When it comes to the challenges facing Bay Area roofs and the homeowners who insure them, there is perhaps nothing more preventable than leaks. A regular and thorough maintenance program, as implemented by a trained professional, is the best way to prevent the accumulation of problematic and costly leaks; in fact, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that a comprehensive inspection of your Bay Area roof on a regular basis will help to prevent the future damage associated with leaks.
The key in preventing roof leaks is catching the common problems that causes them before they have a chance to cause a leak, so take the five following tips for preventing such issues in order to keep your Bay Area roof in top shape this season!
Tips on Preventing Roof Leaks
Roof Maintenance Inspection
The first step of a roof maintenance inspection is to look at all areas in there is penetration, basically anything that pokes through the roof, i.e., chimney, skylight, plumbing vents, satellite dish, etc. These areas of penetration must be thoroughly inspected as they are the main cause for leaks on roofs and can stop the natural water flow off the roof as well. The chimney in particular is the top area where a roof is likely to acquire a leak, so your contractor or inspector must make sure all the appropriate flashing is in place, in addition to checking the sealing job around the area. Likewise, if your Bay Area roofing features a skylight it too must be inspected for individual leaks and proper flashing condition. Always remember to check the state of your roof’s plumbing vents, specifically if the neoprene or rubber of the vent stacks has cracked, a problem which could lead to leaks in the future. Similarly, it may be necessary to paint or seal any damaged areas, including flashing or pipe that may have been chewed by small bugs or animals.
Installing Drip Edges
The second simple tip for preventing roof leaks involves the drip edge, which helps by guiding any water down the roof and away from the fascia of your house and keeping the eaves safe from water damage. Another benefit provided by a properly installed drip edge is that it helps keep out insects.
Inspecting Other Areas
Next, inspect the dormers and roof-to-wall transitions for damage caused to the flashing, as any areas where step flashing is installed is often vulnerable to leaks. Many Bay Area roof experts also recommend inspecting any areas where low-grade sealant or mastic has previously been applied.
Inspect the Condition of your Attic
The fourth leak-prevention tip is very important and often overlooked, and it concerns the attic of your home and its condition. What can at first appear to be a leak in the roof can in reality be a problem that is oriented in the attic, problems that can be caught early if you know what to look for. For instance, keep an eye out for the following indications of a potential problem in your attic: interior plywood with algae stains, nails with rust and/or black rings around them, mold, and soaked insulation despite having had no rain. Also consider that problems can arise due to improper ventilation, air conditioning, vent fans, as well as bug infestations.
Check and Clean the Gutters
The fifth and final step in a comprehensive roof maintenance inspection involves checking and cleaning the gutters. The gutters of your roof are to be installed at a certain slope and if they are not, or if they are full of debris for example, the end result could be water damage and potential roof leaks. A safe and thorough inspection of your gutters is a simple way to help prevent your Bay Area roof from leaks and further damage!