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Inspecting a Roof:

Stay Off the Roof - It is generally not a good idea to get up on your roof to inspect it. Why? Basically for two reasons. First, roofs are dangerous because they are high, steep and you could slip and fall. Metal roofs are especially slippery. Other roofs can be slick too - particularly when they are wet or are covered in leaves, snow or ice. Second, many roofing materials shouldn't be walked on because this can damage them. Even flat roofs can be damaged by by patio furniture and foot traffic. To enjoy a rooftop deck you will need to have decking properly installed.
To inspect your roof you can either look at it through binoculars from the ground, or use a ladder for an up close look. From inside your attic you can also look for water stains that would indicate that your roof is leaking. Getting a professional opinion is a good idea as well. Roofing contractors from Renovation Experts can inspect your roof for you to properly diagnose its status. However, before you do that, here are some things that you can look for if you have an asphalt or a wood shingled roof:

Inspecting Asphalt Shingles:

To see if a roof with asphalt shingles needs to be replaced look for shingles that are rounded from wear, cupped or have flipped up or dog-eared edges. The same goes for shingles that are worn or shingles that have lost a large amount of gravel granules. If there is just one layer of shingles on the roof you can shingle over top of them. However, two layers of shingles is the limit. If your roof already has two layers it will need to be stripped before reroofing.

Inspecting Cedar Shingles:

A properly installed wood roof should last for 30 to 40 years, or in some cases even longer. To determine if your cedar shingled roof needs to be reroofed look at the ends of the wood shingles to see if they are split or cupped. Make sure you inspect the side of the roof that faces south as it receives the most exposure to the sun and therefore weathers more quickly. If there is a significant amount of moss check the attic to see if moisture is leaking through.

Look, as well, along the ridge of the roof to see how straight and level it is. If there is sagging it could be an indication that the roof has too many layers, the roofing material is too heavy for the house, or that the rafters are undersized. If there is sagging, that looks like waves, between the roof trusses the sheathing should be replaced with thicker wood the next time your re-shingle your roof.


Regardless of the kind of roofing material you choose, have your roof professionally installed. A poorly installed roof will not live up to its maximum possible longevity. Roofing contractors should install materials according to the manufacturers specification so as not to void the warranty.