Roof repairs and replacements are costly, and most people aren’t prepared to live in a work zone while the work is done. But if you don’t take steps to prevent roof leaks, you may find yourself forking over the cash to listen to roofers fix or replace your roof when you least expected it.
There are a few things you can do to prevent roof leaks, though.
- Check penetration points.
Anything that penetrates your roof is a potential leak. Chimneys, stove vents, skylights, and furnace caps or shingles are all areas that could leak. Check them regularly to ensure there are no problems. You should check these at least twice a year, and more often if you suspect a problem.
- Keep trees trimmed and off the roof.
A branch falling on your roof and creating a hole is an obvious potential leak. But a less obvious possibility is a branch rubbing against the roof when the wind blows. Eventually, it can wear through the shingles and create an area for water to enter. Keep trees trimmed away from the roof to ensure this doesn’t happen. Trees should be inspected at least once a year to see if they need to be trimmed.
- Clean your gutters.
Gutters provide the pathway for rain, melting snow and ice to leave the roof. If the gutters are clogged with rotting leaves, dirt, or other debris, the water can’t drain and instead will sit on your roof – and gravity will help it find its way down through the roof. Depending on how many trees you have, you should check your gutters at least twice a year, and as often as once or twice a month.
- Check the attic’s condition.
An improperly ventilated attic can lead to moisture and heat buildup, which can contribute to a leaky roof. Make sure the attic is both properly ventilated and insulated. If you’re not sure, or determine it needs better ventilation or insulation, call a contractor to get the work done as quickly as possible.
- Consider a roof replacement.
A quality roof can last 20-50 years. Depending on the age of your home, and whether the roof was quality in the first place, it may be that your roof is old enough to need a replacement. You can start with a thorough examination and proposal of the cost. After you approve the estimate, you can work with the roofing contractor to get the appropriate permits and schedule a good time to replace the roof. While this may be more expensive than making smaller repairs here and there, a brand new roof will last longer and, if well taken care of, will prevent the need for more repairs for years to come.
A leaky roof can lead to mold or rot, or drafts, all of which could lead to illness. It can also help keep your utility bills low. Taking care of your home’s roof is an investment not only in the home itself, but your family’s health and well-being.