Your Roof Inspection Checklist: Signs You Need a New Roof

roof inspection checklist - home

Your roof does more than simply cover your home — it protects everything under it, from your exterior walls to interior floors.

Although it would be nice if roofs lasted forever, roof replacement is a necessary part of homeownership if you live in one place long enough. However, you don’t necessarily need to replace your entire roof very often. The best way to stay on top of your roof installation, maintenance and replacement needs is to conduct assessments every six months or so. Spring and fall are great times to walk through the following roof inspection checklist items and make smart decisions about your roof.

How to Inspect Your Roof

Safety must be your number one concern when inspecting your roof. Make sure you’re prepared to inspect your roof in a few key ways:

  • From the ground: You can probably get a good vantage point of many areas of your roof just by walking around your property or neighborhood. This is by far the safest way to inspect your roof, especially if you cannot safely climb a ladder.
  • From your second-story windows: You may be able to open your second-story windows and use them to look at the roof material around them. Do not climb onto your roof from your windows, though.
  • From ladder access: You may be able to safely get to your roof using a ladder. Always work with someone else and use safety gear, wear proper footwear and take your time.
  • From inside the house: Looking at your ceiling from time to time can save you a bunch of money. Be sure to check the corners of ceilings exposed to your roof and your attic or crawl space.

Remember that there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional or asking a friend to assist you as you take care of your roofing inspection.

Roof Preventive Maintenance Checklist Items

Now that you know how to look at your roof, you’ll want to comprehensively consider the following checklist items. Keep a notebook handy to jot down any issues so you can explore fixes later.


Are your shingles starting to come up or buckling in places? Shingles that are coming loose can quickly become hazards as they let in moisture, which can lead to serious problems. Though you don’t necessarily have to install a new roof the moment your shingles start to show signs of wear, keep track of them. They can also be indicators that your attic ventilation isn’t working efficiently.

Roof Stability

You should never ignore a sagging roof. Letting your sagging roof go without replacement is like rolling the dice. One serious snowstorm or ice storm could be all it takes for your roof to completely buckle.


The gutters help keep water running away from your house and into your lawn or sewage system. Check to ensure that your gutters are clean and secure. You may be surprised to find that a part of the gutter has come loose or worn out. Make adjustments and repairs immediately to avoid moisture buildup.


The flashing around your chimney and any places where the roof intersects should be in good working order. Otherwise, it won’t channel moisture and debris away from your roof and into the gutters. We always recommend having a professional fix compromised flashing.

Shingle Granules

The granules on the top surface of shingles help protect the roof from constant sun exposure. If you notice a lot of granules building up in your gutters, your shingles are starting to lose their effectiveness.


A roof with moss doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced. However, it does deserve a good cleaning. Moss can lessen the lifespan of your roof and cost you more money in the long term. Therefore, it’s best to get someone to scrub it off.

Interior Walls and Ceilings

Have you begun to notice dark spots on the ceilings exposed to your roof? Do you smell an odor that reminds you of mildew? These could be red flags that you have a roof leak somewhere. Don’t allow them to go untended because mold can quickly cause wood to rot, impacting your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).

Is It Time for a Roof Replacement?

Most roofs can last up to 30 years before they need to be replaced. If you used the roof assessment checklist above to inspect your northern VA home’s roof and it’s time for a replacement, Sunshine Contracting can help. Contact us today for a free estimate on a new roof installation and replacement.

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