Regular roof maintenance and inspections are vital for catching problems early and isolating and minimizing damage. When checking your roof for signs of trouble, it helps to make sure it's staying well ventilated and insulated by checking other components, like gutters, are in good working order as well.
Check for Adequate Ventilation
Good ventilation is vital for a roof's ability to do its job properly. Ventilation ensures that air can pass easily out of your attic area, which has several benefits. This helps keep your house from staying hot in summer, as hot air otherwise stays trapped in your attic. It also helps protect your house against other seasonal issues like ice dams, where melting snow and ice traps puddles of water on your roof, which then seeps under your roofing material.
There are a few ways to give your ventilation a quick check. During summer, feel the ceiling below the attic. If it's very warm, it's a sign your attic area is staying too hot. Any signs of condensation may also hint at ventilation issues. If you suspect this is an issue, call a professional roofer to get a more thorough inspection and to fix and upgrade your ventilation as necessary.
Inspect Your Insulation
A good roof also relies on insulation to perform functions similar to that of ventilation. Insulation aids in your roof's ability to deflect heat energy, and conversely, it helps prevent heat from inside from warming the roof and causing snow and ice above to melt.
When insulation gets old, and especially if it gets water damaged, it can drastically lose its efficiency. Take a look in your attic with a flashlight to look for any obvious signs of damage or trouble. If your roof needs to be reinsulated, a roofing contractor can help take care of it.
Look at Your Gutters
If you have gutters installed, check them every so often to make sure they aren't clogged or hiding any signs of roof damage. Clogged gutters can hold water, which not only makes them heavy and prone to falling but can also contribute to water damage by not letting water flow properly off your roof.
Further, if you notice a sudden increase in shingle tile grains in your gutters, this is sometimes a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its life. In either case, it's a good idea to ask a residential roofing professional to help clean out clogged gutters and to investigate any signs of potential roof failure.
Look for Hidden Leaks
Leaks in your roof can sometimes be difficult to spot, as much water damage can be hidden until it's already very serious. While you're inspecting your roof, there are a few ways you can look for hidden leaks.
First, look at your ceilings and walls for any unusual stains. Water can sometimes flow quite a ways before settling in an area, so if you notice a brown spot on your wall, don't count it out as a possible roof leak. Any unusual stains like this can mean water is on the other side of your wall, and even if it's not a lot, it should still be fixed as quickly as possible.
Second, if you want to make doubly sure, you can use a moisture meter along your walls and ceilings to look for signs of moisture in places it should not be. If any is located, contact a roofing contractor quickly to isolate and repair the leak as soon as you can.