Roofing 101 Preventive Maintenance

Pay some attention to your roof

Too often, we homeowners tend to ignore the roof that protects us until we suddenly realize that it’s leaking. Small or large, no roof leak should be ignored. Roofing preventive maintenance and quick action will help you lessen the potential for serious damage (like mold or collapsed ceilings). Of course, the most prudent thing to do when your roof leaks is to call a professional roofer as soon as possible. In the meantime, here’s some information that will help you understand the most common causes of a leaky roof.

Why your roof leaks

  • The ridge vent at the peak of a sloped roof leaks if it has been damaged or incorrectly installed.
  • Anything that projects through or penetrates the roof is naturally vulnerable to leaking. The most common penetrations that can leak are plumbing vents, those often unsightly but really important pipes sticking up from your roof that allow sewer gas to escape. The hole where the vent pipe projects from the roof is weatherproofed with a rubber or lead boot and flashing, but the weatherproofing materials deteriorate over time.
  • Skylights leak when the flashing is damaged or if the roof materials do not extend completely around the flashing.
  • Dormers, chimneys, and valleys when the flashings are damaged, deteriorated, or incorrectly installed.
  • Ice damming happens when melting snow freezes at the colder edges of the roof. Water pools behind the ice and eventually finds a way to leak through the roof where shingles have been blown, lifted, or damaged. Ice dams themselves can lift the shingles.
  • Holes in shingles, especially tiny holes, can leak for years without your seeing any obvious signs of the leak. Holes can be caused by missing or wrongly placed nails, places where satellite dishes or antennae were mounted or repositioned, and the long-term effects of hail damage.

Solving your roofing problems

You may have noticed recurring themes in the bullets above: deteriorated or damaged roofing materials, inferior materials, and incorrect installation.

Problems with materials or installation can be avoided through learning about roofing materials and choosing credentialed, proven contractors who warranty their work.

Deterioration, on the other hand, is a natural process of aging and weathering. Two important things you can do to help prevent roof leaks due to deterioration are:

  • Have your roof thoroughly inspected at least once a year, especially if your roof is no longer young.
  • Invest in an annual roof tune-up that includes caulking and sealing the vents, flashings, nail holes, and broken seams; tightening loose shingles; and repairing exposed nail heads and nail pops.

Generally, autumn is a great time for an inspection and tune-up. Your roof will love the attention!

About this blog series

Quality roofing products and workmanship will enhance your home’s comfort, appearance, and value. The TSW Roofing Solutions team wants you to understand the components of your roof system, because we know that informed homeowners make smart choices about contractors and materials.

We’re here to solve your roofing problems!