How To Inspect Your Roof While Standing On The Ground

As a homeowner, it is your job to inspect, maintain, and repair many aspects of your home, from the foundation to the roof. An asphalt shingle roof can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years so keeping an eye on it for signs of wear is important. There is nothing you can do to slow or prevent aging on your roof; the weather is the main factor in how long your roof will last. Everything from heavy rain and snow to salt water spray and UV rays can age asphalt shingles. Luckily, many telltale signs that you need a new roof are visible with the naked eye -- from the ground. 

1. Curling: If you stand just under your roofline and look up, your shingles should be flush against the roof. If the edges are curling up, it is a sign of age. When shingles are originally installed, they are soft and pliable. As they age, however, asphalt shingles harden and the edges slowly start to curl up. Not only does this prevent it from protecting the portion of your roof below it, but the shingle will eventually become so brittle that it breaks off.

2. Missing: Step back and look at the surface of your roof. If you notice any missing shingles, it is more likely due to age than to a strong storm. While fierce winds can rip shingles off a roof, shingles are required by code to stay firmly attached in 90 to 150 mph winds, depending on what part of the country you live in. If you notice missing shingles, you should have your local roofing company out for a closer look.

3. Gravel: Asphalt shingles are coated with a gravel-like material during the manufacturing process. This gravel acts as a protective coating for both the shingle and, in turn, for your roof. Over time, however, the gravel can wear off, which reduces the effectiveness of the shingle. As a homeowner, you can easily check for gravel loss by examining the splash guards just below your home's downspouts. Loose gravel is washed off your roof by rain or snow, carried into your home's gutters, and deposited into the splash guards where you can easily see it.

4. Broken Pieces: Last, but not least, take a walk around the perimeter of your home. Examine the ground and bushes for broken pieces of shingles, which is a clear indication that your roof has reached the end of its useful life. If shingles are breaking off in pieces, it is because they are reaching an advanced age. A brittle roof is ineffective at protecting your home. 

As you inspect your roof from the ground, take note of the current condition and any changes from the last visual inspection your performed. When you start to notice signs of age, call a company like US Roofing for a closer look.