4 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Roof Leak-Proof This Fall

Written by  //  October 22, 2017  //  Roof  //  No comments

If you’re a homeowner, then chances are that the end of summer brings with it concerns about preparing your home for autumn. The much needed break from summer heat means lower temperatures, but fall and winter also bring precipitation. These conditions can wreak absolute havoc on your home’s exterior, particularly the roof. In fact, roughly 40 percent of all building problems stem from home water damage, making it a common issue you’ll likely encounter. With that in mind, there are a few essential steps you should take to ensure your roof is leak-proof this fall.

Support from Below

While it’s true that outdoor roof repairs are best left to the experts, there’s some waterproofing checks you can carry out from indoors. Positioned directly below the roof, the attic is often the first area to show signs of water damage. Likewise, the underside of your roof can reveal any structural problems if you know what to look for. Mildew, dripping, and visible shafts of sunlight are all signs that your roof’s integrity has been compromised. If your attic insulation shows signs of mold, have it replaced immediately as otherwise it poses a risk to your home’s air quality.

Clean Your Gutters

While it’s true that autumn’s falling leaves lead to clogged gutters, summer storms are just as likely to blow plant debris into your roof’s drainage and runoff system. When left clogged, rainwater is prone to pooling on your roof and in the gutters, allowing it to more easily leak through damaged shingles, the seams near your chimney, and other common entry points.

While you’re removing leaves and other plant debris from your gutter, also keep an eye out for deposits of shingle granules, as this is a sure sign that your roof is past its prime. If that’s the case, schedule an appointment with a roofing company like Arcadia Roofing immediately to have the roof replaced before the colder temperatures and rainy weather really set it. It’s always best to schedule your appointment as early in the season as possible, as once winter’s in full swing you’ll likely have a hard time since you’ll be competing with every other homeowner who waited till the last minute.

Install a Drip Edge

If you’re unfamiliar, a drip edge is a strip of metal flashing that secures under the eaves created by the outermost row of shingles. Not only do drip edges add a measure of visual appeal to your home’s exterior, but they also serve an important function in protecting it from leaks. The drip edge helps keep the outer shingles of the roof from curling or breaking against the fascia, the wooden board that runs under the roof’s edges. It also keeps water that’s run off by the shingles from entering behind the eaves, where it can pool and cause leaks. Thanks to its vertical positioning, the drip edge is also an excellent defense against driving rains that can work their way beneath the eaves. If you’ve scheduled to have your roof replaced, consider asking the roofing company to install a drip edge as well, assuming they don’t recommend it themselves.

Check Weak Points

If your home has a chimney, you should know that this is one of the most common areas for water to enter. Though the metal flashing is designed to fill and protect the space between the roof and the chimney, time and weather can eventually wear down or crack the flashing, preventing it from doing its job. While you’re cleaning your gutters, take the time to investigate the flashing for any signs of damage and evidence of the gap between the chimney and roof widening.

Another common weak point is your roof’s valleys, or the areas where sections of the roof meet at angles. Likewise protected with flashing, this will eventually wear out, preventing the valleys from effectively funneling water. Make sure to examine them carefully for signs of damage.

Be Proactive

The longer you leave your home vulnerable to roof leaks and water damage, the more costly it will prove in the long term. Treat roofing repairs as a necessary investment, since spot fixes and full roof replacements are much cheaper compared to dealing with widespread water damage throughout your house. Be mindful of leakage signs both on the roof’s exterior and in the attic below, repair weak points quickly, and schedule your appointments with roofing companies as early in the season as possible to ensure that your roof is leak-proof before fall fully sets in.

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