DIY roof inspection

Tips on a DIY Roof Inspection

Summer’s the Perfect Season for a DIY Roof Inspection

With Boulder’s summer weather clear and dry, it’s the perfect time to check on one of your home’s most important parts—your roof. Regular roof inspections are key to keeping your home intact and avoiding costly repairs, and the current conditions make it easier and safer to do so.

This article will walk you through how to inspect your roof safely. We’ll cover what to look for, how to spot problems, and when to call in the pros. While DIY inspections are helpful, they are meant to complement, not replace, professional inspections, especially when major repairs are needed.

At Roof Masters of Colorado, we believe in educating homeowners and providing professional support when needed. Let’s take advantage of this summer weather to get your roof in shape for years to come.

Safety First: Before Your DIY Roof Inspection

Before you start your DIY roof inspection, safety must be your top priority. Roof inspections can be dangerous if not done properly. Here’s how to prepare:

Essential Safety Gear:

  1. Non-slip shoes: Make sure you have good traction shoes.
  2. Safety goggles: Protect your eyes from debris.
  3. Gloves: To protect against sharp edges and rough surfaces.
  4. Sun protection: Apply sunscreen and wear a hat. You’ll be in direct sunlight.

Ladder Safety:

  1. Use a sturdy ladder that extends at least 3 feet above the roof edge.
  2. Place the ladder on solid ground. Always climb your ladder carefully.
  3. Always have three points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand).
  4. Never lean too far to either side; move the ladder instead.

Best Time to Inspect: Choose a dry day with good visibility. Early morning or late afternoon is best to avoid the midday heat. But make sure there’s enough daylight to see clearly.

Ground Level: Before you climb, inspect the ground level. Look for obvious damage or wear, missing shingles, or debris on the ground. This will help guide your up-close inspection later.

Attic Check: Remember to check your attic for roof problems. Look for water stains, daylight coming through the roof boards, or sagging areas.

Remember, if you’re not comfortable with heights or unsure how to do the inspection safely, it’s always best to call a professional roofing contractor. At Roof Masters of Colorado, we prioritize safety and can do a full roof inspection without putting you at risk.

DIY Roof Inspection Guide

Now that you’re prepared and have your safety measures in place let’s walk through the process of inspecting your roof. Remember this is a visual inspection don’t attempt any repairs during this process.

1. Ground Level

  1. Start by walking around your house and looking up at the roof from all angles for any visible damage. Look for:
    • Missing, cracked, or curled shingles
    • Sagging areas or dips in the roofline
    • Granules (looks like dark sand) in gutters or on the ground
    • Algae growth or moss (appears as dark streaks)

2. Gutter and Downspout

  • Gutters are securely attached to the house
  • Water damage or stains on the underside of eaves
  • Downspouts direct water away from the foundation
  • Clear debris from gutters to prevent water backup

3. Attic

  • Water stains, dark spots, or sagging in the decking
  • Daylight coming through the roof boards
  • Proper ventilation and insulation
  • Musty smells that could indicate moisture problems

4. Exterior Roof (if safe to do so)

  • Examine shingles for cracks, blisters, or missing pieces
  • Flashing around chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations
  • Loose or exposed nails
  • Condition of caulk or sealant around vents and other openings

5. Chimney

  • Cracks in the chimney cap
  • Flashing around the chimney is intact and sealed
  • Loose or missing mortar between bricks

Take notes and photos of any areas of concern. This will be helpful if you need to call a roofer later.

Remember, this is a DIY inspection to identify problems, not fix them. If you find anything significant or are unsure about what you see, it’s time to call the experts. At Roof Masters of Colorado, we can handle any roofing concern, from minor repairs to full replacements.

What to Look For

As you do your DIY roof inspection, you must know what to look for. Here are the areas of concern and what they mean:

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Missing, cracked, or curled shingles are obvious signs of roof damage. These can lead to leaks and further deterioration if left unaddressed. Pay extra attention to the edges and ridges of the roof as these areas are more prone to wind damage.

Water Damage

Water stains on your ceiling or attic are red flags for roof leaks. In the attic, look for dark spots on the underside of the roof deck or damp insulation. These could be ongoing leaks that need attention now.

Algae Growth and Debris

Dark streaks on your roof are usually algae growth. While an aesthetic issue, severe algae growth can cause shingles to age prematurely. Also check for debris accumulation, especially in valleys or near chimneys as this can impede water flow.

Flashing and Vent Pipe

Inspect flashing around chimneys, vents and other roof penetrations. Damaged or loose flashing is a common source of leaks. Check that vent pipes are sealed and rubber boots around them are not cracked or deteriorated.

Sagging Areas or Visible Structural Issues

A sagging roofline is a big problem that could be a structural issue. This could be from long term water damage, poor ventilation or even foundation problems. If you see any sagging it’s time to have a professional assessment ASAP.

Granule Loss

Check your gutters and the ground around your home for granules (they look like coarse dark sand). Excessive granule loss from asphalt shingles is a sign of wear and tear and may mean your roof is near the end of its life.

