Shingle Roofing Inspection Pointers that Every Homeowner Should Know


Shingled roofs can last for many years when properly maintained. In fact, many roof replacements that are done each year are needed simply because a small roof repair went undone, causing the deterioration and damage to spread to the point where a replacement was needed. To help ensure that your roof stays in the best possible shape, it’s important to do a roof inspection at least twice yearly, and to have any issues such as broken, missing, or damaged shingles repair as soon as possible. Residential roof inspections are non-invasive and take only a few minutes to do. Most homeowners can do the bulk of the inspection themselves, although if you suspect issues, it’s always a good idea to contact a local, qualified roofer to do a further inspection for you and to take care of any shingle repairs as soon as they are found.

Interior Residential Roof Inspection

You may not realize it, but for many homes, the roof inspection can begin indoors. This is especially handy for homes with very steep pitched roofs or for homeowners who are unable to inspect the roof itself from above.

Water leaking into your home through the roof may not always be visible as a leak in your living areas. Water can travel a long way before it begins to show itself or do damage that’s noticeable without looking for it. Therefore, it’s important to take a look inside your attic at least twice yearly to look for signs of water infiltration.

Check the underside of your roof deck and the struts in your attic for water stains. You should also check for other signs of moisture, such as mold, mildew, or wood rot, as these can all be signs of a failing or leaking roof. Finding these things does not necessarily mean that your roof is in trouble, but it does warrant a call to your roofer for a closer look.

Exterior Residential Roof Inspection

Not all damage to the roof can be found indoors. Sometimes the damaged or deteriorating areas are small or not in a position where water could be reaching the indoors. Therefore, it’s also important to take a look at your roof from the outside as well.

Most roof inspections can begin on the ground. Look for signs of a needed roof repair such as:

  • Curling shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Broken or cracked shingles
  • Missing flashing
  • Broken or cracked flashing

As long as the affected areas of the roof are small – under 100 square feet – you can generally have the area repaired by replacing only the affected shingles, rather than the whole roof. Keep in mind that water infiltrating from these areas may cause deterioration of the surrounding shingles, which can lead to the need of a roof replacement over time, as well as water damage to your interiors.

After inspecting your roof from the ground, take a look inside your gutters. One sign of a deteriorating roof is a collection of granules – the top, abrasive surface of your roof – collecting inside the gutters. An excessive amount of granules may indicate a problem, and is a sign that you should call your roofer to come take a closer look.

Checking the Roof Itself

Actually climbing on your roof to take a look is not always recommended, and is usually best left to your roofer. Your roofer can take a closer look at your roof itself, inspecting areas that are not always visible from the ground, as well as looking for signs of additional damage, such as hail strikes or areas where the shingles are intact, but the protective layer of granules may have come loose or been removed.

Your roofer will generally inspect your roof in sections, taking the time to thoroughly investigate each section separately before moving on. This helps him keep track of where any potential damage may be located, and can better help determine the scope of the problem and the need for repair. A roof repair or even a partial roof replacement is significantly less expensive than a total roof replacement, and may be enough to help extend the longevity of your roof and stop any new problems from occurring due to an existing issue.

When You Should Have Your Roof Inspected

At a minimum, you should be taking the time to check your roof from the ground and from the interior at least twice yearly. Doing so will let you know when things change, so that you can act on any issues in a timely manner.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected more thoroughly by a roofer when:

  • Your property has sustained storm or hail damage
  • You experience leaks you believe to be coming from your roof
  • You find granules in your gutters or see other signs of roof deterioration
  • You have purchased or are purchasing a new property and want to have the condition of the roof assessed.

Inspect Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, and one of your biggest assets. Make sure it stays in good repair with regular roof inspections and necessary shingle repairs so that it can continue to protect your home for as long as possible.