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Tip #122:  Gotcha Covered

roofFall is a good time to perform a roof inspection, before unpredictable weather makes it hard to notice minor damage that can lead to ice dams and leaks.

When inspecting the roof, be sure to check flashings, looking for rust, damage, nails pulling up, brittle caulking, and debris.

Look for asphalt granules under downspouts or in gutters.  This is a sign that shingles are on their way out and may need to be replaced.

Check for visible signs of leaking, like water stains on the roof, and in the attic and interior of the property.

Repair missing tiles or shingles pulled off during one of this season’s wind storms.  Also, replace shingles that are worn or curling up before ice and snow have a chance to finish the job.

With metal roofs, look for signs of corrosion along seams and joints.

With some types of shingles like slate or clay, it’s best not to walk over them but rather to inspect with a pair of binoculars to check for missing or broken pieces.

Or, if you prefer to hire the job out, see your AAOA Vendor Directory to find a contractor in your area.

By inspecting the roof three or more times per year, it may be possible to avoid damage from harsh, windy or wet weather, and extend the life of your roof — and that saves you money in the long run!

See last weeks Landlord Quick Tip.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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  • Louise

    On flat roofs (whether rolled roofing, hot mop, built-up, or similar), you need to pay particular attention to the perimeter. If you see the edge of the roofing material pulling away from the flashing edge (usually you can start to see the metal between the roofing material and the outer lip of the flashing), this means the roofing material is becoming “unadhered” or no longer affixed to the flashing. One good rain and a leak can occur by just going into this open area and under the roofing material. It is not damage to the roof per se, just an area that needs to be resealed.

    You can also take your fingernail and gently “pick” along the perimeter and if you can lift the roofing material, you have a potential leak area. As I inspect roofs for my job, I can say that at least half of the flat roofs are not installed correctly because the roofer did not properly prime the flashing so the roofing material would adhere to the metal. Within a few years, the perimeter edge does not stick anymore and leaks come in several areas.

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