Check out our store for energy conservation books and online training for energy auditors and other job skills.
Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to see how well your roof has weathered the rigors of winter. Few things can shorten the life of your home faster than a roof leak, and even a minor roof leak can damage your attic insulation before you notice it from inside.
If you choose to climb up on your roof, use a sturdy ladder and be sure you are comfortable with heights.
Otherwise, stick to the ground to assess these items.
Look for any loose or missing shingles. If there are just a few, have a roofing contractor repair them. If the damage is widespread, it may be time for a replacement.
Look for places where leaves and other debris accumulate. Have these areas cleaned every year, since they will often be the first places to fail as your roof reaches the end of its lifespan.
Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged. Gutters are intended to protect your home from water damage, and they can’t function if they are full of debris. Look at the base of your downspouts, too, to confirm that water doesn’t puddle up against your home’s foundation.
Inspect your chimneys. Your heating equipment depends on a chimney to safely carry combustion gases out of your home. Be sure that the mortar joints in masonry chimneys are solid, and that no bricks are missing. Check that metal chimneys are straight and that no holes have developed. A little rust is normal, but extensive corrosion could indicate trouble elsewhere in the system. If you note any such problems, have a heating contractor to perform repairs.
You can either do a roof inspection using binoculars from the ground, by looking out a second story window, or from a ladder.