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When and How to Inspect Your Roof
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Your roof has a tough job. It is the first and best line of defense for your home from the elements. Any weakness in the armor will end up causing serious damage as a result of water, snow, ice, or all of the above. It becomes doubly important to take proactive steps to keep your roof in good condition, and repair any damage as it occurs to prevent the elements from gaining a foothold on your property.
Start on the Outside
Conduct a visual inspection of the exterior of your roof. See if anything looks out of place, damaged, or missing. If you find anything – missing shingles, damaged flashing, etc. – repair it immediately. Take care to do this especially after a particularly severe storm or unusually windy day.
Conduct similar inspections around your chimney, making sure that all flashing and sealed areas are, in fact, in good working order and doing their job.
Inspect the Inside
Next, inspect your roof from the inside. Go up in your attic and look around for any signs of light from the outside. Hint: if light can get into your attic, so can water. Any cracks will need to be sealed or caulked (or both). Make sure the roof is as tightly sealed as it can be.
Also, check your ceilings for any signs of water damage such as water stains, cracking, or warping. If you find it, then you know the water is coming from somewhere. Do not assume that the leak is located above the damaged area; water can run for quite a distance before it finally settles in and starts to seep through the ceiling material.
Making Roof Repairs
If you find a leak, have it repaired. Otherwise, make a note to inspect it again every six months. A lot can change very quickly when it comes to your roof, and a small problem can rapidly turn into a large one.
If roofing repair or replacement is required, save yourself the headache and go with a professional. Do-it-yourself projects or hiring somebody’s cousin who does roof work rarely turns out the way you hope, and as with most cases of home repair, hiring the wrong person will almost always result in subsequent problems.
Hire a company with a track record, some industry certification, and most importantly, their own crews. You’d be surprised at just how many repair companies are subcontracting the work. Far too often, subcontractors cut corners on the quality in order to get in as many jobs as possible. Make sure your provider is the real thing, with all the proper credentials.
Ideally, your roof should last you ten to twelve years if properly maintained. Get in the habit now of performing regular inspections and keeping an eye out for problems as they occur.
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