How to Prevent Roof Leaks
Nov 7, 2022
Roof leaks can be costly. This is because water can enter a home without the homeowner noticing until it’s too late and the water has already caused costly damage. Water damage can be very expensive to repair. The best option is to prevent a roof leak before it’s even begun.
Check the Ventilation in Your Attic
Attic ventilation is important because it helps to prevent moisture from building up within the attic. Heat and moisture rise from the home below and if your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it can start to build up and cause mold and mildew to grow within the attic. This, in turn, can weaken the seal that prevents water from entering your attic, increasing the likelihood of leaks.
Your attic is supposed to be cool and dry. If it’s warm and humid, then the warm air isn’t able to escape. Check for signs of moisture within the attic, including condensation on trusses or elsewhere. If you notice mold or mildew, that’s a sign that moisture has been present for a long period of time.
Inspect Your Skylights
If you have skylights, it’s a good idea to inspect them regularly. While they can help bring a lot of light into your home, they’re also a possible point of entry for water. You should check your skylights to make sure that water isn’t coming in at their edges any time it rains.
The first thing to look for is where the water is coming in because this lets you know what is the most likely culprit. For example, water coming in by a lower corner close to the glass, the problem is probably with the seal around the glass. What is causing a skylight leak can be a complicated issue and if you notice water coming in near your skylights, it’s a good idea to have them professionally inspected.
Replace Your Skylights
If you have older skylights, then it’s a good idea to update them, especially if you’re already getting a roof replacement. Newer skylights typically have better energy ratings than older ones, which could save you money. Plus, new skylights won’t have the wear and tear that your old ones do, which can help prevent leaks.
Replace Your Roof
Roofs only last for so long. Some roofing materials, like metal, can last for longer than others, like shingles. But if your roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, it’s a good idea to replace it preemptively, even if you’re not currently experiencing leaks. You would need to replace your roof anyway and could save money by doing so before leaks began to occur.
If you’re replacing your roof, there are a number of ways you can improve its water resistance in order to prevent leaks.
Underlayment (Roof Deck Protection)
Installing underlayment can offer an additional protective layer on top of your roof deck. In fact, underlayment is sometimes called roof deck protection. Having this additional layer can help to prevent leaks should the integrity of your roofing materials become compromised. For example, if your shingles have begun curling or there’s a gap in the connections between metal roof panels, underlayment can help to keep water from leaking in.
Flashing is a protective barrier that directs water away from certain areas of your roof. It’s installed near openings in your roof, like where skylights, ventilation, chimneys, and more are located. Because these locations are more vulnerable to leaks, flashing can help to reduce that risk.
Similar to flashing, waterproof barriers are installed at openings in the roof, like the eaves, chimneys, skylights, vents, dormer windows, and more. Instead of redirecting the water away like the flashing does, a waterproof barrier’s job is to prevent water from getting through to the opening in the roof.
Have Your Roof Professionally Inspected
It’s also a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected on a regular basis. Some roof damage may not be immediately recognizable to an amateur’s eyes. Having a professional inspect your roof can help to ensure that damage is caught earlier before it can allow water to seep into your home and cause water damage or the growth of mold or mildew.
When Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?
At least once a year is recommended for roof inspections. However, if a strong storm has recently occurred, it’s a good idea to have a professional roofer check out your roof to make sure that the extreme weather conditions hadn’t impacted your roof.
Don’t Wait on Roof Repairs
If your roof is in need of repair, this isn’t something you can wait on. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that water will leak into your home, increasing the total costs. Instead of just the roof repair, you would also need to pay to fix the damage inside your home. Promptly repairing or even replacing a roof can help to prevent a lot of costly interior damage.
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