Long time residents of the valley here in Phoenix are accustomed to the Monsoon season. For new residents many wonder how bad it will get and how do I prepare my roof for monsoon season. If you’ve been here for a few years it’s become just part of life, but with the high winds, torrential rain, and walls of sand and dust coming through the city damage to your house isn’t a possibility, its eventually a fact.
There are a series of steps in ensuring that your home’s roof is ready for those high wind and heavy rainfall conditions. The first is prevention, having your roof inspected before the clouds gather and it’s already leaking into your home.
If you’ve got a flat roof even before you have an inspection you can keep an eye out for debris lying on the roof. Things like excessive leaves, branches, or other objects can actually get stuck in and block your gutters and downspouts which will trap water on your roof. Also you want to make sure that if you have a BUR roof, that there are no open seams where water can get through. With your elastomeric coatings you want to also ensure they are still in solid, undamaged condition.
When it comes to pitched roofs you have valleys that run down the roof. These canals channel water down off the roof and they need to be completely free of debris like rubble or the material coming off of old roof shingles. Just like the flat roofs you need to make sure that the seams are checked and that everything is in good condition. Clearly if tiles or shingles are missing it’s time to do some repair or get your local roofing contractor out to fix it right, the first time.
Gutters and downspouts need to be checked. They need to be in good condition, securely attached and free of debris so they can effectively channel the heavy rainfall off your roof. If they are hanging in an odd way or not how they are meant to they can collect water and channel it back into the roof. It’s also a good idea to work on the protection for the foundation of the home, ensure that proper drainage is possible and water doesn’t undermine the foundation.
Trees provide shade that cuts down on cooling costs, but if they are too close they can cause problems for a roof. If it’s a large old tree and it fails during these high wind events a branch can leave a big mark, or even a hole in your roof. Even if it’s not a big branch that comes through your roof, just having the twigs and branches on your roof interferers with proper roof drainage.
If you’re not the first owner of your home the previous owners might have taken shortcuts that weren’t caught during the inspection when it comes to roof patching and roof repair. Having a professional come and inspect your roof to make sure there aren’t DYI mistakes like overlapping layers of roofing material, gaps, or just plain poor craftsmanship will prevent otherwise avoidable problems with leaky roofs, or roofs wearing out sooner than they should because of mold or algae.
Monsoon Season General House Preparation
A few steps of prevention will go miles to help prevent serious repairs and damage to the interior of your home. Take a look at the list of prevention tips and be ready, because Monsoon season is upon us.
- Make sure doors and windows have proper seals, install weather stripping if necessary.
- Trim bushes and trees around the house to prevent them from causing damage to the walls or roof.
- Be aware of water collecting near the foundation and install drainage options to redirect the water away from the foundation.
- Have some sand bags handy, especially if you live at the lower end of a slope so you can set them out and redirect the water away from home.
- Look at your ceilings and be aware of stains, they are a sign that water is finding a way through your roof. It might not seem like much, but water can stagnate and end up causing mold.