Building & Renovating

When Was The Last Time You Checked The Roof for Leaks?

Interior designer Joy Ejercito gives tips you can follow

Photography: Mott Plumbing and Dakila Angeles

With heavy rains becoming more frequent, it’s important to check if your roof is in good condition to avoid leaks and a flooded home. While some of us may find it difficult to find time for this task, it’s an important maintenance chore that we all need to prioritize. When is the best time to test the roof for leaks? What can we do to prevent huge roof problems? Interior designer Joy Ejercito answers some of our questions:

1. What causes roof leaks?

"The roof leakage can be due to a faulty tap, pest infestations, plumbing leaks, roof drains, condensation, defective HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) system, and bad or wrong installation of roofing."

2. Why is it important to test the roof for leaks?

"It is important to test the roof for leaks because the roof protects the house or building from the different types of weather. It's also exposed to elements that may contribute to its decay and deterioration. If the roof is properly maintained, it protects the house/building and the people living in it. A little maintenance can save a lot of money in the long run."

3. How can we prevent leaks? Is there a best time to do an inspection?

"Prevent roof leaks by doing a yearly inspection. There is no best time for a roof inspection. It depends on the roof's condition, the homeowner's schedule, and the weather."

While many schedule an inspection on a bright and sunny day, there are some who consider rainy days as an opportunity to trace the source of the leaks. Keep in mind that it's best to ask a pro or an expert to help you check the roof and recommend the best solution. "There are a number of factors that may have a direct cause on the leaks," explains Joy. Avoid bigger problems in the future with these tips from the designer:

  • Remember that waterproofing—the process of making a structure waterproof or water-resistant—is an important first step that you shouldn't skip. Ask a design professional about this and make sure you have it done. It's an investment that will pay off in the long run.
  • Make sure the gutters and drains are not covered with leaves, birds' nests, or debris that may cause a clog and lead to leaks. Cover them with mesh.

READ: How-To: Cleaning the Gutter

  • Gutters should be 18-inches wide to accommodate a large amount of rainfall.
  • Metal sheets under the roof tiles prevent water penetration. Consult with a pro to see if you can have these installed to avoid leaks.
  • Poorly installed GI (galvanized iron) flashings on vertical surfaces are also sources of leaks. An important part of weatherproofing, flashing involves materials that prevent water from penetrating a house or building.

Get in touch with interior designer Joy Ejercito through e-mail: joyejercito[at] For a list of design professionals you can work with, click here

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