Last Updated May 2, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider
It's easy to take your guttering and roof for granted. Then one day a problem occurs and it's too late. An annual DIY guttering and roof check can prevent a leaking roof and expensive repairs. This guttering and roof maintenance checklist will help alert you to potential problems before they get out of hand.
Walking around on the roof is not good for your roof and can be hazardous. Use a ladder and if you need a closer look, a pair of binoculars can help you zero in on the problem areas. If you spot a problem, you may be tempted to take a DIY approach and fix it yourself. Before you do, ask yourself if you are really the person for the job and if your roof is safe to walk on. If your roof pitch is steep, you're taking a big risk. If your roof is dirty or mouldy looking, it can be slippery and if you use water to clean the roof, it can become dangerously slippery.
You need to inspect your guttering from below and above. From below, look for:
Also take a look at the ground around your gutters and drain pipes. If you see signs of erosion, it may be because your guttering or drain pipes are faulty. Guttering is designed to direct water away from the home. If it's not doing its job, water can damage your foundations.
Most guttering problems begin when leaves, dirt and debris accumulates in the gutters. You can only inspect this from a ladder. Make sure your ladder is secure and work your way around your house to give your guttering a thorough inspection. If leaves and debris are present, it's time for a thorough cleaning.
Take note of areas where leaves and debris have accumulated. It could be a sign that:
While you're on your ladder, take a closer look at your roofing. Depending on your roofing material, some common problems can be:
Any roof will have flashing and sealants around roof attachments. Flashing and sealants can cause major problems before the roofing material needs replacing or repairing. Look for:
After you've checked your roof from your ladder, take a walk around your house and look for peeling paint under roof overhangs. Peeling or chipping paint can be an indication that moisture is finding its way past your roofing or guttering.
You can also spot potential problem areas from under your roof. Take a torch and inspect your roof from your ceiling cavity or attic. Before you turn on your torch, look for signs of daylight coming through the roof. If light can penetrate your roof, so can water. Now turn on your torch and look for:
Inside your home, dark spots on your ceiling are a sure sign your roof is leaking.
If your guttering or roofing needs repair, think twice about taking a DIY approach. You may be able to fix a minor problem, but consider hiring a roof repair specialist. A small problem in one area may be a sign that the problem is hidden somewhere else on your roof. The repair service will fix your problem for you and may find other areas that need repair. It is much less expensive to have all your repairs done at once. When the job is done, you will have the confidence of knowing your roofing and guttering are ready for whatever nature throws at them.