Leaking roofs can result in expensive water damage to your home, effectively destroying plaster and drywall, rotting framing, and allowing mold growth.
This is why you should work to repair your roof as soon as you identify any damage.
Some roof damage is easily repaired with roofing cement, but more extensive damage can require a thorough diagnosis of the problem and the consideration of roofing installation if it’s more cost-effective and worthwhile than repairs.
Here are some ways to locate and address damaged roofing to prevent leaks and subsequent damage to the home.
If Something Penetrates Through the Roof, Examine It
Plumbing vents, skylights, chimneys, and other fixtures that go through the roof are the most common sources of leaks, which is why you should check them first.
The top source of leakage is chimneys without crickets, proper flashing, or sealant. Other things to check for include water trapped behind skylights without proper flashing, vents that have cracked neoprene or rubber, and improperly flashed cables and satellites.
Check Drip Edges
Drip edges are necessary to remove water from roofs while keeping it away from the fascia. Roofs without drip edges are prone to eave leaks and wood rot, as wind-driven rain enters gaps between roof decks and fascia boards. Drip edges also prevent insects and other animals from entering the home.
Prevent Step Flashing Leaks
Dormers, roof-to-wall transitions, and low-quality sealant or mastic in certain areas are vulnerable to leaks without proper step flashing. Make sure to check these areas for damage.
Don’t Forget the Attic
While the roof may be your main source of concern regarding leaks, your attic can cause problems because of insufficient ventilation, air conditioning, condensation, plumbing, fans, and infestations.
Keep an eye out for things such as algae stains on plywood, mold, soaked insulation when no rain occurred, rust or black rings around nails (indicating condensation), poor ventilation, and clogged vents.
Keep Gutters Clean and in Good Condition
Gutters are vital for prevention of roof leaks. Make sure that all of your gutters are properly installed and sloped for sufficient drainage, securely fastened, and clean from season to season. You may need to hire a professional to perform gutter maintenance if repairs are extensive.
How to Determine if a New Roof is Better Than Repairs
If you experience roof leaks, you should try to determine if permanent repairs are ideal, or if you could benefit from an entirely new roofing installation. Here are some ways to gauge the damage:
- A roof with only one or two weak spots may result from fallen branches or thunderstorms, which likely warrant basic permanent repairs.
- Roofing that shows signs of general wear can affect the entire roof, which may make a new roofing installation ideal.
- If you plan on installing a new roof but need time to plan, cover damaged areas with plywood or plastic to provide a temporary solution in the meantime.
- If you have to wait for a year or longer to install a new roof, apply permanent repairs until you’re prepared for installation.
In many cases, you can repair roofing on your own, but if you assess that your roof is badly damaged and you can’t fix it yourself, you will need to contact a professional roofing company in Aurora. This will help you avoid potentially devastating leaks for many years.