What Is the Most Common Cause of Roof Leaks?

Roof leaks cannot be entirely prevented or avoided – the strong winds associated with tornadoes or hurricanes, very large hail stones, excessive rain and unexpectedly lengthy and heavy snowing can affect even the strongest, best-kept roof –, but there is very much that homeowners can do about the number one cause of roofing leaks: neglect.

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Many building owners expect their roofs to deliver perfect performance from the moment that the installation is complete until the roof is removed for replacement and never do any preventive maintenance until their roof starts leaking, so what can be defined as the principle cause of leaks on any type of roof is the lack of attention, of maintenance and of timely repairs to address roof faults while they are still minor. Here is how neglect can damage your roof and how proper maintenance can prolong your roof’s leak-free life.

The Risks of Dirt and the Importance of Roof Cleaning

Roofs are surfaces on which airborne debris, such as the feathers, the dust, the dried leaves, small twigs and other forms of dirt can easily deposit and accumulate. When it rains, the debris on the roof surface absorbs moisture and keeps it in, preventing the roofing surface underneath from drying properly and sufficiently quickly. Prolonged exposure to moisture can compromise the integrity of the roofing components, causing shingles to deteriorate, damaging the seams, even causing rot or infestations with fungi or algae. If the topmost surface of the roof is weakened, moisture can easily penetrate the deeper layers of the roof as well, damaging wooden components, such as the beams of the support structure.

Fortunately, the damage caused by accumulated debris can be easily avoided with roof cleaning. Choose a day when the sky is overcast and the air is not too hot, climb up on the roof, remove large debris, such as twigs and leaves, by hand or with a broom, then use an air blower to remove dust, too. You can finish the process washing the roof with your garden hose or with a pressure washer, but if you have a shingle roof, don’t use a very strong jet because it might remove the topmost protective layer of granules from the surface of the shingles.

When you are done cleaning the roof, remove the debris and dirt that has accumulated in the gutter pipes, too – clogged gutters that fail to direct water away from the roof and from the walls is just as dangerous for the roof as accumulated dirt.

Inspection and Repairs

Roof cleaning represents a major part of roof maintenance and an essential step for preventing leaks, but it is not all that you need to do. When your roof is clean and dry, you should also inspect it, inch by inch, to locate any faults that need repair, such as cracked or chipped tiles, missing components, curling, buckling or blistering shingles. Have roofing companies Lincoln NE specialists replace damaged components as soon as you can and perform a thorough check of the gutters, followed by thorough cleaning and timely repairs on those components as well.