Roof leaks are a common but costly problem that can be a real pain not only for property owners but for roofing contractors as well. Even the most determined do-it-yourself owner or the most experienced contractor will often struggle to find the source of a leak because water moves. That’s right, the source of a leak and its entry point into your home or building are not necessarily obviously linked. And while roof leaks are going to happen over time, there are things you can do to prevent leaks and limit the time and cost associated with fixing these leaks.
A regular roof maintenance program is just as important as maintaining the other aspects of your home including the furnace, landscaping, and everything in between. After your roof is installed, a yearly maintenance and inspection program helps to ensure that your roof stays in the best possible condition throughout its lifespan. So, let’s look at some roof maintenance tips that make up a comprehensive maintenance program.
Regular roofing inspections are the main component of any maintenance program. And while the inspection will focus on your roof itself, your roofing contractor will also inspect the roof from ground level to look for signs of damage. S/he should also ask if extreme weather has potentially caused damage because of falling debris or trees and whether you’ve had any recent satellite or cable work. They should also ask if there are any interior signs of a leak.
Nevertheless, once the actual roof inspection begins, your contractor will climb up onto the roof and have a closer look. First, they’ll check any fixtures, penetrations, or installations on the roof to check for signs of damage. Chimneys are among the most common sources for leaks and your contractor will inspect flashings and ensure the chimney is sealed properly. In addition to chimneys, skylights are a common leak source when water gets trapped behind them. Again, your contractor should inspect the flashing and seal and ensure the skylight is not leaking. Likewise, plumbing vents are a common fixture on roofs and need to be inspected.
Your roofer will also inspect the drip edge of your home to ensure water is not damaging fascia. Eaves are a common leak source and a missing drip edge can be a major cause of wood rot. Drip edges also prevent insects, rodents, and other small animals from entering your home. Next you want to ensure your dormers and roof-to-wall transitions are inspected and properly sealed. Gutters are also important and should be regularly inspected to ensure they are sloped properly and clear of debris.
Finally, a proper roofing inspection should include inspecting the interior of your home, especially in the attic. Your roofer will inspect your attic to look for signs of leaks such as algae or mold stains, damp or wet insulation, rust or black rings around nails, and other signs that condensation is forming in the attic.
Your roof is arguably the most important structural component of your home, so take care of it. Regular inspections from a qualified professional can extend the life of your roof considerably and save you money over the long term.