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Protect Your Home From Water Damage With a Pre-Winter Roof Inspection
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Protect Your Home From Water Damage With a Pre-Winter Roof Inspection

Even seemingly minor roof damage can quickly grow worse throughout winter as weighty snow and ice sit atop your roof for months. And when that ice and snow begins to melt—whether it happens on a warmer winter day or when spring rolls around— water can easily make its way inside your home, where it may cause considerable damage.

That’s why performing a pre-winter roof inspection is an absolute must. This inspection will alert you to any minor issues your roof may have, so you can handle the necessary roof repairs before winter weather worsens the damage.

What should you be looking for during your roof inspection? Check out the guide below.

Surface Damage

Cracked, torn, buckling, missing, or curling shingles all indicate potential roof problems and warrant further investigation by a skilled roofing contractor. While in some cases, there’s no underlying damage and the deteriorated shingles simply need to be replaced, in most cases, damaged shingles allow water to seep beneath the surface of the roof.

Once water makes its way underneath the shingles, it can sit against the decking for prolonged periods, where it will inevitably encourage gradual decay. If you observe damaged shingles while checking out your roof, contact a roofing company to schedule a comprehensive inspection before winter weather makes its appearance. 

Drainage Problems

Drainage issues are pretty tough to detect unless there’s been recent precipitation, but when it does rain, head outdoors after the storm passes to give your roof a once-over. Look for standing water (puddles) on the surface of your roof, and if you notice any, contact a roofing contractor to schedule a more comprehensive inspection.

When water is allowed to sit on your roof for any length of time, it can slowly seep beneath the shingles. Eventually, it may leak through your roof, prompting insulation damage, mold and mildew development, and even rot if the puddling has been a long-standing issue.

Flashing Damage

Flashings are thin, metal strips designed to direct water away from portions of your roof that may be susceptible to leaks. They’re typically located alongside roof protrusions like chimneys, and in roof valleys (the area where two sections of the roof meet), which are some of the roof’s most vulnerable spots.

Given their location and function, flashings require close inspection because any damage to these roofing components can allow water to find its way beneath them.

If you can see any damaged or partially detached flashings, roof repairs are necessary to fix the issue. Be sure to schedule service before winter hits, or you could find yourself with a water-damaged roof when spring rolls around.  

Deteriorated Seals

Sealant materials inevitably degrade with time, so you must periodically inspect them for signs of deterioration. If you have skylights, check around them to make sure the seals are intact, and be sure to inspect around roof vent pipes as well.

Vent pipes are a common area for roof leaks to develop, so if you notice any seal deterioration around those protrusions, have a roofing contractor replace the sealant before it starts snowing.

Signs of Water Intrusion in the Attic

Even if you don’t notice any signs of damage on the exterior of your roof, there may be problems beneath its surface. Performing a quick attic inspection can alert you to budding problems you may not be able to detect from outside. Here’s what you’ll want to look for:

●        Moisture accumulation on insulation

●        Water stains

●        Signs of mold, mildew, or fungi

●        Damaged framing components

●        Signs of moisture accumulation around roof protrusions (esp. roof vents)

●        Brown or white areas on the underside of the roof sheathing (typically indicative of rot)

If you have a moisture meter, it’s also a good idea to test the moisture content of various pieces of wood throughout the attic. You might not be able to visually identify a moisture problem, but if you take a moisture meter reading, the numbers can’t lie.

Schedule a Comprehensive Roof Inspection With Cottage Grove Roofing Contractors

If you suspect your roof might have a few issues that need to be repaired before winter, get in touch with our team at Eastern Roofing & Siding to set up a roof inspection. We’ll identify any red flags you should know about and perform any necessary roof repairs to the highest quality standard. To schedule an appointment or learn more, call our Cottage Grove, MN, office today at 651-238-1313.

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