Owning a home comes with many responsibilities, including maintaining all the mechanical systems. Another important home maintenance item to keep your eye on is your home's roof. It literally keeps everything you own clean and dry so it's optimal health is very important. Unfortunately, Mother Nature likes to keep homeowners on their toes by wrecking havoc on roofs. Environmental factors can take a toll on the health of a roof over the years. Rain, snow, ice, hail, wind, and extreme heat can all play a factor in the longevity of your roof and, while there is nothing you can do to control the weather, you can be vigilant about checking for both damage and normal wear and tear on the shingles that protect your home.
Climbing a ladder and walking up on a roof is not everyone's cup of tea, however. Luckily, inspecting your roof can be done from the safety and security of your attic.
1. Let There Be Light: Before entering your attic space, leave the lights off. Let your eyes get adjusted to the darkness and look for any points of light shining through from the outside. This would indicate a tiny hole in your roof's substrate, which could spell disaster later. If light can get in so can all forms of precipitation, including rain, snow, and ice.
2. Shades of Darkness: Now, turn on the lights and inspect the exposed wood. If you notice any dark stains on the plywood or rafter beans, it is more than likely a stain from previous water damage. Likewise, standing water, drip marks on the side walls, and damp insulation all point to water getting in to your attic space. Call a professional roofer and have them take a closer look as soon as possible.
3. Something Smells: If you smell that stale, musty smell, it may be more than just a few moth balls. It may be mold. In fact, any water that gets into your attic and is not promptly cleaned up can lead to mold in as little as 48 hours. The EPA states that you not only need to clean it up, but you also need to make the repair to prevent any more water from entering the space.
Checking on the health of your roof at the end of each season by examining your attic is easy if you follow these simple steps. No ladder required.