A strong spring or summer storm can lead to expensive and unexpected roof repairs. So with winter in the rear-view mirror, now is a great time to get out and look over your roof to make sure it's ready when those big storms inevitably roll through.
Roofer Joel Poulin of Ray St. Clair Roofing took us on an inspection to show us precisely what you should do to prevent costly repairs.
Curling shingles? OK. Missing? Trouble.
While inspecting a roof that was 15 to 20 years old, he found a few curling shingles, which he says is expected on a roof that old.
Missing shingles, however, are not OK as they lead to water leaks and rotting wood down below.
"This time of year, you might see maybe some broken pieces, or the tabs themselves, indicating there is some damage up there," he said.
Another thing to look for, he said, is moss. While algae discoloration is not critical, Poulin said, moss eats into shingles and eventually destroys them.
"The moss, if it's grown and rooted into the shingle, that could be the most damaging," he said.
He suggests hiring a professional roof cleaning company to remove the moss.
Other things to check for
Angi Orbann with Travelers Insurance says always have your roof inspected if you suspect damage from a storm. She also recommends annual inspections for general wear and tear as well.
"Check the seals, the flashing, the details underneath the shingles," she said.
As you're inspecting your roof, she says don't forget to check your gutters and make sure they're secure and not clogged.
"There could be debris that built up over the winter, so you'll want to look to clean those gutters out and make sure they're flowing," she said.
In the case of missing or curling shingles, Orbann's advice is to fix minor problems now, before they become bigger problems in a few months.
"That damage," she said, "can lead to more damage in a wind event."
Lastly, if you're in a hail or hurricane-prone area, she suggests asking about impact-resistant shingles that can better protect against storm damage, saving you money in the long run.
In the end, Poulin gave the roof a passing grade.
"There are a couple of shingles that have a little bit of curling," he told the owner, "but everything else is in really good shape."
So take a half hour to do an annual check, and fix roof problems before they get worse, and that way you don't waste your money.
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