Inspecting Your Roof in Springtime 656

With winter weather (hopefully) behind us, many homeowners are left with a lot of spring maintenance chores. Inspecting your roof is a task best taken care of in the spring, because the ice and melting snow of the previous months can take a real toll on shingles and asphalt roofing materials. Pick a dry, sunny day to inspect your roof, and if you make any repairs wait until the forecast calls for a few dry days in a row.

  1. Begin by inspecting the underside of your roof from inside your attic. Mold, wet spots and stains may indicate a leak (some stains may be due to condensation, not leaks). The areas around flashings are the most vulnerable.
  2. Visually inspect your roof from the ground – binoculars can help you get a closer look – and from inside upstairs windows where possible. You can make a more detailed inspection by climbing up on a ladder, but only if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, contact a professional.
  3. Look for loose, rotted, broken and worn-out shingles that need to be replaced.
  4. Inspect areas around chimneys, antennas, satellite dishes and other roof elements. If you install a new piece of hardware, avoid installing it directly on the roof surface to avoid potential future damage and leaking.
  5. Minimize walking on the surface of your roof to avoid damaging it.
  6. Clear roof surfaces and gutters of all debris, including fallen leaves, twigs and pine needles. This helps rain drain away quickly and rids your roof of excess moisture.
  7. If there is snow or ice still built up on your roof, remove it with a long-handled, soft-bristled broom. Don’t use a snow shovel, as this can cause further damage, and never climb out onto a wet, icy roof.
  8. Trim back trees so that the branches don’t rub against the surface of your roof. This will prevent damage from scuffing and ward off the growth of fungus, mold and algae.
  9. You can clean mold and other growth off shingles, but be aware that coating or painting roof surfaces may void the warranty.
  10. Check upper-story downspouts to ensure that none of them are pouring water directly on the roof below.
  11. Make any repairs you feel experienced enough to tackle, but contact a professional for major jobs.
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