Mold, mildew, insects, animals, and water can all enter through a damaged roof, wreaking havoc on a home and costing thousands in repairs. Although these challenges are universal, impacting homeowners everywhere, there are certain parts of the US where there are few home repairs more challenging than a leaking roof. MA, RI, and other northeastern states, with their long winters and heavy snows, are particularly difficult locations when it comes to roof damage, as repair work is often hampered by inclement weather.
For this reason, spring and summer are ideal times to tackle maintenance projects, helping homeowners avoid the headaches of leaking roofs. MA and RI residents should inspect their roofs (or have a professional roofer do so) no less than once a year. Ideally, homeowners should inspect their roofs three times annually and after any major storms, as roofs take more wear and damage than any other exterior element of a home.
Safety First When Fixing a Leaking Roof
When performing maintenance or inspecting leaking roofs, MA and RI homeowners should take proper safety precautions:
- Use the buddy system. Working on a roof is dangerous even in great weather conditions. Always have a partner on the ground and a means of communication.
- Properly tether your ladder. There are several types of ladders people use to access their roofs. Follow manufacturer guidelines for safe ladder use, always secure your ladder, and never over-reach.
- Secure your tools. When not in use, store your tools on a proper tool belt or secured toolbox. Never leave tools lying on the roof, as they can easily become tripping hazards or can fall off the roof, injuring your partner on the ground.
- Especially when tending to damaged or leaking roofs, residents should be particularly cautious. Watch for weak spots and tread carefully.
- When inspecting a roof after a storm, be especially watchful for any downed power lines, loose debris, or other hazards.
During routine roof inspections, cleaning is the first and most important job. Remove all debris from the roof, taking care to look around flashings, HVAC units, and other structures. These are areas where debris tends to get stuck, creating places where water can accumulate. Sitting water causes undue wear, erosion, rust, and other problems that can lead to roof weakness and damage. These are also places where rodents and insects tend to nest, so be cautious when approaching.
Once the roof is cleared of debris, it will be much easier to check for damage or wear. Aside from obvious damage, look for loose or missing shingles, damaged or worn flashings, blocked vents, vegetation (mold, algae, etc.), and signs of weakness. In addition to checking the roof itself, take the time to inspect the gutters. By ensuring that they are properly secured to the roof and not clogged, you will prolong the life of your gutters, which are essential to the life of your roof and your home’s foundation.
Need help with a leaking roof? Schedule a free estimate now by calling us at 1-800-975-6666 or filling out our online form to the right.