Did you know that 95% of roof leaks occur due to problems with the flashing? That means you can cut the chance of your roof leaking by more than 9 times just through careful flashing maintenance! If you're a homeowner looking to protect your roof from water damage, understanding how to prevent leaks and keep your flashing in good condition is the most important step.
Step Up Your Maintenance Game
Visually inspecting your flashing is not difficult or time-consuming, but many homeowners often skip this key step in leak-prevention.
Whenever you clean your gutters, do roof repairs, or for whatever other reason find yourself in a good position to survey your roof, you should inspect the flashing for specific signs of damage or wear. Bent panels, missing patches, missing screws, or loose nails can all allow water to enter your home.
Fortunately, these small problems are easily fixed with some supplies from the hardware store. Make sure to use the same material for replacement parts and patches, i.e. aluminum patches for holes in aluminum flashing. If you combine different metals, you may cause your flashing to corrode or degrade more quickly by reacting to each other.
Cover your nails and screws with roofing cement wherever possible, once everything is in place. This will prevent them from coming loose and allowing water into your home, and will also ensure that the rest of your flashing isn't damaged by falling apart.
Know The Signs Of A Leak
Catching leaks as early as possible is vital to the health of your home. Rot and mold won't set in immediately when a leak is formed, but they may come into existence before you have any idea there's a leak at all. Proactive check-ups prevent leak damage from sneaking up on you.
If your home has an attic, keeping an eye out for leaks won't be too much trouble. About once a month, you should go up into your attic with a flashlight and look for discoloration on the inside of your roof. You may find stains from leaks in the form of trails and pools, leading you back to the original source of the issue.
If you don't have an attic, inspecting your roof for leaks may be more difficult, but it isn't impossible. You should thoroughly clean and remove your flashing, since flashing failure is an overwhelmingly common cause of leaks. Inspect the roof underneath it for water stains or signs of damage, and you should be able to find any possible leaks. You should carry out this process twice a year.
Call The Professionals When A Problem Occurs
Even if you don't catch leaks before they damage your roof, acting quickly after you discover a leak may keep your repair bills low. Small amounts of mold or rot can be removed and the roofing replaced, but extended periods of dampness may attract burrowing insects and spread the damage across your entire home. You can avoid this by immediately calling professional roofers, such as Acoma Roofing, to inspect any leaks you discover.
Large scale issues with your roof's flashing, such as an improper installation or serious damage after a storm will also warrant the attention of professionals if you want to stave off leaks.
In general, you should inspect a seemingly healthy roof once every six months when you perform a thorough gutter cleaning, but you should also schedule a professional check-up once a year. Professional roofers are adept at spotting even the smallest of warning signs, so it's a good idea to have them take a look and ensure your roof is in top shape.
Don't let your flashing be a vulnerability. Keep it well maintained and inspect it regularly, and it should serve you well. If you do spring a leak, calling professionals right away will help protect your home and your wallet, meaning you and your home can get back to normal in no time.