Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Attic and Protecting Your Home
Water damage in your attic… it’s a call we often get from distressed homeowners who wish they’d taken the time to do the preventative maintenance necessary to mitigate water damage. Take these five steps twice a year, and you will greatly lower your chances of problems with water damage in your attic.
1. Check Your Roof for Leaks
While you may not want to get up on your roof, you can easily go up into your attic and poke around with a flashlight. Check the following for signs of discoloration or warping:
- Are there signs of damage in the insulation?
- Do you see signs of water damage on the wood?
- How about around the plumbing stacks? This is a common spot for a hidden leak.
If you suspect a leak (caused by problems with the roof), place fresh newspaper down in the areas of discoloration, and then check immediately after it rains to see if water is leaking in that area.
Did a roofing rep recently stop by your home and offer to go up on the roof? Even you don’t think you need a new roof quite yet, let him climb up there, and ask him to let you know if he sees signs of split shingles or leaky flashing. Whether you use the roofing company’s services or not, you will have a better idea of what condition your roof is in. Take care of small repairs yourself if you are handy; hire a professional for anything you can’t tackle yourself. Keeping your roof in good shape is a good idea for many reasons. Don’t neglect it!
2. Check Your HVAC System
If you have an HVAC system in your attic, you need to check it often (especially in the summer here in the South where your AC unit works overtime and the drip pan can overflow or get moldy). In addition to you checking it, you may want to have a professional out annually to give it a look over. Age is an important factor to consider; the older your unit is, the more likely you’ll have problems, especially if you haven’t invested time cleaning and monitoring it in the past. See our post about mold in your AC unit to learn how mold and water damage are related when it comes to air conditioning units.
3. Examine Vents
If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, humidity results in damaging condensation accumulation. Make sure vents are clear and are directed outside. If your home has kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents that blow warm air directly into the attic, this is particularly problematic and may need to be rerouted. Warm air blowing into your attic causes humidity problems and water damage in the attic.
4. Insulate Your Attic
Here in the South, our attics are often not well insulated, and that puts you at risk of ice dams in the coldest days of winter. Insulate heating ducts as well. If you have exposed pipes, insulate the pipes to prevent frozen and burst pipes.
5. Take a Good Look at Your Ceilings
We often forget to look up; you may be surprised what you see when take the time to do so. A discolored patch around a ceiling vent or ceiling light may be the first tip off to the bigger problem you’ll find once in the attic.
Need Help With Water Damage in Your Attic?
Give us a call. We’re here to help you prevent any future issues, and we can provide references to reputable companies who can do any restoration work we don't provide. We look forward to working with you!
Quick question & answer: How can I protect my home from water damage in my attic?
To prevent water damage in your attic, inspect your roof for leaks and put fresh newspaper in suspected problem areas. Check your HVAC system, especially in summertime and if it is an older unit. Look to see if vents blow warm air into your attic, causing humidity. Also, insulate your attic in winter and look for discoloration on your ceiling.