If you have binoculars, you can begin your DIY roof checkup from the ground. Start by walking around your house and checking your roof for piles of leaves or other growth or debris, all of which can cause serious damage to a roof. They can trap moisture, which can seep into the sheathing below your shingles and even into the structural elements of the roof itself. You should clear these away immediately.
Hot air in your attic can cause your shingles to warp, buckle, or curl. (This is typically an issue with asphalt shingles.) Misshapen shingles can compromise the integrity of your roof, letting in water and causing poor ventilation, so they should be replaced. If more than one-third of your shingles are curling during your roof inspection and repair process, it’s time to re-shingle the entire roof.
Missing or damaged shingles can also let water seep through your roof. If you have wooden shingles or wood shake shingles, inspect them for signs of dry rot, either from the ground or from a ladder (don’t walk on a wooden shingle or shake roof). Asbestos, slate, or clay tile roofs can suffer from breakage, so look for cracked, chipped, broken, or altogether missing shingles. If you’re performing a metal roof inspection, check for signs of corrosion, rust, stress wrinkling, or other wear.