Weather experts are predicting that the west coast is going to be hit with an El Nino weather pattern. This means that it is expected to be a wet winter and spring. Much of the west coast has been in drought-like conditions for the past five years, so the wet weather is greatly needed. However, since there hasn't been much rain, your roof may not be up-to-par to handle constant rain and downpours. Preparing your roof for El Nino can help prevent leaks and the extensive damage they can cause. Here are some tips on how to prepare your roof for this predicted weather pattern.
Look for Signs of Leaks
Due to the lack of rain, you may not notice any leaks that have sprung up in your roof over the past couple years. Most people don't notice leaks until a large amount of water is dripping through them. However, even a small amount of water can leave behind tell-tale signs of a leak. One of the best indicators of a leak in a roof is staining on the underside of the roof. Go into your attic and look upward. If you see signs of water stains, such as discoloration or mildew, you likely have a leak in your roof.
Another way to look for signs of leaks in your roof is to stand on your roof with a hose and spray water onto the roof. Have a second person stand in your attic and look up to the attic ceiling. If any water drips into the space as water is sprayed onto the roof, you have a leak that needs to be prepared.
A roofer can fix these leaks before the heavy rain begins to fall, preventing large amounts of damage to both your roof and home.
Clean Your Gutters
Another way to prepare your roof for El Nino is to clean your gutters. Your gutters play an integral role in the well-being of your roof, siding and foundation system. Your gutter collects water as it falls from the roof and guides it away from the siding and foundation of your home. However, if the gutter is filled with debris, water falling from the roof may not flow through the trough. This causes water to sit in the trough, which can cause the edge of the roof to rot. Or worse, it can push water into your roof sheathing. If the sitting water and debris become too heavy, the gutter may pull away from the side of the roof, damaging the roof. And if water flows over the edge of the trough, your siding and foundation may be subjected to large amounts of water.
Taking the time to remove leaves and debris from your gutter is the best way to ensure water flowing through the trough is not impeded. Use soapy water to clean any sediment and dirt that have collected in the trough before the winter months hit as well. Cleaning your gutters helps extend the lifespan of gutters, as well as your roof, siding and foundation.
Inspect Your Roof
The last way to prepare your roof for El Nino is to inspect your roof. This involves climbing on the roof and looking for signs of damage. A few missing shingles or tiles may not seem like a huge deal, but they can allow water to seep into your roof, causing damage and increasing the potential for leaks. As you inspect your roof, look for missing and damaged roofing materials, including curled shingles, cracked tiles, shifting roofing materials and algae damage. If you feel uncomfortable climbing on your roof, or if you don't know what damage to look for, a roofer perform a roof inspection for you.
If you notice any signs of damage to your roof, you will want to have a roofer make repairs as quickly as possible. During an El Nino weather pattern, you can expect to see heavy downpours. This can quickly cause a lot of damage if water seeps in through a small roof issue. Preventative roof repairs are typically cheaper and can be done quicker than more extensive damage.
Water that seeps through a roof can cause a substantial amount of damage. The wood beams that hold the roof up, called the trusses, as well as the wood decking underneath your roofing materials, can become damaged. This can result in your roof having to be replaced. Water can also seep through your roof and into your home, causing damage to your insulation, dry wall and structural support beams, as well as the potential for minor flooding. Preparing your roof for inclement weather is the best way to prevent finding yourself in this situation. Looking for signs of leaks and roof problems, and having those repaired, and cleaning your gutters are a few of the ways you can get your roof ready for a wet winter.