Tips for Preventing Leaks and Damages to Your Roof
Updated: Feb 2
A leaking roof is one of those problems that are rarely detected until they have had a chance to do serious damage.
Most major roof leaks often begin as minor issues that could have been detected with regular inspections and repaired cheaply. But because the roof is mostly out of the homeowner's sight, it often goes out of mind too.
That is until the neglected roof begins to create damage to more visible parts of the building. Regular roof maintenance will not only prolong the life of your roof, explains Rent Smart USA, but it will also protect everything below that roof.
Here are the tips you can follow to prevent needless expense on roof damage and leaks:
Inspect the roof regularly
Detecting weak spots on a roof before they become leaks is the best way to fix roof damage. Waiting until a leak occurs can be disastrous; roof leaks are notoriously difficult to detect.
The water damage from a leak does not always cluster around the source of the leak.
That’s because water travels and the signs of the leaks can occur far away from the actual leak. And usually, it takes an experienced person to trace its path and pinpoint the source of the leak.
But this trouble can be avoided if the roof is inspected regularly.
Do not overlook ponding surfaces
If water pools on parts of a roof's surface when it rains, it could be a sign of an impending leak. This problem is known as ponding and it predisposes the roof to rot.
Ponding is more likely to happen on a flat or low-sloped roof than on a roof with a steep pitch. If you notice this problem, contact a professional.
Repair damaged tiles or shingles promptly
If shingles are shedding excess debris, that could mean trouble. Asphalt shingles normally shed granules, but when you start to see a buildup of granules in gutters and downspouts, the roof should be inspected.
This is often a sign that the roof is losing its functionality. Also, cracked, bent, and discolored shingles should be repaired or replaced immediately.
Broken Tiles from pressure cleaning and wind damage can expose underlayment and should be fixed quickly.
Inspect the attic regularly
Roof damage sometimes originates from inside a home. If parts of the attic ventilation system are blocked or shut, it can lead to a dangerous build-up of heat and moisture.
As a result, the insulation becomes soaked, the sheathing and rafters start to rot, and the roof begins to cave in.
Another way attic ventilation leads to roof damage is through the growth of mold and algae.
A poorly ventilated attic creates conditions conducive to algae and mold growth. Regular inspection of the attic and its ventilation systems prevents this problem.
Pay attention to flashing
Flashings are those metal or vinyl pieces used as connectors in places where the roof meets the walls of the house.
They are commonly found around chimneys, skylights, and vents. And they are prone to leaking.
Flashing should be strong, resistant, and tightly fitted to prevent water from seeping into the roof and the home. Loose, bent, weak, damaged, or punctured flashing will leak.
This means that when inspecting the roof, special attention should be given to joints, openings, protrusions, or similar things on the roof.
Check the roof’s drip edge
The drip edge is more than an aesthetic addition that improves the appearance of a property. It directs water away from the fascia and keeps it from getting into the roof.
Damage to the drip edge or gaps in it will create openings for water to get into the roof.
This is a common cause of wood rot and damage to interior walls or a home's ceiling. Moreover, holes in the drip edge allow bugs and other creatures to get into the roof, further compounding the problem.
Inspect and clean gutters regularly
Gutters and downspouts are critical to the home's ability to protect itself from the incursion of rainwater.
They channel water away from the roof and walls of a house. But gutters and downspouts are vulnerable to the accumulation of litter.
They are easily clogged with leaves and twigs from nearby trees and flying debris.
Clogged gutters cannot keep water away from the home. Instead, the water soaks into the debris in the gutters, and ponds on the roof, and overflows onto the walls of the home. Gutters and downspouts should be inspected and cleaned regularly.
Keep tree branches and bushes away from the roof
Overhanging tree branches can create shaded areas on the roof that are favorable to the growth of moss.
If they are close enough, they can brush against a roof's surface and damage the materials.
During a storm, heavy tree branches can bang against the roof and puncture it. Furthermore, they shed their leaves onto the roof and increasing the possibility of the gutters getting blocked.
Tree branches and bushes should be trimmed back so they are not too close to the roof.