One of the secrets to successfully owning a home is to make sure that you are extending the life of your roof through routine maintenance and inspection. Just like a car that needs regular oil changes to keep it from breaking down due to a larger issue, the roof of your home should be inspected at least once a year in order to prevent much more serious issue from occurring. These serious issues can be costly and time consuming to fix, so you can save yourself a very big headache down the road by performing the necessary roof repairs now instead of later. Some of the issues that you could be dealing with if you delay are mold, wood rot, damaged drywall, damaged floor boards, insect infestations and of course being forced to replace your entire roof far before it is normally time to do so.
Official inspections are typically done when a home is being purchased or sold. A residential roof expert comes to your property and gives the roof an inspection both inside and outside of the house and then writes up a certification for the roof as well as a detailed analysis of any potential problems that they discovered during their inspection. These reports tend to be the most reliable and can be great negotiating tools when you are buying a home. However, if you already own your home, and you would simply like to do a check up on the state of your roof, you can choose to have a roofer come to your house to take a look at it, but you can also do most of the inspection yourself.
If you decide to do the inspection yourself, you will need a good flashlight, access to your attic and a tall sturdy ladder that can give you access to your roof, and an extra person to hold your ladder. Starting with the inside of your home: walk around the entire home and take a good look at the ceilings in every room. Look for any kind if irregularity on the ceiling. This could be a dip or bulge in the ceiling or some kind of discoloration in the paint. If you see anything, use your ladder to get as close to the irregularity as possible so that you can examine it further. Does the spot have any moisture on it? Does it give in when you touch it? This could be signs of water damage, which means that you have a leak somewhere in your roof and need to contact your roofer for repairs.
Once you are done with the ceilings in your home, try to get up into your attic if at all possible. Take your flashlight with you. You are looking for any dark spots that may indicate that water is getting past the shingles. Also look for any light that is coming through the roof. If you can access the roof from outside, walk around and look for loose shingles or debris that could indicate a problem.