Your home’s roof is its first line of defence against the elements and it’s the most critical part in your home’s construction. Because it’s such an important part of your home, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof regularly. Doing so will catch small issues before they become big and expensive ones; here, you’ll learn more about getting your roof ready for the winter.
Scheduling an Inspection
Your roof should be inspected at least once a year, and late fall is an ideal time to do it (we recommend that you inspect it again in the spring). You should also do an inspection after a heavy storm where shingles were blown off or damaged. Whether you do it once or twice a year, you should schedule regular roof inspections.
How Important is a Winter Inspection?
As anyone who lives in the North can attest, winter weather can be harsh on anything it touches. Snow, sleet, ice and wind can damage almost every part of your home, but your roof takes the brunt of winter’s fury. Pre-winter inspections are vital, but you might also want to follow up in the spring. Look for damage that occurred over the winter, and fix it before it causes more problems. Even if you don’t know what to look for, regular inspections will help you spot changes in your roof.
It sounds like common sense, but climbing onto your rooftop is dangerous and should always be done carefully. Especially in late fall/early winter, ice and frost can be hard to see; pay attention to your roof’s condition and the climate before climbing up. If you doubt your ability or you have a problem with heights, call a roofing contractor for help.
What to Look For (and Where to Find it)
When inspecting your roof, look for weak spots (typically where the roof’s slope is interrupted by a chimney or an adjacent slope). Roof inspections are intended to find areas where damage has compromised the roof’s integrity and left it vulnerable to moisture. Look for things like:
- Tears, cracks, and holes in the flashing
- Bent areas on vents and flashing
- Loose, torn, or cracked shingles
- Built-up debris which can allow for water and ice buildup
Most rooftop issues can easily be solved by removing vegetation and debris, or replacing a few shingles or some missing caulking. If you have roofing problems that are beyond the scope of your abilities, or the fix is more labor-intensive, don’t be ashamed to hire a roofing contractor.