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Jan 09

How To Check Your Roof For Leaks

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos by Xedos4Inn Free Digital Photos ID-100150025

Each year, the weather wreaks havoc on your roof. With each spell of ice, small particles are dislodged. The sun itself causes wear and tear. Acid rain promotes decay. Is your roof actually able to stand up to it? With a routine maintenance program, the answer is a resounding yes!

However, you need to pay attention to your roof and give it your time and effort before it begins to fail. This way, you are able to save yourself thousands of dollars in repair bills. Here are a few tips to know how to look for problems and when it is time to replace some shingles or repair any portion. It may help you to take pencil and paper, so you can note what needs to be fixed.

First, take a look at the outside. Perform a visual inspection, and do so wisely! Please do not get up on the roof and walk around, especially if you are prone to balance issues. There is no need to end up in the hospital for this simple exercise. You will be able to see fine from the ground.

On a beautiful day sunny day, take out those binoculars you have for sailing or bird watching. Walk down the block a bit until you are able to view one full side of your roof. Be sure you have the sun behind you. Then take your time gazing. You want to look for:

• Shingles that are lifting.
• Cracked shingles.
• Edges that curling on the shingles.
• Check the overall color of the shingles, as that will tell you the integrity of the protective granules.
• Are there any places the roof is sagging?
• Is the roof free of moss or any other type of plant life?

While you are at it, note the rain guards. Are the gutters beginning to detach or slump in any area along the length? Are they free of debris? Are the downspouts straight and have anything blocking them at the base? Do you see any holes?

Next, visit the attic. You need to do this on a sunny day as well. It is best if you situate yourself looking at one wall and check overhead in a grid, so you miss nothing. Here, you will wish to turn off the inside lights:

• Look at the chimney and its stack vent. Do you see any light? If so, then the flashing may be going bad. This
is the sheet metal around the chimney that helps make the roof watertight.
• Look along the edges of each wall. Take note as to whether there are any water stains.
• Do you see any pinholes or bigger along any portion of the ceiling?
• Does it smell moldy or slightly damp?
• Look around the air vent and any other object that is stepped through the roof.

Once you have all the information, you can then form a plan. If you perform a visual check on your roof at least two times a year, you can save yourself a fortune. It pays to maintain a roof a little bit at a time, instead of having to replace the entire thing during the life of your treasured home.

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