How to Prevent Roof Leakage: 6 Maintenance Tips
A roof leak is one of the most common reasons homeowners call for professional help. It is also one of the most costly issues that can cause serious damage to a home.
What makes this problem even more complicated is that more often than not, leaks are detected only after they have done considerable damage inside a home. It is, therefore, always highly recommended to act preventively and do whatever you can to keep your roof in a good functioning shape and keep all future problems at bay.
These 6 maintenance tips will help you prevent future leaks and with it prolong the lifespan of your roof.
Make Regular Roof Inspection Your Top Priority
Finding the sources of leaks can often be a very tough task, as they are usually very elusive. They will rarely line up with the areas where you see water getting into your home, such as spots on your walls and ceilings, blisters, paint peeling, and similar.
It takes an experienced professional with a trained eye to detect the path of the water and locate the sources of leakage before it spreads and turns into a bigger leak with serious consequences.
All that trouble can be avoided with a comprehensive roof maintenance plan. Just like any other part of your home, your roof needs some attention and care in order to function properly.
Therefore, the first and most important thing you can do is call your local roofer, set up a date, and have your roof professionally inspected.
The roofer will determine if your roof needs further attention, probably give you some pro maintenance tips, and arrange the next inspection and maintenance in due time.
Inspect the Attic
There are certain areas that your roofer will advise you to pay attention to, and one of them will be the attic.
Therefore, before you start inspecting different aspects of your roof outside, make sure that there is nothing inside your home that may be causing leaks. The attic is probably the least obvious culprit of a roof leak and, therefore, it doesn’t surprise that it is very often overlooked.
Homeowners are sometimes not familiar with all the aspects of their attic and how they can affect other parts of their home, so let’s take a look at some of the most critical areas.
Attic ventilation should be the first thing to be inspected when you are up there. Make sure that the parts of the ventilation, such as the soffit vents, louvers or ridge vents are never blocked, as their blockage can lead to a dangerous moisture and heat buildup.
This buildup can cause the insulation to soak and lose its functionality, the shingles to buckle, or the sheathing and rafters to rot. The intake vent can also sometimes be clogged, so make an effort to inspect your entire ventilation system and clean it thoroughly.
Other signs of leaks and moisture buildup can be mold present in the attic, which can easily and quickly spread, as well as signs of algae on the interior plywood or black stains or rust around any of the nails in the attic and roof structure.
As soon as you notice any of these issues, it is best to call in professionals who will deal with it adequately.
Pay Attention to Roof Flashing
Your roof flashing is a common source of roof leaks. It refers to all the metal, or sometimes vinyl pieces of material that are used to connect the different parts of your roof, such as skylights, chimneys, vents, or the places where the wall and roof meet, different roof junctions, etc.
These areas, therefore, need to be tightly fitted, strong, and resistant in order to prevent water from seeping in between the different parts of the roof and into your home.
You should check for gaps or holes in the flashing and make sure that it is not loose, bent, or damaged in any way.
A trained eye, on the other hand, is much more likely to notice any issues with flashing, issues that may easily escape you. So to be on the safe side, have a roofing expert take another look at it.
Check the Roof’s Drip Edge
Apart from adding curb appeal to your home, the drip edge of your roof also has a very important function – and that is to keep the water off the roof and away from the fascia. When inspecting this part, it is important to locate any damages and especially missing drip edges.
When a drip edge is missing, there will be a gap between the fascia board and the roof deck where the water can get in. The water can then cause the wood to rot as well as find its way into the interior walls and ceilings.
Apart from that, these gaps can also be entry points for different insects and critters, which is an additional reason to make sure your drip edges are safely in place and functioning properly.
Clean and Maintain Your Gutter System
Gutters and downspouts are very important parts of a home and roof system and play an integral part in preventing water damage and roof leaks.
They should be a part of your regular roof maintenance and inspection plan and be cleaned at least twice a year. They are the ones that allow proper roof drainage and that direct the water away from the roof and the house.
Gutters can get clogged by dirt, leaves, branches, twigs, pine needles, and any other outdoor debris that falls into them. This can happen more often if there are trees and bushes around your home, so you should make a habit of inspecting the gutters from time to time and schedule a professional annual cleaning to maximize their lifespan.
Once clogged, the gutters cannot direct the water down and off of the roof, but the water will pool or even back up under the shingles and into your walls and ceilings, causing leaks and water damage.
Therefore, it is important to keep the gutter system clean so that the water can drain properly, as well as make sure that they are properly fastened and secured to the home’s exterior.
Take Care of the Trees and Branches
Big trees that overhang your roof, as well as trees and bushes that are too close to your home, can pose certain risks to your home and your roof.
They can create shaded and damp areas, they can damage your roof if they are close enough to it, scratch the roofing material, and even puncture it or the windows during strong winds and storms. Apart from that, there will be more debris buildup in your gutters, increasing the chances of clogs.
All of this can lead to roof leaks and water damage, so in order to decrease those risks, make sure to trim all the trees and bushes that are too close to your home, ensuring that there are no heavy branches overhanging your roof.
Roof leaks and water damage are costly problems that are very often detected too late when the damage is already there. By keeping these tips in mind and taking proper precautions, the issues may be prevented and your roof’s life prolonged.
Create a maintenance plan, have your roof inspected regularly by a professional roof replacement company, and you will stay ahead of problems.