Time to check your roof, winter is coming!

September 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm 2 comments

One of the least maintained parts of any building is the roof. This is true for many reasons but certainly the most obvious is that it is often hard to get to safely. None the less periodic inspections and simple maintenance can lengthen the life and keep you dry this winter.

All good maintenance programs start with an inspection. Now I certainly don’t expect you to become a roofing expert by reading my post, but there are simple steps anyone can take.

First take a look at all of the parts that are easily visible from the ground and this includes all gutters and down spouts.  You are looking for obvious parts that are broken, disconnected in the case of the gutter or discolored.

Now if you can actually safely get up on the roof you should do a physical survey of the surface noting equipment, deficiencies and areas of future concern.  If possible a drawing should be made and phtographs should be taken to document the existing condition for use as a comparison in future years.

There are loads of offers on the web or in your mailbox for roof inspectors, often offering free inspections.  Be very careful as this is of course a way for roofing companies to drum up business and you may get a proposal for a complete new roof when yours is actually fine.

That being said let me offer you a few resources to help you at this point.  The first is a good checklist to aid you in being thorough in your inspection: http://www.pws.gov.nt.ca/pdf/publications/Roof-Inspection-Checklist.pdf Next are a couple of sites that give definitions of roofing terms and even a video of someone actually doing an inspectionand talking about the process (http://www.buyerschoiceinspections.com/Roofs). There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (http://www.asphaltroofing.org/resources_faq.html).

Here are also a couple of articles that cover this topic in more detail: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/ms/article.asp?id=5441&keywords=roof,%20roofing,%20ro%20ofs,%20roof%20inspection and http://www.inspect-ny.com/roof/roofing.htm

Lastly there is new technology that will help you understand the current condition as well as help you find that elusive leak, it is thermal imaging.  It is still fairly new and hence somewhat expensive however it is certainly useful when you can’t figure out where your building is leaking from.  Here is a good introduction ot the technology from Maintenance Solution Magazine: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/ms/article.asp?id=8595

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Boston Roofers  |  December 18, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I think having a checklist is a great idea for any homeowner. It will help you to remember to check all the features on your roof that are the most susceptible in being damaged.

    If your not comfortable doing the inspections on your own, hire a professional and have them walk you through the steps. A professional roofing inspector should be hired at least once a year anyway, in order to ensure that your roof is in good “working” order.


  • 2. Roofers Boston  |  February 20, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I agree with the comment above me. So much money in roof repairs and the damage that is cause by it could be saved if the homeowner or property manager would have had a periodic “check up” if you will, of their roof. Little problems that go unnoticed soon become major headaches and turn into costly repairs


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