The leaves are changing. The air is cool and crisp. And, best of all, we have access to pumpkin-flavored everything.
Ah, yes. There’s a lot to love about the fall. However, it can be a trying time for our roofs, particularly when it comes to roof leaks.
Roof leaks are the bane of any homeowner’s existence, particularly when they happen right before (or worse, during) the holiday craziness.
Want to avoid having to go through the rigmarole of submitting an insurance claim because of a roof leak in the midst of planning the holiday season during a pandemic? I don’t blame you. Here’s how.
How to prevent roof leaks
Clean your gutters
Your roof’s drainage system, which consists of gutters and downspouts, plays a key role in preventing roof leaks because it moves moisture off of your roof. When the drainage system is clogged up or otherwise ineffective, the moisture will start to seep inside the roof.
Cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis is one of the most basic steps you can to avoid roof leaks. The frequency at which your gutters will need to be cleaned depends on whether or not you have a nearby tree or not.
It’s smart to make it a point to keep an eye on your gutters and clean out any pine needles, leaves, twigs and other debris that has built up as needed.
Not only can clogged gutters cause roof leaks, but they are perfect hiding spots for all kinds of pests that can damage your roof and other parts of your home.
Keep ice dams at bay
Do you notice icicles coming off of your roof after it snows? If so, there’s a good chance that you also have ice dams.
Heat rises in your home into the attic, where it warms up your roof and melts any ice or snow that’s sitting on it. As it melts, it slides down to cooler parts of your roof, where it refreezes into a dam.
Ice dams typically form right above your gutters, which means that the moisture on your roof is blocked from leaving, and it can lead to roof leaks, as well as other roof damage.
The key to preventing ice dams — and the damage they cause — is to keep your entire roof a consistent temperature. That requires the right combination of insulation and ventilation.
Ensuring that your home is properly insulated will greatly reduce the amount of heat that gets into your attic. And, by properly ventilating your attic, any heat that does start to build up can be removed safely.
Get your roof inspected
As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure to get your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor every six months or so. However, it’s also a good idea to have someone look at your roof after big storms as well, particularly if it has hailed.
You can also spot check your roof in between professional inspections to keep an eye out for any damage. Areas of interest include any and all roof penetrations, including the chimney, skylights and vents, as they are common entry points for moisture.
Keeping a close eye on your roof and getting professional roof inspections will help to catch small, easy-to-fix issues before they can lead to leaks and other serious problems. In many cases, roof inspections are also a requirement for warranties and insurance coverage.
Trim branches away from your roof
Trees are a great addition to any yard and can be beneficial when close to the home because they provide shade and privacy. However, there’s a real risk to your roof if branches from nearby trees start to grow over your roof.
If there are branches hanging over your roof, they could fall on your roof, causing leaks and other damage. This is especially risky in the winter, as the right combination of heavy snow and rain can cause even larger branches to fall.
Keep any branches of nearby trees trimmed away from your roof to prevent damage. But, never try to attempt the job yourself, as cutting tree limbs is an incredibly dangerous job, particularly if they’re high enough to potentially damage your roof.
As a bonus, trimming away any threatening limbs can help to prevent your gutters from getting clogged by leaves, pine needles, twigs and other debris.
Keep squirrels and other pests away from your roof
Pests are, unfortunately, one of the most common causes of roof leaks and other damage, and they can be especially problematic in the fall and winter months. That’s because pests, like people, are looking for warmth, and many will look for warmth in our homes.
Squirrels, in particular, can do a lot of damage to your roof and attic, and it’s important to take any necessary steps to keep them away from your home.
Trimming tree branches away can help to prevent squirrels from getting on your roof, and keeping your gutters clean helps, too. It’s also a good idea to install squirrel-guards on the bases of nearby trees to prevent squirrels from climbing them.
Whether you’re due for an inspection or in need of roof leak repair, make sure that you find the right roofing contractor for the job.
As a key part of your home, it’s important that you find a roofer you can trust to provide you with honest, reliable roofing services. A great place to start your roofing contractor search is Top Rated Local®.
With Top Rated Local, you’ll get a list of the best roofing contractors in your area that you can compare side by side to find the right option for your needs. You can also read roofer reviews from across the web, including Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook and more trusted review sites.
When it comes to finding roofing contractors and other local businesses, there’s no better option than Top Rated Local. Find a roofer near you today.