Small Business Brief


April Showers Bring, Leaks! Here’s How to Stop Roof Leaks Before They Become a Problem

Coming home to a dripping ceiling and soaked floor will ruin your day in a hurry. In addition to the hours of cleanup, the repairs will put a dent in your pocketbook.

The last thing your home needs is water damage. It can cause a number of problems including mold growth, wood rot, and damage to your personal possessions.

The best way to prevent this is by ensuring your roof is in good shape before the rainy season begins. You can then have peace of mind while you’re away from home.

Let’s go over some tips on how to stop roof leaks before they become a problem.

Perform a Quick Inspection

To keep leaks at bay, a good rule of thumb is to perform a roof inspection each year. This will help you spot problem areas that need repairs.

You want to keep your eye out for curling or cracked shingles. Holes or gaps between shingles are also red flags.

It’s important to look for any signs of mold or rot on your roof. Pay attention to brown or black patches that have a wet, slimy texture.

If you only have minor issues, you can get away with repairing individual shingles. However, if it looks like your entire roof is deteriorating, it’s time for a full replacement.

You should also inspect your attic for signs of water damage. A good trick is to enter your attic during a storm and look for drips or straining on the wood or insulation.

Repairing Damaged Shingles

The shingles on your roof take a beating from the elements all years. Eventually, they’ll start to wear out.

If you notice shingles that have become curled or cracked, you can easily repair them yourself to stop water from getting in. All you’ll need is roof sealant, a trowel, and roof cement.

Press and smooth the curling corners of your roof so they’re lying flat again. Then, place some roof sealant underneath the corners. You can then use your trowel to apply roof cement around the edges of the shingle.

If you have shingles with large sections missing, you’ll need to replace them altogether. Pry the damaged shingle off with a hammer. Then, nail the new one into place and use roof cement around the edges to seal it.

Fix Vents on Your Roof

The vents on your roof serve a vital purpose of controlling the temperature on your roof and ventilation your attic space. Unfortunately, when these vents start to wear out, leaks can occur.

You’ll need to check the housing and seams on all your vents. If you notice cracking or tearing, there’s a good chance water can enter your home through these areas.

For a temporary fix, you can apply caulk along the edges where the vent meets the roof. But this solution won’t last the entire season.

The better option is to fully replace the vents. This is an easy job you can do yourself.

Vents are held on by either nails or screws. You may need to remove the surrounding shingles first. Once you install a new vent, go ahead and caulk the edges for added security.

Ensure Flashing is in Good Shape

Flashing is the material that’s placed over joints or where a wall meets the roof. It’s usually made of steel or aluminum.

Over time, your flashing will start to rust and deteriorate. When this happens, water can get behind them and create leaks in your roof.

If you notice your flashing is starting to rust, it’s time to replace it. This involves removing the shingles or siding and prying off the damaged flashing.

You’ll then need to nail the new flashing in place and make sure it’s sealed and secure. This job is a little more involved, so hire a professional roofer if you feel it’s out of your comfort zone.

Gutter Maintenance

When you start to learn more about the causes of roofs leaks, you’ll learn that clogged gutters can create a problem. That’s why it’s important to maintain your gutters and downspouts all year.

If your gutters get clogged with debris, water won’t have anywhere to go during a storm. There’s a good chance it could end up seeping under the surrounding shingles and into your home.

Make sure to thoroughly clean your gutters each season. You’ll also want to ensure your downspouts aren’t backed up with dead leaves, branches, and other debris.

If you notice granules from your shingles accumulating in your gutters, this means you may need a roof replacement.

Check Your Chimney

If you have a brick chimney on your roof, it will start to deteriorate over time. This is due to rain, snow, heavy winds, and water running down your roof during storms.

If your chimney starts to crumble or crack around the base, this is a perfect opportunity for water to penetrate your roof. There’s also flashing around the base that can start to rust and corrode.

During your roof inspection, make sure and examine the quality of your chimney. If you notice issues, you need to fix them before you have a leak in your living room.

Replacing the flashing is something you can take care of yourself. However, if you notice the bricks deteriorating, you’ll need to call in a professional to have a look.

Trim Back Trees

If you have trees in close proximity to your house, it’s important the branches aren’t able to make contact with your roof. You’ll need to trim them back each season.

During a severe storm, wind can cause heavy branches to knock against your roof. This can lead to punctures that allow water in.

You should also look for unstable branches. Cut these down so they don’t fall onto your roof and cause damage.

Know How to Stop Roof Leaks This Season

Before storm season hits, it pays to take measures to protect your home from leaks. The work you put into it is well worth the effort when considering the effects of water damage.

Use the tips discussed above on how to stop roof leaks before they become a huge headache.

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