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Roof Inspection Checklist For Homeowners & Contractors

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It’s easy to forget that roof inspections are part of preventative maintenance for homeowners. While you should have your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor at least once a year, the inspection itself can be carried out by you — granted, only if you’re not afraid of heights and understand what you’re looking at. 

When doing your own inspection, you’ll need to keep a roof inspection checklist handy. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your tenth, a roof inspection checklist will help you avoid missing any potential signs of damage by telling you what to look for.

Read on to learn more about how to go about inspecting your roof.

Your Roof Inspection Checklist

Your roof inspection checklist should include all the essential things you’ll want to look out for, such as:

close up of roof in need of inspection from roof contractor
  • Cracked caulking
  • Rust spots on flashing
  • Rusty or exposed nails
  • Missing, curled, or broken shingles
  • Missing granules (on asphalt roof shingles)
  • Cracked or worn rubber boots around vent pipes
  • A missing or damaged chimney cap (yes, this still counts as part of your roof!)
  • Moss, green algae, or lichen growth, which is a sign that your roof may be decaying from underneath
  • Piles of colored grit from asphalt shingles in the gutters
  • Roof valleys that are wrinkled, cracked, or have holes
  • An accumulation of dirt and debris
  • Pooled water

This is a basic roof inspection checklist that roofing contractors use to ensure your roof is in good shape. As a homeowner, you should first familiarize yourself with the components of a roof — i.e., flashing, valleys, shingles, granules, etc — so you know what it is you’re looking at and also what the signs of damage or aging look like.

However, there’s a bit more to conducting a roof inspection than simply looking for damage up top…

How to Conduct a Regular Roof Inspection

By performing regular roof inspections, you’re ensuring that everything in your home (including your family) remains safe and sound. However, getting up on a ladder and taking a look around isn’t the only thing you need to do. In fact, the less you walk around up there, the better for both your roof and safety.

Luckily, you won’t have to spend much time on top of your roof as roof inspections require multiple points of view to get the full picture of the condition your roof is in. Here’s the proper way to conduct a roof inspection from the inside out:

looking for ceiling stains should be a part of your roof inspection checklist

Inspect the Inside of Your Roof First

Before heading outside, the first thing you want to do is take a look at the top level of your home’s ceiling and walls. This would include the second (or third) floor, plus the attack or access space. 

Here’s what you’re looking for on the inside:

  • Dark spots or circles, which indicate water damage
  • Leaks or noticeable water stains on the floor
  • Mold
  • Sagging in the ceiling
  • Decking in the attack
  • Any light coming through attic rafters
  • Obstructions in roof ventilation
  • Wet insulation

Any water spots or areas of wet insulation are a sure sign that there’s a leak somewhere, which is something you want to have inspected and repaired by a professional immediately. The same goes for any sagging between the rafters in your attic, which can also indicate holes in your roof or clogged ventilation.

checking for missing shingles is on a roof inspection checklist

Inspect the Outside of Your Roof From the Ground

Don’t go jumping on a ladder just yet. Once you’ve cleared your roof from the inside point of view, you’ll want to take a walk around your home to look for any noticeable damage to your gutters, eaves, and soffits. By walking around your house, you can easily look up and see if the roof line is sagging at all, and you’ll also be able to tell if there’s obvious wear and tear on your shingles.

Here’s what to look for from the perimeter of your home:

  • Bent or broken gutters
  • Damaged eaves 
  • Damaged soffits
  • Loose or flapping shingles
  • Curls or cracks in shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • A sagging roof line
  • Moss or algae growth (black algae is mostly cosmetic, but you’ll want to wash it clean before it turns into something else)
  • Large amongst of debris or objects

This is the type of inspection you’ll also want to carry out after every big storm or extreme weather event. Sometimes all it takes are harsh winds or flying objects to cause damage to an otherwise healthy roof.

professional uses ladder to inspect roof shingles

Inspect Your Roof From Atop

Now is the time to get your ladder out — especially if you noticed any potential damage from the ground. 

You’ll want to start by inspecting your gutters more closely, taking note if there’s a clog. If you do notice clogged gutters, don’t just assume that all they need is a good cleaning, as the cause of the clog may be shingle granules or torn pieces of shingles. If your shingles are deteriorating and ending up in your gutter, it’s likely time for a new roof.

Aside from examining your gutters and shingles, you’ll need to take a close look at your roof flashing. Roof flashing is what protects the transition areas of your roof, such as skylights, roof valleys, and your chimney. If the flashing is missing, rusting, or broken, it’ll allow moisture to find its way underneath your roof shingles and seep into the structural components of your home. 

You’ll also need to take this time to check the rubber and seals around your roof boot and pipes. Check for signs of animal activity, such as chew marks or nests.

Here’s your rooftop inspection checklist:

  • Missing or broken roof shingles
  • Clogged gutters
  • Damaged flashing 
  • Damaged seals
  • Mold, lichen, and other signs of rot
  • Animal intruders
  • Chimney damage
  • Wear and tear on roof valleys

When to Call in a Roofing Professional

Once you know what you’re doing, carrying out regular roof inspections is quick and simple. However, only a trained eye can conduct a more thorough inspection and assess the damage to determine whether a repair or replacement is needed. What’s more, a trained professional will likely catch something you missed — even if you follow a comprehensive roof inspection checklist.

Whether you need a second opinion or would rather just leave your roof inspection up to a reputable roofing contractor, you can get in touch with us here at Level Edge to book a free roof inspection. We’ll ensure that your roofing gets a thorough and accurate inspection. 

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