Preventing a Leaking Roof
If you have ever dealt with a leaking roof or know of someone who has, you know the huge mess and expense involved. Roofs can leak for a variety of reasons such as old age of the roofing material, exposure to harsh climates and elements, and even poor installation. While repair is often something that could be done as a do-it-yourself project, regardless of damage or type of roofing material, the key is to do everything possible to prevent a leaking roof in the first place.
Since the time for repair, not to mention the money it can cost for the more significant problems, we wanted to provide some helpful tips for preventing a leaking roof so you never have to worry. Although unexpected things can always happen, the information provided would dramatically reduce risk. With this, not only do you eliminate money from your pocket for repair but possibly money that would be spent in hiring a professional contractor.
• Check High Risk Areas – The roof should be inspected several times a year, paying close attention to areas that are at highest risk. For instance, flashing around the chimney, skylight, eaves, etc. would be one of the first places to look. In addition, wall step flashings, plumbing vent flashing, ice dams, obvious areas of damaged shingles, and furnace shingles must be checked. If you notice water spots on the ceiling within the home, chances are good the leak is directly above or in close proximity to that same spot on the roof.
• Be Prepared – Another excellent method for preventing a leaking roof is to be prepared for emergencies. Unfortunately, most homeowners are not prepared so once a leak starts, you would experience damage is done before a repair is made. It would be wise to keep a thick plastic sheet, as well as roofing nails, and seam tape on hand. That way, if you were to notice a leak at night or on the weekend, you could stop serious damage until you can get appropriate materials for a permanent fix.
• Extra Shingles – If you have a shingle roof, have several replacement shingles handy. In addition, for preventing a leaking roof of this type as you do your inspection, look specifically for any shingles that have bent corners or debris that has worked its way under the edges. In both cases, the shingles have an opening for moisture that needs to be stopped. As soon as damaged shingles are found, use the new shingles for replacement.
• Pay Attention to Pipes – Finally, preventing a leaking roof is possible by paying attention to pipes. Often, a leak will be connected to damaged or worn areas around flashing or collars. If the problem is identified early enough, repairs could be done by you but sometimes, the leak has existed for some time, leading to wood rot beneath. In this case, it might be best to have a contractor replace any wood that has been damaged.