Keep an eye on the condition of your roof. While any change of season is a good time to evaluate the condition of your roof, the best times are early fall or late summer. This gives you enough time to make the necessary repairs before the arrival of winter weather while, at the same time, providing for longer days with maximum sunshine.
Missing shingles are the most common type of damage. These are usually caused by sunlight drying out the edge if shingles, causing them to rise up where they can be caught by wind and torn from the roof. Missing granules are also quite common. These are also caused by sunlight. The upper part of the shingle dries out and looses granules, exposing the fiberglass underneath. In either case, it's time for replacements.
While you may want to make repairs yourself, you should consider two things.
1. Are you qualified?
2. Do you really want to climb around on a roof, especially a steep roof?
Not only is there a safety factor involved, but also it's a matter of skill. Before you get out the ladder, ask yourself if you're really qualified. If the answer is no and the damage is slight, then it's possible to learn. The Internet is great for learning how to do simple repair jobs. Or, you can hire a professional.
If you decide to go the professional route, there are some things you should consider. For example, what kind of insurance does the contractor you are considering have? Can the contractor answer your questions and explain your roofing system in a clear and concise manner? Did he do a thorough roof inspection? Is there a charge for roof inspection?
Hiring a contractor is more than just hiring the lowest bidder. It's a matter of finding a professional who can do the job. And you can do a lot of roof inspection yourself with a pair of binoculars. You can also check inside your home, in the attic or in rooms just below the roof for leaks and discoloration. Even so, if you suspect a problem, you should at least have a professional inspection. Professionals have all the right safety equipment and the experience to notice what you might miss.
There are a number of websites, such as the Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org and RedBeacon.com, that provide great search tools for finding contractors in your area, what their credentials are and even if they recycle used shingles.
Keep your roof in good shape and it will serve you well. It's always better to spend a small amount of money to fix a small problem now and avoid a larger and more expensive problem later.