How to Inspect Your Roof

What to look for and when to call a professional

Too many of us take our roofs for granted -- it’s not something we think about unless there’s a problem. But by giving your roof a brief inspection, small problems won’t lead to giant catastrophes. Here’s a quick way to determine if your roof is in good shape.

What to Look For

Inspecting your roof does not mean walking on the roof. Roof walking is dangerous and best left to the professional. So first things first, stay off the roof!

From the safety of the ground or through a window, perform a visual inspection of the roof with binoculars. Remember: A roof is designed to age over time. Even a one-year-old roof will look different than a roof that was just installed. But by inspecting your roof regularly, you can spot changes and potential problems.  

Look for signs of aging and damage:
Do you notice damaged or missing shingles?
Are there any bald spots or areas of noticeable granule loss on the shingles?
Are any of the shingles severely curling? (Mild curling is normal and occurs as the roof ages. You’re looking for more significant or abnormal curling.)


Getting a Closer Look

After a preliminary inspection from the ground a closer look may be necessary. Safely climb a ladder to get a closer look at your roof. But stay off the roof itself -- not only is it dangerous to walk on the roof, you can potentially do more damage to the shingles.


After examining the roof from the outside, it’s time to check things from inside. Armed with a flashlight, inspect the attic and crawl spaces after heavy rains. Do you notice any signs of water damage? Are any of the rafters or decking wet? Has any of the insulation gotten wet? Water stains on material are a good sign that you’ve got damage.

Get the Right Help

If you notice any damage, don’t waste time and energy trying to fix the problem yourself. Hire a credentialed contractor to properly inspect your roof and repair the problem correctly. For tips and information about hiring a credentialed roofing contractor, check out our step-by-step guide.

Checking your roof now is an easy way to avoid disaster later -- just remember to be safe and to call professionals for any repairs or replacements.

To learn more about the life cycle of a roof, check out our homeowner’s brochure. Should you need a new roof, you can explore a world of design and color options by visiting our Inspiration Gallery.