Protecting your roof from on-going water damage is important for the prevention of expensive roof leaks. When it’s dry, only rains a little, or if you have small leaks that are being absorbed by the attic, a leaky roof will go unnoticed. Most leaks form when it’s not raining. In some ways, small leaks can be worse than major leaks because they go unnoticed and, over time, lead to much more expensive damage, such as rot and mold.
Roof Water Damage Prevention
Falling leaves, acorns, and other small debris can clog your gutters and downspouts, giving the water a place to accumulate. Use a garden hose to remove clogs and keep your gutters clear.
Some roof leaks are caused by cracked or missing chimney and vent flashing or compromised pipe collars. If the flashing or collar is badly damaged, it may need to be replaced. If the seal has failed, it may be possible to repair it with roofing tar in some cases. Certain types of roofs have an inherent resistance to storms and wear. However, thermal expansion from freeze/thaw cycles and extreme heat are very hard on your roof and should be something you take into account.
Signs Of Water Damage To Look For
If you don’t have gutters, now is the time to consider installing them. Without gutters, water can drip off the roof and damage your siding. If you have gutters, check to make sure they are free of leaves and debris. A gutter cleaning will prevent dangerous overflow during rainy seasons.
Heavy rain and wind can drive water up into your attic vents. This can soak the inside of your house and insulation in your attic. Use soffit vents that have guards to help prevent this damage. Your chimney is another potential weak point on your roof. It must be appropriately hooded in order to avoid rain from seeping down into your home.
If you notice brown patches or other signs of leaks inside your home, make a call and start a repair as soon as you can. Those leaks can get much, much worse when the rain comes. The earlier you catch the leaks, the more money you’ll save. Water tends to pool on flat roofs. Without proper slope and drainage, pooled water will linger after every rainfall and will soon damage your roof.
Check all the weather-stripping around your windows and doors. They aren’t part of your roof, but we don’t want to see rainwater seeping into any gaps and causing damage. Replacing old weather-stripping is easy and essential.
During the hot part of the year, roofing materials break down in the heat. Shingles crack, curl, delaminate, and break seals. Fasteners like roofing nails work loose from temperature changes. Flashings around vents and valleys break down, and dirt will seal small leaks until wind and rain wash it out.
Heavy Rain Effects
If storms are common in your area, heavy rains will wear down shingles and other elements of a roof. The damage left in a storm’s wake can involve lost shingles and moisture penetration in the underlayment. This water damage can penetrate the roof deck and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the home. Excessive moisture may also lead to rot and mold inside your home, which spells trouble both structurally and for your family’s health. Roofing seams present special challenges when protecting from rain damage because water collects where parts of the roof connect. Roofers can install waterproofing for roofs of this type to protect against moisture damage. Problems may also arise from improperly installed roofing or clogged gutters. Anywhere there are holes in the roof for nails or other equipment, you have the potential for severe damage.
Protecting Your Roof From Leaks
Preventing rain damage is about moving water quickly off your roof and away from your home. While gabled roofs are the most vulnerable to heavy rains and wind, any roof with missing shingles, damaged flashing, or a lack of weatherproofing may take a beating from storms throughout the year.
Check your chimney to make sure it’s not a weak point on your roof. It is a common entry point for water over time and during big storms.
The flashing around the chimney can become loose or brittle over time. A properly hooded chimney prevents the accumulation of water in your home. When you inspect the chimney, look for cracks or other weaknesses that are vulnerable to rainwater.
If you want to spot leaks but don’t see any problem with the roof itself, try inspecting the attic ceiling. Damaged, moldy insulation, stained boards, and ceiling panels or discolored sheetrock can help you detect leaks.
Skylights provide a potential place for rainwater to enter your home. Any place where joints and openings break the roofline can potentially cause a leak if you don’t take the proper precautions. Check the flashing around the skylight for cracks and damage. Double-check the weather stripping on the glass as well since rain can seep through gaps in the seams.
Water pipes and other infrastructure in your ceiling and attic can create condensation equivalent to a small roof leak. These can appear as brown patches on the ceiling and walls.
Attic condensation usually appears as frozen water droplets or frost on the attic ceiling. It results from the accumulation of moisture in the attic, which then freezes during cold temperatures. But since the attic temperatures tend to fluctuate depending on the weather, the frost could melt and then freeze up again. This type of weather puts your attic in a freeze-thaw cycle, which can create problems for your attic or ultimately damage your home. Ensure your attic is adequately vented and that kitchen and bathrooms are vented outside the house and not into the attic.
When moisture gets trapped inside your home, it may collect and form around cold surfaces or gaps in ceilings and windows. Condensation may also accumulate around walls with less insulation or on the underside of the roof decking.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a long-term solution to condensation, your best bet is to improve your home’s insulation and ventilation. Pay close attention to the insulation in your attic. Make sure also to insulate pipes, which often come into contact with warm indoor air.
Often, this could be a condensation issue, but other times these “leaks” may be due to damaged pipes or HVAC units.
Inspect your roof from the ground by walking your property and noting any signs of potential damage.
If you know (or even suspect) that your home has sustained damage or has developed small leaks, call your insurance agent. Although your policy may not cover damage from a leaky roof, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible and let them determine what is and isn’t covered.
Blue Nail Roofing has a Master Elite contractor status awarded by the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, GAF. Only 2% of contractors in the US meet the rigorous standards to achieve this status, which means you can be assured you are making a good choice when selecting the professionals at Blue Nail to execute your home and business roofing repairs. Call today to schedule a professional evaluation!
Let Us Nail Your Project!
Please send us a little information about your roofing or home improvement needs, and an expert will reach out shortly.