Torn rubber and missing nails can allow gallons of water into your house.

It's springtime! The snow is gone, and this can only mean one thing: It's time for my yearly roof inspection. Living in Wisconsin, we get all four seasons of weather. Six months of winter followed by two months each of spring, summer and fall. OK, maybe I exaggerate, but you get the idea. Temperatures in the summer can exceed 100 degrees F and fall well below zero in winter. These extreme temperatures year after year can wreak havoc on roofs.

The heat and cold will cause your roof to expand and contract, which will cause nails to back out of shingles and metal flashing, cause caulk to crack and rubber gaskets to rot and tear. So, each spring after all the snow has melted, I like to climb up on the roof and inspect it for possible leaks and damage that could cause future leaks.

I have a ranch-style house, so there aren't many valleys or plumbing vents coming out of the roof. I have a routine and order that I like to follow so I don't miss anything. I start at the most common areas for roof leaks holes in shingles from nails backing out, roof valleys, flashing around plumbing and furnace vents, and finally, look for loose shingles and bumps in the shingles that indicate a nail is starting to back out. Being proactive and inspecting my roof each spring has saved me time and costly repairs.

In an hour and a half, I found and repaired five bumps and one slit in the rubber gasket around the plumbing vent. That's six potential roof leaks that won't turn into costly home and roof repairs. How many potential leaks did you find?


— Tim Davis, Digital Editor