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No matter what type of roof you have, once winter’s over, you should take time to inspect it. Use the following 7 steps to check whether any shingles need replacing or if there have been any leaks.

Time: 4 hours
Difficulty level: High

1. Climb up on the roof safely, following the recommendations of professionals and using the appropriate equipment: a harness, rope grab, safety catch, attachment point, energy-absorbing lanyard and ladder. Let the specialists do the inspection if there is the slightest risk.

2. Inspect the condition of the roof’s structure overall. Do you see any sagging, bulges, cracks, etc.?

3. If you have a flat roof, make sure the drain isn’t obstructed and that there are no puddles of standing water.

4. If you have any devices on the roof, make sure they are attached securely and not damaging the roof structure.

5. Clear any branches or debris that might have collected on the roof surface.

6. Check the condition of your roof’s cladding material. Here are the various materials to check as well as examples of the type of damage to look for:

Elastomeric membrane Look for any discolouration or loss of elasticity.
PVC membrane Check for tears.
EPDM membrane Look for any signs of rot or loss of elasticity.
Asphalt shingles Look for signs of wear.
Cedar shingles Look for signs of aging.
Slate Look for signs of flaking or erosion.
Asphalt and gravel Look for signs of deterioration.
Metal Look for signs of aging.

7. Inspect the flashing: These are the joints or mouldings that maintain the watertightness of the roof and other elements. The flashing should be in good condition. 

Photo: Getty Images/Ryerson Clark

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