A roof leak can cause significant water damage in your home. This can include costly interior repairs to sheetrock and paint, eventual structural damage, mold, and a more expensive roof replacement down the road.
Fortunately, if you know what to look for, damage can be minimized or even avoided with the proper roof maintenance. Below are a couple ways to identify roof leaks:
- Inspect all ceilings for water spots. This includes water circles, discoloration, and bulging drywall. If these areas are wet or increase in size every time it rains, they are likely roofing leaks. (On occasion, it means a leak could be in another part of your home.)
- Inspect your attic while it’s raining to detect any dripping water or to inspect the decking for obvious water spots.
- Inspect your roof from the ground to see if there are missing shingles, buckled and lifting shingles, dips in the decking, and pipe and vent flashing that’s not flush with the roof surface.
Here are a few best practices to prevent roof repairs:
- Use a quality roofing company to install your roof.
- Have a roof inspection when your roof is 10 years old and every other year after.
- Perform annual or bi-annual roof maintenance, including securing and sealing all flashing, caulking exposed nail heads, painting vents, and fixing nail pops.
- Keep roof surface clean and gutters free of debris.
A roof leak can cause significant damage throughout your home, so if you find or suspect damage, contact a local roofing contractor immediately. Bird’s Eye Roofing will inspect and make roof repairs or maintenance recommendations as needed to address your roofing issues.
The most common causes of roof leaks are:
- A poorly installed roof. These roofs use inferior components that fail over time. Instead of reflashing or waterproof products, caulk and inferior products were likely used and eventually break down.
- Older roofs. These roofs start failing with plastic pipe boots first,and then move onto the components under the most stress, such as hip and ridge shingles. Using hhigh–qualityproducts can prevent these situations
- A storm. This is a situation where wind rips off shingles, or heavy wind-driven rain compromises the roofing system. You’ll likely find shingles in the yard or understand exactly when this occurs.
How to know it’s a roof leak before calling a roofing company near you:
- It leaks every time it rains. If it doesn’t, it’s likely another part of your home, such as a window or siding that’s only affected during certain types of storms.
- The leak is visible during a storm in the attic or under rotten wood of the roof. If nothing is visible in the attic, it could be a variety of causes.
- If it’s leaking around your chimney, it’s possibly a roof leak. If it’s leaking inside the actual fireplace, it’s likely a part of the chimney itself (mortar, chimney cap, corner boards, siding, etc).
- Other scenarios are tough to tell. Leaks entering through pipe vents in the roof and through the HVAC often mask themselves as roof leaks.
If you’re unsure where a leak is coming in, contact a leak detection company. Otherwise, if you see spots on your ceiling or in your attic or common wet spots every time it rains, call a local roofing company for a free roof inspection.