Four Ways to Help Make Your Roof Leak-Proof

Considering the record-breaking heat last summer, we understand why you might welcome the storms El Niño is sending our way. But before you start planning to spend your weekends curled up on the couch with a cup of tea, watching the rain pitter-patter on your windows, take some time to prepare your home—and in particular, your roof—for the deluge.

Of course, roof maintenance is important all the time, but this year, it’s especially critical. Experts say that homes could be more susceptible to leaks this spring because the summer’s high, dry heat caused the wood in houses to contract and open up small gaps, big enough to allow water to leak through.

And that’s why homeowners should make sure their roofs are sealed up tight before the rains come. Following are some steps to take to help you avoid leaks this spring:

Perform a thorough inspection. You should give your roof a good once-over at least annually, and twice a year if possible. It’s not as difficult as you might think: Just put a ladder up to the side of your house and check for missing or worn shingles. Take a particularly close look at spots where there’s flashing or where two different materials meet, such as the areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights. If they’re not sealed right, they’re prime spots for leaks. Homeowners with tile roofs might think they can skip this step, but they shouldn’t. Tiles can slip, chip, and crack, exposing the felt paper underneath to sun, which in turn causes wear and tear to the paper, leading to possible leaks.

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