We get it -- climbing a ladder can be nerve-wracking for many people. No one wants to fall off a ladder or, worse, off the roof. There are, however, many reasons why you need to fight that fear and get climbing. 

1. Shingles: Homeowners should take a closer look at their asphalt shingles at least once a year. Any shingles that have curling edges or broken corners indicate advanced age. Shingles are pliable when installed, but harden with age, eventually breaking off. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, the average asphalt shingle only lasts 20 years or so. Mother Nature is the culprit. Extreme weather, from wind, rain, snow, salt water spray, and even UV rays shorten the life of a roof. If you are unsure on the health of your shingles, you can call in the professionals and ask them to take a look. 

2. Chimney: As the leaves change colors and the air becomes cool, many homeowners like to enjoy a crackling fire in their home's fireplace. Before roasting any chestnuts, however, you will want to make sure that your chimney is sturdy and clear of debris. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends doing a visual inspection at least once a year.

3. Gutters: Your gutters should be checked, and cleaned if full, every spring and every fall. Once the temperatures drop, the leaves can collect water and freeze, which can cause serious damage to your gutters and, if left unchecked, to your attic space. You'll need to climb up on that ladder and see what is in them yourself. If they are filling up with leaves, sticks, and other debris, you can call a professional gutter service to clean them for you. 

4. Roof Health: While you are up on your ladder this fall, take a walk around on your roof. Yes, on the roof. While you are up there looking for anything unusual, pay attention to how your roof feels under your feet. If it feels loose, spongy, or like you are in an inflatable bounce house, you'll need to call in your friendly, neighborhood roofers. Your roof should be firm, not bouncy. When shingles age, they have a harder time preventing water from reaching the plywood underlayment, causing it to soften and break down. 

5. Holiday Decor: Channeling your inner Clark Griswold requires a ladder and holiday lights. Lots and lots of holiday lights. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that there are 250 injuries a day during the holiday season, including falls from ladders. Don't be like Clark

Contact a company like Hogan  Roofing for more information and assistance.