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How To Inspect a Roof Like A Contractor (Step By Step)

how to inspect a roof like the pros

Learning how to inspect a roof can save you time, money, and stress.

It’s no secret that roofs take a beating year after year. They can easily sustain damage between the harsh sun, wind, rain, and snow without homeowners even knowing it.

That’s why it’s essential to know how to inspect your roof like a professional contractor to catch any potential problems before they turn into more significant issues. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps of inspecting your roof shingles for damage, and show you what to look for.

how to inspect a roof by yourself

When Should You Inspect Your Roof?

There are many occasions when you should inspect your roof, including:

  1. After a severe storm
  2. When you notice missing or damaged shingles
  3. If your roof is more than 20 years old
  4. If you see any cracks, holes, or other damage
  5. If you see signs of a water leak (ceiling stains, wet attic floor, etc.)
  6. Every year during spring cleaning or another convenient time
  7. When you suspect any damage, big or small

Experts say that your roof should be inspected every year. By doing so, you can catch any issues as early as possible, which can save you money, time, and stress when damage gets worse.

The Benefits of Roof Inspection

Aside from catching potential damage early on, there are other benefits of roof inspection, such as:

  • You can ensure that your roof is up to code
  • You can prevent small problems from turning into big ones
  • It can help you budget for future repairs or replacement
  • It can give you peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good condition

It also allows you, as a homeowner, to really take control of your home and protect your investments by knowing the ins and outs of your home. The roof is your home’s biggest defense against the elements, and the moment it’s compromised, you risk having expensive, detrimental repairs to face.

So, every year, maybe while you’re doing your spring cleaning, you can do a walk-through of your property and inspect the roof. Next, we’ll get into how to do that.

How to Inspect a Roof Like the Pros (Step-by-Step)

While walking around your property can be good to look for anything out of place or check for noticeable signs of damage, sometimes roof damage is tough to spot— especially to the untrained eye. So knowing the signs and knowing where to look can help you conduct a more thorough inspection — just like the pro roofers.

To properly inspect your roof, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Binoculars
  • Extension ladder (if necessary)
  • Notepad and pen/pencil
  • Flashlight
  • Smartphone or camera

Once you have your supplies, follow these steps on how to inspect a roof:

Step 1: Conduct a Visual Inspection From the Ground

Start by looking at the roof from the ground with your binoculars. This will allow you to see any larger pieces of damage, such as damaged or missing shingles. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, make a note of it, and be sure to take a closer look when you’re up on the roof.

Step 2: Check Your Home’s Interior

Some of the first places that show obvious signs of a leak are in your attic or upper level of your home. So this is a good place to inspect and look for signs of leaks. This might include:

  • Water stains on the ceiling
  • Wet or deflated insulation
  • Puddles on the attic floor
  • Wet spots on the roof decking
  • Mold or mildew
  • A musty smell in the attic
  • Rotted wood beams

While these are often signs of a roof leak, they can also indicate poor insulation, excess moisture, or other problems. So if you notice any of these things, be sure to have a professional come out and take a look. The faster you get your roof repaired, the more protected your home is, and the more you mitigate further water damage.

Step 3: Look In Your Gutters

Another good place to look for signs of damage is in your gutters. This is because shingles, when they break off or are damaged, will often end up in your gutters. You may also notice small shingle granules or pieces of asphalt in your gutters, which signifies that your shingles are breaking down and need attention.

Additionally, if you have clogged gutters, you risk roof leaks because when the rainwater or snowmelt backs up in the gutters, that water has nowhere to go but into your roof. Regularly cleaning your gutters is a critical piece of maintenance to protect your roof.

how to inspect a roof and gutters

Step 4: Climb Up on the Roof for a Closer Look

If you can safely do so, head up to the roof to get a closer look of your roof’s condition. Some tips for getting up on your roof:

  • The ladder needs to extend at least 3-feet past the roof edge to safely mount and dismount.
  • Wear a safety harness and fall protection kit.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes to prevent slipping.
  • Long pants and safety gloves can help protect you from any falls or touching any sharp materials or damage.
  • Always have a friend or family member helping you out.

Once you’re up on the roof, take a careful look around and look for any of the following:

  • Missing or damaged shingles
  • Bare spots where the granules have come off
  • Curling or blistering shingles
  • Cracked or loose caulk or flashing around vents, skylights, chimneys, etc.
  • Clogged gutters
  • Wet spots or discoloration
  • Sagging or buckled spots
  • Cracked flashing
  • Algae or moss growth
  • Large debris or piles of branches

Step 5: Document Everything

Once you’ve completed your inspection, be sure to document everything that you found. This will be important for insurance claims or getting repairs done if necessary. Be sure to take plenty of pictures and note any damage, no matter how small it may seem. You can also document your roof to compare to future inspections to catch any differences or wear and tear.

While most homeowners are able to catch the obvious signs of damage, it is best to get a professional inspection done if you plan on filing an insurance claim. This will ensure you are getting the most value out of your claim.

Step 6: Make Minor Repairs

If you find any issues, it’s good to get them fixed right away. You can also tarp any damage to protect your roof from further weather damage until you can get a professional to come out and make more permanent repairs.

You can purchase roof patches or use caulk and new flashing to seal any small leaks to at least buy time until you can have a professional repair.

documenting hail damage on a roof using chalk line circles

When Necessary, Schedule a Professional Inspection

Ultimately, you’ll want a professional contractor to inspect your roof should you suspect legitimate damage. However, every year, inspecting your own roof can catch roof damage early and mitigate further damage.

If you suspect damage and feel inexperienced in inspecting your roof yourself, call the pros at Dreamworx Exteriors. We can help determine if your roof is in good condition after a thorough inspection. We’ll help you repair or replace your roof if necessary and even provide support for insurance claims. Reach out to us today to schedule an inspection!

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