Ask the Expert: Leaves, Leaks and Looking for Trouble

All those leaves falling in your yard and onto your roof may be a sign of the changing seasons here in the Hamptons, but they could also be a sign of problems to come—or issues you may already be having with leaks and water-related damage to your home. Knowing how to find the trouble spots is a key step, offers Line Home Improvement in Southampton—as is taking preventative measures to stop problems in the first place.

The Question: What are the most common leaks I should look for and how do I preform proper maintenance on my house?

The Answer from Line Home Improvement: Many things can cause leaks on your house, most uncommonly improper installation, the regular wear and tear of the material in question, and if it was replaced when needed. Here are a few general rules of thumb about your roofing and siding that should be addressed to prevent leaks and excessive buildup of moisture and garbage.

For asphalt- and wood-shingle roofing you should trim and/or cut trees that are too close. The trees increase the moisture on the shingle, causing the shingle to begin to disintegrate. Also, to help prevent algae and mold buildup, it is a recommended to clean the leaves and debris off your roof at least twice a year so they don’t stick to the shingle and cause problems.

The most common leaks from your siding come from the flashing drip caps, which go above all windows and doors. Every time you replace a window or door you must replace the flashing drip cap. One common error is forgetting to put a flashing drip cap above the surround trim on a window; you need both—one for the surround trim and one for the actual window frame.

Similarly, every window or door that is longer than four feet long must have a seal pan to prevent the absorption of the different elements from the outside of the door to the inside. These seal pans are most important when the house in question if facing the coast or located in an empty area with no protection from the elements.

Other steps you can take to maintain healthy siding are to cut back the shrubs that are close to the house and make sure the sprinkler system does not hit the house. Also, the moisture from the dirt could affect the first course of shingles (the lowest line of shingles) and increase the possibilities of your home’s developing mold and/or termites. This is why we recommend keeping the dirt a few inches below the first course.

Last of all we recommend never to power wash your wood shingle siding because it wears the material down and it loses its natural resistance. We recommend staining the wood shingles every 3 to 5 years if you want to keep the natural color of the material. Vinyl siding is free of maintenance.

Have your own questions about leaks, roofing or other home-improvement issues? You can contact Line Home Improvement Roofing & Siding Specialists at 631-287-5042. You may even see your question answered right here at Ask the Expert.



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