Your home houses you, your family, and all your household items you wish to keep safe from the outdoor elements. For this reason, it is a good idea to do all you can to keep your home a solid barrier against water leaks and moisture intrusion. Some of the most common areas through which water can leak into your home include basement and foundation walls and your roof. Here are recommendations to help you prevent water leaks through these areas of your home.
Repair or Replace Leaking Roof
Your roof can be one of the most obvious areas on your home for you to visually inspect safely from your yard. You can begin to see your roofing shingles become curled, broken, and missing, over time, indicating it is time to make the necessary repairs. As the shingles lose their integrity, your roof will allow moisture to seep beneath its layers and enter your home's attic. From there the water will travel downward through walls and ceilings to cause moisture damage.
Get upon your roof periodically during good weather and inspect your roof for any damaged shingles. Look for shingles that are cracked, peeling, missing, or otherwise failing and remove the old shingle and replace it with a new one. You may have a supply of extra shingles stored around your home from the last time your home was reshingled. If not, you can buy a matching box of shingles from a home improvement or roofing store.
If you are not sure about completing repairs or if your entire roof needs replacement, hire a roofing contractor to remove all the old layers of roofing materials and replace them with new. This ensures your new roof will be well-built as long-lasting as possible.
Add Roof Waterproofing Barrier
When it is time for you to replace your entire roof, the roofing company should be removing all layers of shingles and the old roofing felt to check the condition of your roofing deck. As they replace the roofing felt, it is recommended to install a self-sealing ice and water barrier beneath the shingles. This will help prevent leaks into your home when roof ice dams form on your rooftop during the winter.
A waterproofing barrier seals your roofing deck against a layer of ice, or ice dam, that can grow at the edge of your roof and form under your roofing shingles as it builds in thickness. And even if you take other measure to prevent ice dam formation on your roof, this barrier is an added extra protection to keep any moisture leaking beneath your shingles from entering through the roofing deck and into your home.
Depending on the area you live in and the climate, you may need to apply this adhesive waterproof barrier onto your roofing deck anywhere from three to six feet up the length of your roof. Check with your roofing company to make sure this coverage is adequate for the type of winter climate in your area.
Adjust Roof Drainage
Another cause of home water leaks that can often be overlooked is from a poorly draining roof. It is important to make sure your roof gutters and downspouts are all installed and working properly. If they fail, they can allow water to fall and pool at your home's foundation to seep into your basement. Check and clean your gutters at least twice a year and more often if you have pine trees around your home, as they shed their pine needles all year.
Safely get upon your roof edge during good weather, and wearing heavy duty gloves, pull out any build-up of debris. You can also get on your roof top and use a pressure washer to spray the gutters clean of any debris. Be careful not to spray the pressurized water onto your shingles, as it can damage them.
Make sure your downspouts divert rainwater anywhere from three to ten feet away from your home's foundation. If you don't have a downspout diverter, you can buy one at a home improvement store and attach it onto your roof downspout.
Use these recommendations to help you keep your home free of water leaks.