage, call a roofer immediately. Do not wait.