Roof leaks are common issues that many homeowners face at some point. In addition to creating annoying puddles throughout one’s home, roof leaks can also have serious consequences such as increasing the potential for mold outbreaks or weakening structural components. As such, it’s important to be proactive and find ways to prevent roof leaks in your home. Below we have listed some effective measures you can take to keep your home safe and dry.

Clean Gutters Regularly

Clogged gutters are common causes of roof leaks in homes. When you don’t clean your gutters regularly, leaves, twigs, and other debris can accumulate in them and prevent them from effectively directing water away from your home. Instead, water will spill over the gutters onto the roof of your home, which can result in roof leaks over time. To prevent this from occurring, clean your gutters on a regular basis—especially during the fall season, when leaves fall more rapidly.

Insulate Your Attic

It may sound strange, but the insulation in your attic can have a large effect on the state of your roof—particularly during the colder months of the year. Unless you live in a warm climate, snow likely accumulates on your rooftop during the winter. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, warm air from your home will escape through your roof and melt this snow. Then, the water will run down your roof before eventually refreezing at the bottom and forming a ledge known as an ice dam. The ice dam will prevent liquid from running off your roof and cause a pool to form in the middle. The pooled water not only increases the potential for leaks but also places added pressure on your roof, which may cause it to collapse. To prevent leaks or other forms of roof damage, it’s important to insulate your attic properly.

Inspect and Repair Flashing

Flashing plays a key role in preventing water from entering a home through the roof. If you aren’t familiar with the term, flashing refers to thin pieces of metal or vinyl that are impervious to water and that serve as weather-resistant barriers. Flashing is often installed around skylights, vents, chimneys, and areas where the roof and wall meet. If the flashing becomes cracked, loose, or otherwise damaged, a roof leak is likely to occur. As such, it’s important to inspect your flashing periodically and repair it immediately if you notice any signs of damage.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.