When was the last time you inspected your roof? Be honest – when it comes to home maintenance, sometimes you forget about you roof, right? Well, you’re not alone! The two most common causes of water damage in the home come from flooded basements and leaky roofs. You should have a roof inspection done at least twice a year, and after every storm or severe weather event. You don’t have to call a professional to inspect the roof, this is an 8-step DIY task that’s simple, quick, and money saving.

Step 1: Walk around your home’s exterior, inspecting the roof from the ground for signs of damage, sagging, and aging. Take notes of any possible problem areas, or areas in need of closer inspection.

Step 2: Identify areas with moss, algae, and piles of leaves – these areas are notorious for causing costly leaks and water damage.

Step 3: Keep your eye out for buckled and curled shingles! Hot air from attics often cause shingles to buckle and curl away from the home, putting your roof and home at great risk for weather damage and poor roof ventilation.

Step 4: Look for missing, damaged, and aged shingles – this is the leading cause of roof damage. Missing shingles = direct exposure to inclement weather, plus, they are an eye sore!

Step 5: It is so important to clean your gutters and roof overhangs and maintain your downspouts! As you’re performing these essential tasks, make note of open joins and signs of rot, as those are typical indicators of larger issues.

Step 6: Look closely for granule loss (texture on shingles). Granule loss indicates that shingles have aged or have been affected by severe weather, and are no longer protecting your home against damaging storms. If you find that your shingles are no longer texturized, it’s time to replace!

Step 7: Grab Your Ladder! While on top of your roof, inspect your counter flashing. Counter flashing is a metal, waterproof strip installed over areas in need of additional moisture protection. When inspecting, note damaged, cracked, and shrinking sealant around the edges of the counter flashing. If you find that the seal has deteriorated, your roof and attic will be highly-vulnerable to water damage.

Step 8: Does your home have an attic? If not, skip this step! If your home does have an attic, look for signs of water penetration under the roof.

You’ve Completed the Roof Inspection, Now What?

After you’ve completed the roof inspection, take some time to review your findings. Did you stumble across any potential problem areas or major concerns? If so, contact a local professional immediately. Remember: a smart homeowner is a pro-active homeowner! Fixing minor problems and concerns before they become disasters is the key to stress-free home maintenance.