Interior Signs

Don’t forget to check inside your home. Look for water stains on ceilings, peeling paint near roof overhangs and damp spots on exterior walls. These could be signs of roof leaks.

Attic Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation is key to roof health. Poor ventilation can cause heat and moisture buildup which can damage your roof from the inside out. Check that attic vents are clear and unobstructed.

Remember identifying these issues early can save you from costly repairs down the line. But if you see any of these or are unsure what you see it’s time to call the experts. At Roof Masters of Colorado we can diagnose and fix any roofing issue so your home is protected for years to come.

Roofing Materials and Their Issues

Different roofing materials have different characteristics and problems. Knowing what to look for based on your roof type will help you inspect more effectively. Here are some common roofing materials used in Boulder and their issues:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in Colorado because they are affordable and durable.

Look for:

  • Curling or clawing edges
  • Bald spots where granules have worn off
  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Black streaks for algae growth
  • Shingles that are wet or saturated

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are becoming popular for their longevity and energy efficiency.

Look for:

  • Loose or missing fasteners
  • Corrosion or rust spots
  • Dents from hail or falling debris
  • Gaps in seams or between panels
  • Water pooling

Tile and Slate

These materials have a unique look and are very durable.

Look for:

  • Cracked, chipped or missing tiles
  • Efflorescence (white, chalky substance) indicating moisture issues
  • Sagging in the roof deck as these materials are heavy
  • Damaged or missing flashing around tiles

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood roofing gives a natural, rustic look but requires more maintenance.

Look for:

  • Split or rotten shakes
  • Moss or algae growth
  • Curling or cupping of shakes
  • Missing or damaged shakes
  • Pest infestation

Flat or Low-Slope Roofs

Found on commercial buildings but also some residential homes.

Look for:

  • Ponding water or standing water
  • Bubbles or blisters in the roofing material
  • Cracks or tears in the membrane
  • Separated seams
  • Damage to flashing or edging

No matter what material your roof is, regular inspections and maintenance will extend the life of your roof. If you’re unsure of your roof condition or see any of these issues it’s time to call in the pros. At Roof Masters of Colorado we know roofing materials and can diagnose and fix any issue.

Remember identifying issues early can save you from costly repairs or replacement. In the next section we’ll talk about when to call a roofing contractor.

Why a Professional Roof Inspection

While DIY roof inspections are a good first step in roof maintenance, professional inspections have several advantages. Here’s why working with experts like Roof Masters of Colorado is so valuable for your home:

Expertise and Specialized Tools

Professional roofers have years of experience and training behind every inspection. They know what to look for and can see subtle damage that an untrained eye might miss. They also have access to:

  • Infrared cameras to see hidden moisture
  • Drones to inspect hard to reach areas
  • Professional grade moisture meters for accurate readings

This expertise and technology allows for a more detailed and accurate assessment of your roof.

Full Assessment

A professional inspection goes beyond what you can see on the surface. Roofing contractors will:

  • Inspect the structure of your roof
  • Check the condition of underlayment and decking
  • Evaluate your attic ventilation
  • Check for proper insulation to prevent ice dams
  • Inspect flashing and seals around vents, chimneys and other penetrations

This full assessment leaves no stone unturned.

Cost Savings Through Early Detection

Professional inspectors can catch minor issues before they become major problems. Early detection and repair of:

  • Small leaks
  • Damaged flashing
  • Loose shingles
  • Minor structural issues

can save you from costly repairs or replacement down the road. This proactive approach often means big long term savings.


After the inspection a professional roofer can provide:

  • A detailed report of your roof condition
  • Recommendations for repairs or maintenance
  • An estimate of your roof’s remaining life
  • Advice on how to improve your roof’s performance and life

This information is useful for future home projects and budgeting for future roofing work.

For Insurance Purposes

Professional inspections provide official documentation of your roof condition. This is important when:

  • Filing an insurance claim after a storm
  • Disputing an insurance company’s assessment
  • Proving you’ve maintained your roof over time

Peace of Mind

Most importantly a professional inspection gives you peace of mind. You’ll know what shape your roof is in and what, if anything, you need to do to protect your home.

Roof Masters of Colorado offers full, transparent assessments and straight talk about your roof needs. We aim to help you make smart decisions about your home’s most important asset.

Remember, while DIY inspections are good for regular checks, combining them with periodic professional inspections is the best roof care plan. Next up we’ll talk about why Roof Masters of Colorado is the best choice for roofing services in Boulder.

Why Choose Roof Masters of Colorado

Roof Masters of Colorado is Boulder’s trusted roofing expert, offering over 28 years of experience and comprehensive services for both residential and commercial properties. As a women-owned business led by Monica Hoffmann, we bring a unique perspective to the industry.

Our A+ BBB rating and certifications from Owens Corning and Malarkey reflect our commitment to quality. We understand Colorado’s climate challenges and provide tailored, durable solutions.

We prioritize customer satisfaction through transparent communication, free estimates, and 24/7 emergency services. Our use of premium materials and expert craftsmanship ensures long-lasting results.

For roofing excellence with integrity, choose Roof Masters of Colorado. Call (720) 536-5585 to schedule your free estimate today.