Rain, wind, hail, intense sun—your roof protects you and your family from the elements 24 hours a day. Over time, all that exposure takes its toll on a roof and can lead to problems for the rest of your house. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you see water leaking during the next rainfall to find out the condition of your roofing system and what might need a little attention.

Fall is a great time to do a walk-around and check a few key things about your roof before the Portland weather gets colder. For an in-depth inspection that includes getting up on to the roof, it’s always best to leave that to a pro because it can be dangerous. But there are some important things you can look for yourself, right from the ground. That’s what this checklist is all about.

5 Things to Look for During a DIY Roof Inspection

1. The Condition of Shingles, Shakes, or Tiles

Walk around the house, looking at it from multiple angles, and pay attention to the edges of the roof. You’re looking for shingles (or shakes or tiles) that are cracked, missing, or seem to be pulling or curving up off the roof. It’s also important to look at the gutters and clean them out whenever necessary. If gutters are clogged, water can back up and seep under the shingles, which leads to things you really don’t want, like rotting or leaks.

2. Check on the Ground

Why should you look at the ground if you’re supposed to be inspecting your roof? Well, you should look at the ground for signs of excessive “granulation.” Basically, you’re looking for those little pebbles that are embedded onto the surface of shingles, giving them their rough texture. When a roof gets to a certain age, those pebbles may start coming off quickly, and that’s a sign some work needs to be done.  If you are able to ladder up to the gutter line, check for these granules is even better than checking the ground.

3. Flashing

Flashing is the metal that is placed over the joints in a roof to prevent water leaks. You’ll see it around chimneys, fan vents, plumbing vents, skylights, and anything else projecting out from the roof. Rusty, worn, or damaged flashing is one of the biggest causes of roofing leaks. The older your flashing is, the more you should keep an eye on it.

4. Moss

The weather here in Portland is ideal for moss growth. In fact, moss cleaning is one of the most common things we do for our customers. Letting moss or algae build up for too long can cause numerous problems.

5. Caulking

Look around the flashing and in the roof valleys (places where different rooflines meet). If caulking in those areas is cracked or has disappeared, water can easily get in and cause damage.

We’re Here to Help

If your visual inspection shows anything that you’re concerned about, our All Surface Cleaning team can help. We can evaluate roof maintenance issues and set you up with a plan to keep your roof in good shape. To learn more or to request your free estimate, contact our team online.