A few weeks back you saw that there’s a leak coming from your kitchen — not one but two. Now, what if you weren’t able to detect this? How are we able to identify what’s causing this? What are the appropriate steps to eliminate it? Roof leaks can be a very big challenge to homeowners. They happen anytime at an unexpected moment. But they can be done right.
So you’re probably itching to fix that leak you’ve seen recently. Before you take out your tools, however, you might want to rethink doing this job yourself. After all, no matter how handy you are with tools, issues that involve a simple roof leak — roof, in general, are often bigger than they may at first seem. Maybe it’s also time for a roof replacement?
Roof leaks are one among the most common issues homeowners inevitably will face. Because of this, all too often, they tend to go the DIY route. The truth is, however, that there’s no such thing as a “simple leak,” and by no means is a leak repair job easy to DIY. Preventive maintenance plays a huge role when it comes to dealing with leaks – so homeowners need to be proactive about keeping their homes well-maintained. Why? Because once the home springs a leak, it’s already too late.
At the very least, dealing with a leak can be pretty bothersome, which is why some tend to postpone repairs. It, however, resulted in a much bigger problem afterwards.
Once identified, it should be a priority to trace its sources and stop further damage.This is where early leak detection comes into play.
Early Leak Detection
Professionals will tell you that early leak detection is crucial in helping you immediately address potential problems that can be costly to rectify water damage. There are a number of causes for leaks. Homeowners need to recognize the signs of an impending leak, not so they can fix it themselves, but, rather, so they can call in a trustworthy professionals to handle things.
Why? Rather than diving into doing it yourself and making a mess of things, you want to hire a professional with the experience, knowledge and the right equipment to quickly and accurately detect the location of the leak. Broken shingles, loosened nails, cracked plumbing vents and clogged gutters can all cause leaks as can incorrect seamless gutter installation, lackluster maintenance and weather damage. A pro will be better equipped to find and identify the leak’s source.
Signs of Roof Damage
While your roofing system is likely your home’s toughest structure, it isn’t invulnerable to wear and tear over time. Damage often isn’t easily visible, which is why roof inspection needs to be carried out on a regular basis. Some of the warnings signs to watch out for are:
Water stains and streaks on the ceiling or spots on your exterior walls touching the roof –
The presence of water inside your home where there should be none is the surest sign of a roof leak. The most obvious signs are stains or streaks along your walls and ceiling. If you’re seeing large brown puddles on your ceiling or in the darker corners of your home, that points to water infiltration. Streaks and stains won’t necessarily appear directly beneath the leak. Small ones, in fact, can be a sign of a larger leak elsewhere on your roof. Any brown or black marks are stains caused by the deterioration of your roof’s underlying wood material. This is a structural concern that you’ll need to act on as soon as you spot this problem. Otherwise, deterioration could spread and require full replacement of your roof.
Missing or damaged roof shingles –
Shingles serve as your roof’s main shield against the elements. When they are missing or damaged, cracked, buckling or curling, it’s expected for serious leaks to appear around your home. Perhaps, you’ve even noticed patches of missing material on your roof’s surface. Hail and wind damage can cause such issues, which will, in turn, cause water to penetrate and drip onto the roof deck.
Excessive mold, moss and mildew growth –
Leaks cause constant water exposure and can also give rise to excessive humidity. Therefore allowing mold, moss and mildew buildup to develop in your home. Look for discoloration, dampness and warping. A musty, unpleasant smell is also an indication that your family is being exposed to significant health risks. Experts can more easily track down the source of the leak to perform necessary repairs promptly.
Loose or shredded flashing –
Flashing is made up of thin, metal pieces. They’re installed under the roofing material and around joints to help create a weather-resistant barrier for the most vulnerable areas of your roofing system. This includes the areas around chimneys, skylights, vents and valleys. Torn or loose flashing leaves your home vulnerable to water damage. Water can easily seep into your foundation and walls, compromising your home’s structural integrity.
Failed insulation and ventilation
A close attic is oftentimes the result of having a roof leak. As water seeps in and begins to damage your insulation and hamper ventilation, you will be unable to keep a stable temperature inside your home. Your HVAC system will need to work extra hard as well, resulting in high energy costs.
Other signs that are indicative of leaks include discoloration on above deck and attic components, and clogged and overflowing gutters.
Leading Causes of Leaks
There are several issues that can cause roof leaks. To help homeowners figure out the main sources of a leak immediately, here are a few leading causes:
It Needs Replacement – It has had a long service life and is now due for replacement. How long has it been since your roof was installed or last replaced? An aging roof system that has reached the end of its service life will have a hard time keeping water out. It’ll be brittle and more prone to cracking, which would invite water to flow freely into your home.
Damaged Flashing – Some roofing components like chimneys are designed to stick through your roof. Flashing needs to be built around their seams to prevent leaking. Damaged flashing is particularly vulnerable to leaks, and the seams they typically cover can become an entryway for rainwater.
Holes in Your Ridge Cap – A ridge cap covers the peak of your roof to protect the ridge vent from leaks. Professionals sometimes inadvertently damage the ridge cap when doing their work, and this can lead to holes that become leaks down the road.
Clogged Gutters and Downspouts – Having dirty gutters and clogs can cause rainwater to overflow and seep through your siding or exterior shingles. Gutter maintenance or the use of gutter guards can prevent this from becoming an issue.
Other likely causes of roof leaks are faulty plumbing and leaky pipes in the attic, excess condensation in the home, ice dams and holes in the roof.
Delaying repairs on your leaky roof, you open yourself up to a number of risks. So don’t take leaks for granted – and regret having done so.
Here are a few reasons why you must take roof repairs seriously:
Leaks can lead to serious structural damage – Tiny leaks may seem insignificant, but a seemingly small drip can inundate your insulation, seep into your walls and penetrate the very foundations of your home. There’s no going back once the integrity of your home has been compromised.
Leaks bring health risks – Where moisture is present, mold and mildew are very likely not far behind. Rapidly spreading of spores can cause not just allergies, but a slew of related health issues that can hit everyone especially the kids.
Electronics! – A leak can find its way into your electrical wiring and result in serious electrical issues in the home. Exposed wires can lead to electrocution or can result in spontaneous fires, which certainly won’t bode well for anyone.
Costs – You may not be aware of it, but what started off as a tiny leak can have serious consequences. Leaks can quickly compromise the integrity of your home as it seeps into your roofing, walls and all the way down to the core of the home – your foundation. Once your home’s very structure has been compromised, it’ll cost you serious money to set things to rights.
Solution to a Leaky Roof Problem
No one really wants to have to deal with leaks, but when they do appear, there’s only one thing for it. Call your local roof experts to conduct a thorough inspection of your roof and home. After so, they’ll be able to provide complete evaluation and recommendations, you should have the necessary repairs done by your chosen roofing pro to ensure that your roofing and your home stay safe and sound for years to come!