15 Top Ways to Protect Your Roof from Rainwater

You can’t control the weather, but you can take steps to protect your roof from heavy rain and water damage. Rain water damage can be a stressful issue for homeowners that many may not be aware of until it becomes a bigger, more daunting problem.

Moisture from rain water has the potential to damage your home’s structural integrity with mold, rotting, and even cracks, so it’s important to stay on top of any issues in order to keep moisture under control. Using gutters and downspouts to drain water from the roof and replacing the roofing on time can prevent permanent roof rain damage, and can save you up to $8,000 by avoiding expensive emergency repairs.

It is always better to deal with any potential weak spots or issues areas before water damage begins. In this article, you will learn 15 ways to protect your roof from rainwater, including:

  • Use gutters
  • Clean cutters
  • Ensure proper draining
  • Check downspouts
  • Check and maintain vents
  • Watch chimney
  • Clear hanging tree limbs
  • Single inspection
  • Fix leaks
  • Stop pooling water
  • Check weather stripping
  • Replace roofing on time

1. Use gutters

Gutters move water away from the roof and keep it from pooling by the foundation to create water damage. If your home has no gutters, now may be the time to install them. It also prevents dripping water from damaging the siding.

2. Clean gutters and downspouts

The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association has a manual available on preventive maintenance, including how to clean your gutters. Cleaning your gutters and downspouts ensures that water can flow freely away from the roof. If your gutters fill up with leaves and debris, gutters can overflow, potentially damaging your roof. Cleaning the gutters in the fall and spring prevents water from pooling at the foundation or running down the side of your home.

You can use a trowel to remove debris clogging your gutters or buy one of several tools designed to attach to your hose.  Rinsing out the gutters with a hose can help you clear debris from the downspouts as well.

3. Ensure proper draining

If your home has the proper slope, rainwater can properly drain, preventing roof rain damage. Protect your home with waterproofing and ensure that water diverts away from the base of the home. If you suspect you have a drainage problem, it may be time to get an inspection. Paying for an inspection now can prevent expensive repairs down the road.

4. Check downspouts

Your home needs functioning gutters to move water to the downspout, which removes the water from the base of the home. If your downspouts are not in working order, you may need a licensed roofer to repair gutters and downspouts.

Inspect your downspouts to make sure they extend far enough away from your home. Otherwise, they can funnel water to puddles that threaten the foundation of the property.

As a rule, downspouts should extend at least two feet from the home, three is preferable. However, the ideal length depends on the surrounding property. If your downspout extends sufficiently but water still collects by your home, you can install drainage pipe to physically move the water away from your house.

5. Check and maintain vents

Not all vents and soffits hold up well to heavy rain. Water damage can result from the wind driving water and debris into your attic vents. You can visually inspect them, if you feel comfortable on a ladder — or consider having a professional do it. Your vents should have guards designed to prevent water incursion in the home.

Birds nests, baseballs, branches and trash can lodge in your vents and cause blockages that may lead to water damage and other problems for your home. Removing debris and installing guards can help you rest more easily at night knowing your vents are protected.

6. Watch chimney

Having a fireplace or furnace to warm your home is essential to stay cozy in cooler weather. However, chimney maintenance is often neglected. Check your chimney to make sure it’s not a weak point on your roof. 

The flashing around the chimney can become loose or brittle over time. A properly hooded chimney prevents the age of water in your home. When you inspect the chimney, look for crack or other weaknesses that are vulnerable to rainwater. 

7. Clear hanging tree limbs

Trees look beautiful in the yard and provide shade in warmer months. However, when large branches overhang the roof, you could have a serious problem. Trees are prone to lightning strikes and wind damage can tear branches and leaves off large trees. If you have branches too close to your gutters, they can damage your roof’s vital drainage system.

Trim back limbs hanging over your roof and consider removing trees that present a danger to the structure of your home.  Branches overhanging the roof gather water and can scrape against the roof in a storm. If the branches are too large to clear, you may need to consult a tree removal service.

8. Shingle inspection

Your shingles and flashing — the metal strips at the edge and boundaries of the roof — protect you from roof rain damage. It’s easy to forget about the roof until you have a problem. Have a licensed roofer inspect your roof for signs of wear and tear to the shingles and other vital structures. 

If you are tempted to replace damaged shingles on your own, keep in mind that it may cost most to replace your roof down the road. Licensed roofers lend their expertise and can provide a free quote to replace loose shingles, rusty flashing and other roof structures that have moved past their prime.

9. Fix leaks

If your roof has sprung a leak, brown patches sometimes form on the ceiling before water drips through. Dark areas on the roof itself can also indicate that water has saturated the shingles instead of rolling away to the gutters. Make a call and have repairs completed as quickly as possible. Leaks get much worse quickly when heavy rains come. The resulting structural damage can be much more expensive than repairing the leak today.

10. Stop pooling water

Water often pools on a flat roof. If your roof doesn’t have the proper slope, it may result in poor drainage. Pooled water may deepen with each rainfall if left unattended. If you see pooled water that doesn’t clear after a downpour, there may be an issue with your roof that requires the expertise of an experienced roofer.

11. Check weather stripping

This may seem like an odd choice on a list to protect your roof from water damage. However, the weather-stripping around doors and windows also prevents rainwater from entering your home through gaps. Replace old weather stripping to ensure that your home stays dry and undamaged during a storm. 

12. Replace roofing on time

If you haven’t replaced the roof on your home in over 15 years, it may be time to install a new one. Replacing a roof can put a dent in your budget, but the roof protects your home from the weather and need to become a priority once it has widespread damage. The underlayment, shingles and other materials available today have advanced and will protect your roof for a long time to come. Besides, the new roof also adds value to your home if you ever decide to sell!

13. Inspect the attic ceiling

If you want to spot leaks but don’t see any problem on the roof itself, try inspecting the attic ceiling. Damaged, mouldy insulation, stained boards and ceiling panels or discoloured sheetrock help you detect leaks. Call a roofer immediately if you notice any of these signs. We can provide cost-effective recommendations and set up an appointment to make the repairs before the next storm.

14. Inspect flashing around skylights

Skylights let in natural light and add beauty to the architecture of your home. However, they also provide a potential place for rainwater to enter your home. Any place where joints and openings break the roofline can potentially cause a leak if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Check the flashing around the skylight for cracks and damage. Double-check the weather stripping on the glass as well since rain can seep through gaps in the seams as well. 

15. Don’t wait to replace missing shingles

A healthy wind can dislodge shingles and put a chink in the armour protecting your home from roof rain damage. It sometimes takes a while to notice a missing shingle. So, it’s a good idea to do a visual inspection of the roof after a major storm. 

If you find missing shingles, call a roofer to make the repairs as soon as possible. We can remove damaged shingles quickly with a pry bar or hammer, and replace any that have been removed by the storm.

Contact Us Today

T. Simpson Roofing can help you keep your roof in good repair and protect your roof from water damage.  Whether you need an inspection or immediate repairs, our licensed and insured roofers are ready to tackle the job. Visit our website to learn more and fill out the contact form to get a no-obligation quote.

T. Simpson

Originally founded by a 16-year-old Tony Simpson as a way of acquiring funds to help pay his way through university, T. Simpson Roofing, propelled by Tony’s strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality work and unbeatable customer service, quickly grew into a thriving business.

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