After a long cold, snowy, and wet winter, we have a beautiful sunny day. Things are just perfect…the kids are at school, you took a “sick” day from work (cough, cough), your aishes chayil was kind enough to whip up a delicious lunch (pizza from my favorite store [you know you’re going pay for that comment!]), and not a cloud in the sky! Well, maybe a teeny tiny cloud…actually, a lot of teeny tiny clouds, and now they are coming together, and sort of turning dark! The wind is kicking up, and KABOOM, FLASH! So much for a warm and sunny day!  The rain is coming down in buckets, and you are pretty sure you see animals walking in pairs being led by an old man with a staff (what was in that mushroom pizza?!). You make a mad dash for the house and get in right before you are totally soaked. You dry off, and…why is there still water dripping on your head? What’s happening? Your wife looks up at the ceiling and sees what looks like a faucet draining into the living room! A closer look reveals that your reliable roof has sprung a leak. It doesn’t make sense. When you bought the house 20 years ago, the seller said the roof was just put up and right as rain!

Well homeowners, while a well-made roof can last up to 15 years, the reality is that weather and the surrounding environment will affect longevity. Having said that, what is a homeowner to do to ensure a dry home? Here are a few maintenance and awareness tips:

Keep those leaders and gutters clean and avoid putting anything against the downspouts. A damaged downspout can hold back the draining water from the roof, which can then back up onto the roof. Dirty gutters also won’t allow water to drain into the leaders, which can lead to damaged fascia boards (the wood that holds the gutters in place). This results in water running behind the board and into your home.

Please do not put anything on the roof unless it is done by a licensed roofer. When adding a satellite dish, be mindful that a “protrusion,” or opening, has now been introduced into the roof. That can lead to leaking which can damage the roof’s infrastructure. Never allow a technician to nail it to the chimney (we will address that topic at a later article).

Have the roof periodically checked by either a licensed roofer or home inspector for wear and tear, and possible damages. This is a cost-effective way to save thousands of dollars on damages, not just to the roof, but inside of your home.

Be midfall of stains that appear out of “nowhere” around the windows, walls, and ceilings. Water always takes the path of least resistance and once a roof starts leaking, it can lead to costly consequences.

Jay Aron is a licensed NYS Home Inspector, and seasoned Electrical Engineer, and owner of Bodeck Home Inspections in Kew Gardens Hills. He is available for home inspections including houses, condos, and co-ops. For more information, call 516-417-6111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..