Avoid costly repairs with these easy maintenance tips
Consider doing a 10 minute Self-Inspection once or twice a year. Get a pair of binoculars; no need to get on the roof. In fact stay off the roof; walking on the roof can cause damage or worse you could fall.
Discolorations! Generally, discolorations are caused by dampness; the dampness allows algae or moss to grow. Dampness can happen in areas fully shaded from the sun or where there is a leak and water that has gotten under the shingles. Leaks must be repaired; zinc stripes can be installed to prevent algae and moss. The good news, algae and moss generally do not affect the life of your roof.
Loose or missing shingles; missing shingles are easy to identify, loose shingles will appear to be shifted, not aligned with the rest of the shingle pattern. Missing and loose shingles are leaking or will soon leak. Both are repairable assuming the rest of the roof is sound.
Curled tips, damaged and frayed shingles need attention. This typically indicates the roof has aged needing replacement soon. This is also an indication of poor attic ventilation. Call a professional.
Debris that is stuck or lying on the roof. Debris can retain water and moisture allowing algae and moss to grow. Debris may also have an abrasive effect on your roof. In either case, it should be removed if can’t be blown down by the wind.
Overhanging tree branches that shade the roof can allow algae and moss to grow. Or worse, tree limbs that touch the roof are abrasive with the wind and will cause leaks and/or early replacement.
While you have the binoculars look at any brick surfaces. If mortar is missing or falling out have it repaired – this will save money in the long run. Water will seep into the open joints, and in the winter will freeze. Eventually, the chimney could fail.
Examine Flashings; Flashing is the material that connects, surrounds, or joins roofing material to protrusions through the roof, like: chimneys, vents, skylights, and pipes. Flashing is also used in roof valleys: where roof surfaces meet at an angle. The flashing should look tight, not cracked, and not severely corroded.
Examine gutters and downspouts. Gutters and Downspouts take water away from your house, especially the foundation, helping to prevent moisture in your basement or crawl space. Gutters should be straight with a noticeable slop down towards downspout. Gutters that are clogged or bent will overflow and may allow rain water to enter your house through windows, the foundation, or the basement.
Examine the fascia boards. The fascia boards are behind the gutters; discoloration, rotting, and cracking indicate water damage and roof or gutter conditions that need attention.
Roofing Granules. The granules are the outer most surface of the shingle, finding small amounts of granules in the gutters is normal in the life of a roof. Excessive granules in the gutters and shingles that seem bare of granules indicate an aged roof; a roof that needs attention.
Blistering is typically caused by moisture in the shingle. Blisters that break open will expose the shingle base material and need to be replaced. This could be a warranty situation