It may come as a surprise to many homeowners, but the single greatest threat to your property is water. That’s right. It’s not lightning, tornados or earthquakes. When water penetrates the surface of a home, it compromises beams, structural walls and may spur the growth of hazardous molds. These are the key reasons that you should take the time to inspect your roof after a storm. Here are some things to look for to help ensure the stability and safety of your property.
In modern homes, flashing is the thin pieces of sheet metal that slip under roof shingles to help protect seams from water penetration. You’ll likely see a rubber-like coating as the first line of defense. If they appear damaged, cracked or flaking, remedy that problem immediately. In older homes, the flashing may be made of lead. These are sometimes not coating, but adding that layer may be in your best interest.
High winds and intense storms commonly tear away shingles. They’re only held in place by a few nails. If you find torn or missing shingles, consider replacing the surrounding area as well. Doing this will allow you to double up on tar paper and properly secure the roof.
A skylight is a terrific way to let some natural light into your home. They also tend to suffer leaks after storms. Check the flashing and caulking thoroughly. In many cases, leaky skylights are obvious because the rain drips into your living space.
Getting a ladder and climbing on the roof is an effective way to find problems. But it’s important to understand that many water penetrations start as very small leaks. Take a flashlight and inspect the underside of your roof with a fine-tooth comb. Small damp spots are the harbinger of a major leak. Also, mold doesn’t require a steady stream to flourish. These health dangers need only two days of moisture to take root.
Inspecting your roof inside and out is a crucial step toward protecting your investment and the health of loved ones. Also, being proactive will save you money. By catching a problem early, you’ll need only minor repairs instead of major remediation.