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How to Inspect and Repair Your Roof

3/21/2013 8:11:43 AM

The life of a roof can be extended with regular inspection and small repair. Conducting a roof inspection once or twice a year can help prevent moisture damage, which in turn can save a household thousands of dollars.

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Follow these ten steps to ensure a healthy, leak-free roof and gutter system.

Materials Needed:

1. Ladder

2. Flashlight

3. Binoculars

4. Caulking

5. Roofing cement

6. Roofing repair tape

7. Plumbing boot(s)

8. Replacement gutters and/or parts

1) Investigate the Attic

Inspect the attic, preferably on a rainy day. After at least 30 minutes of rain has fallen, take a flashlight into the attic and look for leaks.

2) Look for Water or Stains

Check the rafters, eaves and ridges for dripping water or stains. Check all the vents and plumbing pipes. If you see daylight, it's an indication that there may deterioration. Take note of any leaks, stains and areas where daylight can be seen.

3) Inspect Roof from the Ground

With a pair of binoculars, stand back from the house and inspect the roof. Look for shrinking and curling shingles as well as shingles that are slipping or out of place. Note fallen or sagging branches that are in contact with the roof and/or gutter. Look for loose or damaged flashing around chimneys, vents and skylights. Circle around the home conducting this inspection with binoculars. If possible, conduct this inspection in both morning and afternoon lights.

4) Climb to the Roof for Closer Inspection

Ascending to the roof should only be done in favorable conditions and if you are comfortable with heights. (If the roof is wet or extremely hot, it is wise to wait for another day. Hot shingles can become soft and will tear out under the added weight and stress of a body.) If you are uncomfortable climbing to the roof, hire a professional.

As a general rule, you should not climb a roof that has an 8/12 roof pitch or greater. An 8/12 pitch is one that rises 8 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run.

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