Checklist: Is Your Roof Ready for Spring?

Winter is nearly over and spring is on its way. When the seasons change, it's time to check your home for any problem areas that need attention. A roof takes the brunt of the weather conditions each season offers, but the symptoms may not be noticeable within your day-to-day routines. An inspection of the roof, interior, and exterior areas of your home can prevent costly repairs later.

Use this checklist to make sure your roof is ready for spring season weather, and to identify any damage or issues that have occurred over the winter months.

1.       Walk around your home's outside perimeter. Look for water stains or spots on the walls, around the gutters, and under the eaves. These are signs that your gutters are not adequately performing roof runoff. Debris could be preventing drainage. Check for buckling, curling, missing, or blistering shingles on your roof. Inspect the areas around chimneys, skylights, and plumbing vents for signs that the flashing is damaged or compromised. Flashing provides a watertight seal and prevents water from seeping into your home.

2.       Clean out any leaves or debris from gutters that have accumulated over the winter months, preventing drainage. If your gutters can't drain properly, water builds up and will eventually damage your home's fascia boards—the exterior trim to which the gutters are attached. If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, check for gooey substances in the gutter, and note any excessive buildup of shingle granules. The loss of granules means your roof is losing its protection from harmful UV rays.

3.       Scan the walls and rafters of your attic and the interior walls of your home for water stains, black marks, or mold, which are indicators that your roof has a leak. Also, check the insulation in your attic for any signs of mildew.

4.       Understand the provisions of your homeowners’ insurance policy. Does your policy offer actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cash value (RCV) on repairs? Homeowners’ insurance policies don't usually cover floods or earthquakes, but do normally cover damage caused by other acts of Mother Nature, like fire, hail, windstorms, and lightning. It's better to know what your policy covers before damage occurs.

Schedule a professional inspection. Roofs last anywhere from 20 to 50 years, but if you've not had it inspected in several years, now is an excellent time to do so—before those Georgia storms roll in. A roofing professional can offer solutions for repairs or a roof replacement, and help you find options that fit within your budget as well.