Before the first snow, it’s important to check over the part of your home that protects you most: Your roof! Winter can aggravate existing roof issues (and your wallet), so follow these roof inspection steps this fall to catch any problems before winter hits.
Since you’re already up a ladder cleaning out those gutters, let’s get in a roof inspection. First, get a good look at the roof line: Is it straight, or is it sagging at all? Sagging can indicate structural issues, potentially caused by water damage. Next you’ll want to inspect the flashing—look around your chimney and in any roof valleys or overhangs for loose, damaged, or cracked flashing, and any signs of water intrusion.
While you’re up there, be sure to check for loose or damaged shingles and get them replaced before the snow falls. Loose or damaged shingles often result in ice damming and water damage to the home, and are often havens for algae growth or infestation as well. More than a third of your shingles damaged or failing? It’s time to re-shingle your entire roof.
Lastly, remove any extra debris. Small branches and leaves may not seem like much, but they can get waterlogged and weigh down spots on your roof, reducing its ability to keep water out of your home. You’ll also want to trim low-hanging branches near your roof.
Into the Attic
Now that you’ve gotten a good look outside your roof, it’s time to look underneath it. Go up into your attic and ensure all the external vents are clear. This is to verify that you have proper ventilation in your roof to prevent dry rot. Get a good look at your insulation as well (wet spots can be trouble!), and make sure it’s spread properly to keep the heat where it belongs this winter: In your home. Check out this article for other drafty home tips.