Clues in the Attic: Fall Roof Checkups Made Easy
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This is one of two times each year when homeowners are supposed to check the health of their roofs. (Among other reasons, roofs are key to a home's energy efficiency.) But who wants to climb a ladder 25 feet or so into the sky when the weather is nasty? That's where your attic comes in.
According to Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, "Roofs actually create an insulated barrier that helps trap heat inside, and most attic spaces are located right below them. That makes them perfect for spotting potential problem areas and damage without worrying about falling off a ladder."
Here's What to Look for While up There:
Water Leaks: After a rainstorm, shine a flashlight into the attic to check not only for dripping water and condensation but also for water stains on the ceiling, walls, and floors. All signal that H2O is finding its way beneath your roof's shingles or behind its flashings.
Ventilation: "Think of the attic as the lungs of the house," advises Joplin. "It has to be able to breathe in order to function properly." Which is to say, vents stuffed with debris need to be cleared.
Animal Damage: Call a pest-control pro if you spot any of these telltale signs: nests, droppings, and gnawed wood, wires, or insulations.
Structural Problems: The mere hint of a sagging roof—look up for this one—could indicate potential structural weakness requiring professional repair.
If prolonging your roof's life is your goal, experts say it pays to consult a professional roofing contractor who's insured and uses quality materials, like the new triple-layer line of Glenwood Shingles—the thickest of its kind, with an authentic wood-shake look—from GAF, North America's largest roofing manufacturer. A free service that makes it easy to find a factory-certified contractor in your area can be found at gaf.com.