It is important that roof shingles are installed correctly and maintained to avoid leaks during the rainy season. Whenever you see signs of damage to the roof shingles or components, repairs are recommended. Fixing damaged roofing will ensure that maximum life of roofing materials may be achieved.
It is recommended to have a roof inspection annually, the best time to inspect your roof is in the Spring or Fall. Homeowners can perform a visual inspection from the ground. Hire a professional to access and inspect the roof and attic for a full roof inspection if budget allows. Schedule NOW! Some of the things to look for when inspecting roof shingles:
- Damaged, Missing, loose, or curled shingles.
- Algae or fungus growing on shingles.
- Rusting of Flashing or parts that look loose.
- Cracked mortar.
- Parts of the roof found on the ground or in the gutters
- Plants growing from the roof surface and/ or gutters
- Dampness in the attic or other locations inside the home.
- Check the attic for signs of leaks and water damage, use a flashlight to examine the ceiling from the attic access. Although the roof of the home may look to be undamaged from the exterior, wind or rain may have caused damage to the area under the roof. Inspect Ceilings and interior walls for leaks and staining. (Include closets!) Have repairs done as needed.
Roof maintenance tips and advice
- Keep branches trimmed away from the roof. An overhanging branch may lead to damage of shingles, algae growth, and easy access for animals to get on the roof or in the attic.
- Prevent dirt, leaves, sticks, and other debris from accumulating on the roof. Excess debris on the roof can lead to algae growth and blocks the water from quickly draining off the roof material.
- Flashing is the main location for roof leaks. Check flashing around exhaust pipes, vents, and Chimneys. If the flashing is punctured, bent or the sealant has become loose or brittle, get it repaired before it allows water inside and leads to damage.
Inspecting the Attic for Leaks
Assuming you are safe, comfortable, and know-how to walk inside an attic, let’s take a look at how you can get in closer to spot roof leaks
Common places for leaks:
- Dead Valleys
- Eaves (where the roof and wall meet)
- Flashing areas (vents or areas where penetration occurs)
Knowing those common areas noted above, we know the main areas to check for roof leaks! We should also take into consideration what our roof shape is if we have repairs, or missing/damaged shingles as well.
~Check the ridge cap to see if any portion is loose. If any nails are exposed, those will need to be tarred down to prevent rusting.
*Tip: The ridge cap shingles (shingles at the peaks) are typically the first to wear/lose their granules.
Granules help protect the shingle from drying out, wicking away moisture and allows you to walk on it. You may see cracked shingles and granule loss Too much granule loss is a sign the roof will need to be replaced.
Vegetation rubbing the roofing material will likely cause excessive granule loss.
Flashing areas are really common places for leaks. We carefully inspect these areas to ensure everything is sealed properly.
Offset ridge vent
If a baffle is installed, there will be a piece of metal sticking up at the bottom, and the vent should be secured/sealed down.
When inspecting offset ridge vents, ensure the bottom edge is sealed with tar, as well as nails or roofing screws.
*Tip: Near the edges of any vents, slightly pull up to see if any nails are loose or areas need sealing.
Now let’s take a look at flashing boots. Flashing boots are made out of lead and are often chewed on by squirrels. Any damages to these boots should be sealed to prevent leaks. You can tape over minor cuts with foil tape to do a quick repair. The foil will prevent squirrels from wanting to chew on the lead.
The whole in the middle of the boot is necessary. These are plumbing stacks that discharge sewer gases. Ensure water can not find its way around these pipes.