Leaky Roof: 4 things you need to know
What causes a leaky roof? How can you prevent it from leaking? Does home insurance cover damage caused by a leaky roof? Here’s what you need to know!
1. Damage caused by a leaky roof is not always covered by home insurance
In general, basic home insurance covers damage resulting from a burst water main or seepage or overflow from an indoor plumbing installation (bath, washing machine, dishwasher, toilet).
For other types of water damage, you will need to add an endorsement to your contract. The endorsement covers water that seeps through the roof, walls, doors or windows.
2. What can cause a leaky roof?
The most frequent culprits are:
- Gutters that are crooked, collapsed or clogged (debris and dead leaves)
- Snow removal that is inadequate or poorly done
- An accumulation of water due to poor maintenance
- A rooftop at the end of its useful life
- Curled, damaged or missing shingles
- Seals that are no longer tight or flashing that is in poor condition
3. Maintenance is key to preventing leaks
In winter, examine your roof regularly.
- Have the roof cleared after a major snowfall or icy rain. Ideally, you should hire a professional who has experience, the tools and techniques to remove snow safely and not damage the roof.
- When snow melts, check that it flows down the gutters or in case of a flat roof, down the drain. Water should never be allowed to pool on your roof.
In the spring and fall, inspect your roof and make the necessary maintenance and repairs.
- Remove dead leaves and other debris from the gutters. Make sure they are solidly affixed to the roof and repair them accordingly.
- Check that the soffit (under the eaves) is not clogged and lets air circulate in and out of the attic space.
- Make sure that the flashing and seals (around the chimney and vents) are in good condition. If not, have them repaired immediately.
- Check the condition of the insulation around the attic vents.
- Check the shingles on every slope of the roof. Ask an expert and replace those that are curled, damaged or missing.
- Identify all protruding nails and hammer them back in.
4. Replacing the roof when it’s at the end of its useful life
Your roof is over twenty years old, but seems to be in good condition? Have it inspected by a professional to be sure.
Even though replacing a roof is expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment because you will avoid water leakage and the inconvenience of and having to pay for major damage.
When you do, don’t forget to tell your insurer to update your file!
For more information, to check your coverage or add coverage to your home insurance, call your insurer!