Roof Maintenance Checklist: 5 Problems to Look For

Roofing maintenance checklist

Walk the perimeter now to assess roof damage that could cause major issues down the road.

Spring and summer rains, combined with winter’s brutal weather, may have done a number on your roof. But don’t wait until water drips on you while you’re watching Monday Night Football to figure out that your roofing system might need attention.

“Fall’s a good time for a pre-winter walk around,” says Dave Lincon, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services. There are a few things you can safely check from below to assess the situation up above.

1. Granulation

Check the ground near the house for signs of excessive granulation — those tiny roofing pebbles that are stuck to the shingles. “That’s a sign of age when those things are coming off practically in buckets,” Lincon says.

2. Spotty Shingle Coverage

Look up around the roof’s edges for shingles that are pulling up, cracked or missing altogether. And don’t forget to make sure your gutters are cleaned out, Lincon says. “If water doesn’t have anywhere to go, it will build up in the gutters and seep back up under the shingles and cause premature rotting of the roof decking or leak into the house,” he says.

3. Rust

If you see rust spots, it might mean that the drip edges — the aluminum capping around the roof’s edge that guides the water during runoff — are beginning to fail.

4. Moss

A “green roof” might be all the rage — but not if it’s moss. “That’s a good indication you’ve got issues,” Lincon says. You could take a long-handled broom and sweep it away, but there may be more going on. “A continued buildup of algae will promote premature failure and deck rot.”

5. Cracked Caulk

Look at the valley (areas where rooflines meet) and flashing (spots where the chimney and vent pipes meet the roof). Any cracked caulk will allow water to creep into your house.

“Remember, the whole purpose of a roof is to shed water in an intentional and predictable manner,” Lincon says. Often, you won’t know anything is wrong until you see discoloration on your ceiling or water is leaking into your home. “And if there’s that much water leaking through your shingles, there’s a good chance there’s mold in the ceiling or walls,” he adds.

Whether you’ve got slate tile, asphalt shingles or metal on your roof, you’re looking for similar issues.

Don’t ignore trouble for fear of the cost of a roof replacement. “You may only need a portion of the roof repaired,” Lincon says.

If you’ve got an asphalt roof that’s over 15 years old, it’s likely time for a full replacement, which Sears Home Services can help with. Whether you’re in need of a replacement or a repair, Lincon stresses the importance of hiring a reputable, licensed roofing contractor.

Schedule your free in-home consultation today, and our local experts will provide you with an estimate for your roof replacement so you can plan for costs without any surprises.

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