5 Ways to Protect Your Home and Health from a Leaky Roof

5 Ways to Protect Your Home and Health from a Leaky Roof

Jan. 8, 2020, 4:42 a.m.

Kyle Linden

Repairing or replacing a roof is one of the most expensive (and often most stressful) repairs a homeowner will face. If you suspect your roof is leaking, then it’s important you address it right away so you can limit the damage — and, subsequently, the costs. Preparing your roof to stand strong against a water disaster can protect every other aspect of your home. There is no better peace of mind than knowing your home is secure, so homeowners should act right away when they notice a leak to protect their most important investment.


Find and Contain the Leak


If you’ve noticed some water damage in the ceiling or the walls, go into your attic above the area to look for signs of leaking water. When you find it, the first thing to do is to prevent further damage to the rest of your home. Set buckets down to keep water from further damaging your ceiling and walls. Then, try to assess why and how the water is getting in. Look for drips and feel for drafts of air. If you’re comfortable doing so, go out on your roof and examine your shingles. Is there ice? Are some missing or damaged? Again, only if you are comfortable, secure a tarp over the suspected flaw to protect your home from further damage.


Check for Mold and Mildew


Some leaks have been going on for a while before they make themselves known. That means that areas of your home, like vents and crawl spaces, could have more water damage than you expect. It’s crucial to the health of your home — and more importantly your family — that you have these areas examined for mold and mildew damage. Unchecked water damage and prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can cause asthma in children and increase asthma symptoms in adults. In severe cases, it can even cause serious, irreversible lung damage.


Clean and Remove Water-Damaged Items


It’s possible that more than just your ceiling and walls have been damaged by a roof leak. Items stored in your attic or furniture in rooms below the leak could have water damage. You’ll need to clean everything thoroughly to keep mold and mildew from growing.


If some of your things are damaged beyond repair, consider using an online search to hire a reputable junk removal service to remove them from your property. This is especially true for larger, bulkier items such as old mattresses or soiled carpeting/flooring. What’s more, these companies can determine which of your possessions can be recycled.


Look for Other Signs of a Damaged Roof


Water damage could be an act of nature, or it could signify that there is even greater damage to uncover. So, look for signs of roof damage like shingles with curled edges or broken or cracked shingles. Often, water damage happens when the protective material underneath the roof — frequently called the mat — is torn or damaged. You don’t want to wait for another leak to fix the problem — it’s only going to get worse. Your best bet here is to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what and how much they cover before you shop around.


Prevention Is Key


Don’t wait until your roof springs a leak to think about protecting your home and family. Make it a part of your regular home maintenance to assess the risk of potential future roof leak issues. Keep your roof protected by keeping your trees trimmed, so they aren’t touching the roof. This not only prevents damage from falling limbs, but it also keeps pests from entering the home. Also, be sure to have the areas around your chimney and exhaust vents checked each year before winter hits. It’s a good practice to have your chimney cleaned once a year, so find a company that will also conduct a rooftop examination.


Roof repairs and replacement can cause anxiety and worry, especially when you have to dip into savings to cover the costs. Following these steps can guide you through the stress and keep you focused on solving the problem quickly and efficiently. For pricing information about fixing your roof, check out our Builder.

Cover photo by Pixabay

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