A roof, by and large, is built to last. But unless you ensure that the most vulnerable parts of your roof are protected, you may find yourself having to deal with costly problems much sooner than expected. If you would like to learn more about some common strategies to extend the lifespan of a roof, read on. This article will discuss three additional methods of preventing unwanted water damage.
A common problem for many homes are roof edges that abut the wall of an adjoining section of the home. Such areas are much more prone to developing water related problems such as exterior rot, leaking, and damaged structural supports. That's because each time it rains, the water cascading down your roof splashes right up against the "naked" wall.
To prevent the inevitability of costly repairs, it is vital to have kick-out flashing installed anywhere a roof edge directly contacts a sidewall. Kick-out flashing consists of a piece of sheet metal--usually aluminum--which is attached below the roof shingles. From there the flashing bends upward at a 90 degree angle; this part of the flashing is attached to the wall of your home. The result is a corrosion-resistant barrier, one that protects the wall against insidious water damage.
Chimneys represent another vulnerable part of your roof. The problem here is that the side of the chimney that faces the peak of your roof often unintentionally forms a kind of dam. This allows the accumulation of leaves, moss, branches, and other detritus. The problem is that these things tend to retain excess moisture. As a result, chimneys are much more prone to developing rot, corroded flashing, and leaks.
You can keep this from occurring through the installation of a chimney saddle. Also known as a cricket, a chimney saddle is essentially a secondary roof, albeit one with a much tinier scale. This angled addition increases the drainage around your chimney, thus preventing water damage by making it easier for debris to be washed down off the edge of your roof.
Pretty much everybody understands the vital role that gutters play in protecting against water damage. Yet few people realize that a truly well-designed gutter system should include what are known as gutter aprons. The purpose of a gutter apron is to keep the water flowing down your roof from curling back under the bottom shingle and causing damage. Installed beneath the terminal row of shingles, gutter aprons help to channel that water safely into the gutters.