The condition of your home's roof is a big part of your home's protection and durability. Without a sound roof, your home will be exposed to moisture from the weather and later dry rot. Here are some tips to keep your roof in great condition and prevent damage to your home's interior from leaks and other problems.
Inspect Your Roof Regularly
As a first line of defense to keep your roof in good condition, you need to inspect it regularly for signs of damage to its shingles. This can require you to view the roof from the safety of the ground, but often you may need to get up to your roof line or on top of the roof. If your roof has a steep slope to it and you are not comfortable getting onto it, talk to a roofing professional about handling the work.
Once you are on your roof, look for any missing shingles, shingles with broken or cracked edges and corners, or shingles that are missing altogether. Also inspect the flashing, which is the metal strip that runs down any valleys and edges of the roof, looking for damage.
Safely lean a ladder against the roof's overhang and ask a friend to hold the ladder to keep it positioned while you ascend. Be sure you only get on top of your roof on a warm day when the weather is dry. Also be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes that are free of dirt and mud so you get the best traction on the roof while you are walking around.
Prevent Roof Damage
While you are on your roof, take some care so you don't damage your roof just by walking on it. This can happen if you don't watch your step and take heavy steps or slide your feet. Also be careful on the roof's peak where shingles can protrude from the surface and can be more fragile.
Watch where you are walking while you are on the roof and take careful steps. Then, if you find debris on your roof, don't step on it but pick it up, sweep, or push it from the roof. Leaving debris on your roof can trap moisture on the shingles, which will cause your shingles to break down.
Hire Professional Work
Anytime you discover damage to your roof, it is best to hire a professional contractor to inspect and determine the repair needs of your roof. You can try to replace missing shingles or reattach damaged flashing, but the risk is not worth it. Any improperly-installed repairs can fail in extreme weather conditions and lead to interior damage to the attic, your insulation, and interior walls.