There are many problems that can affect your roof, but issues with the roof drainage system are rarely thought of.
The drainage system on your roof is incredibly important. When it’s not working, it will lead to all sorts of problems, some that are quite costly to fix. How can you tell if there are problems with your drainage? Here’s how to find out and keep your roof in top condition.
Why Is Your Roof Drainage System So Important?
In short, water is the worst enemy of your roof. In ideal circumstances, the water will roll down your roof, into the gutters, which will then guide it all away. If water is allowed to pool or sit on the roof, then it’s going to get into the structure and cause problems. The most visible issues are leaks in your home. That may include staining on the ceilings, and of course water damage wherever the leak is occurring.
The wood in your roof will become damaged too, if left exposed to water. When you inspect your roof from the attic, you may see mold or rot on the wood. If left long enough, this will seriously damage the structure of the roof, and possibly even necessitate a new roof entirely.
So you can see, it’s vital that you keep your roof’s drainage system in good working order. Here’s what you need to be looking for when you inspect it.
Leaves In The Gutters
The most common problem is leaves and other debris getting into the gutters. Over the fall and winter, trees are going to lose their leaves and they’ll make their way onto your roof, and into your gutters. When too many of them pile up, you’ll see that they stop water flowing through them. As there’s a blockage, that means that water is going to overflow back onto the roof. The standing water will then cause all kinds of issues for your roof.
This is a problem that you can solve quite easily. If you think the gutters are blocked, get onto a ladder and take a look. If you find leaves, simply scoop them out and dispose of them. You can then install a gutter guard that will stop leaves getting back in.
If you want to take it one step further, take a look at the trees near your house. If they’re too close and posing a risk to the roof, you can either trim the branches back or have the tree removed. This will stop the debris finding its way onto your roof.
You may find that your roof is showing wear and tear after only a year or two. If it’s been recently installed and you’re finding issues such as curling shingles or worn away granules, that’s a sign that the roof may not have had its drainage system installed properly. You’ll need to call on a roofer to come and take a look for you, to see how the issue can be fixed.
Flat Roofs And Ponding
If you have a flat roof, you need to be very cautious about drainage. Now, all flat roofs should have a slight slope and outlets to allow water to drain away when it rains. They’ll also have heavy duty waterproof membranes, to stop water from getting into the roof and causing problems. This should stop most water related issues, but not all of them.
After a heavy rainfall, you may find that some water is sitting on your roof. This is called ‘ponding’. If the water is only there for a day or two, that shouldn’t be a problem, as the water will eventually drain away. If the water stays for longer, then you need to investigate what is causing the problem. Most often, you’ll see that something is blocking the outlets. It could be debris such as leaves, or even balls or other items that have found their way onto the roof. These blockages will need to be removed in order to let the water drain.
Even if your gutters are clear and working as they should, you may be having problems with the downspout. If they pump out water too close to the house, the water will get into the foundations and cause issues there. You may notice there’s water stains in your basement, or water starting to stand in grass near the foundations. You know foundation problems are expensive to fix, so you want to avoid that at all costs.
The good news is that the issue is fairly simple to fix. If the water is being pumped out too close to the foundations, you’ll need to install gutter extensions. These will guide the water further away from the house, so you won’t have to worry about any damage to your home. It’s a fairly simple fix that will save you so much money in the long run.
Mildew In The Attic
Mildew can easily start forming in the attic thanks to improper drainage and ventilation in your roof. You may be getting warm air rising from your bathroom, or from your basement. The first step is to find out where the air is coming from. If it’s in your bathroom for example, you’ll need to install a ventilation fan to draw the warm air out of the roof.
Ice dams are a problem that start in the winter, when temperatures start to freeze. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, then you’ll find that snow on your roof melts, gets to the gutters, and re freezes as it reaches a colder part of the roof. The clogs the gutters and creates a dam, which is going to create more problems down the road. If you get your attic insulated before the winter comes, you shouldn’t have to worry about ice dams.
There are several things that indicate you have problems with your roof drainage system. The good news is they’re often easily addressed. If you’re having any of the above issues, address it as soon as you can to ensure that your roof stays in good condition. Staying on top of smaller issues will stop more expensive ones cropping up later.