A Dry Idea: You can visually inspect many problems from the ground with a pair of binoculars. Other maintenance items will need close inspection from a ladder or by walking on the roof itself. Climbing ladders and walking on the roof can be dangerous. Rain, snow, or frost may cause slippery conditions, so it's advisable to wait until the roof surface is dry. It's also important to wear sturdy, skid-resistant shoes, and to watch for tripping hazards like tools and electric cords. If you are not comfortable climbing ladders or walking on the roof, call an expert to perform the inspection. One effective method of pinpointing trouble spots is to walk around the house during a heavy rain. Rain will reveal how water flows from the roof into gutters and away from your house.
□ Replace missing, upturned, or irregular shingles.
□ Look for exposed or protruding nails. Pull the nail and replace with a larger, hot-dip galvanized nail if the flashing is galvanized sheet metal, or stainless steel nail if the flashing is stainless steel.
□ Carefully remove debris build-up in valleys and at wall-to-roof intersections so that shingles and flashings are not damaged.
□ Inspect flashing around chimney and other roof penetrations. If chimney flashing has cracked or pulled away, call in an expert to repair.
□ For Northern climates:
□ During snowy, freezing weather, check for ice dams. Ice dams can form at the eaves of poorly insulated attics when warmth from the home melts snow over the heated area of the home. The water then refreezes over the unheated eaves, creating the ice dam. If the ice builds up sufficiently, the snowmelt water can back up the roof, intrude under the shingles and leak into the exterior walls and onto the ceiling. The most efficient correction for this condition is additional insulation and additional attic ventilation.