Signs You Have A Leaking Roof
- There are water stains on your ceiling or walls.
- Your shingles, corner boards and fascia board are curling, cracking or missing entirely.
- You see daylight coming through your roof or areas without cover.
- Your gutters are overflowing or detached from the house.
- You notice mold or mildew growing in your home.
- Your energy bills are suddenly higher than usual.
- You hear strange noises coming from your roof.
Causes of Roof Leaks
There are many causes of roof leaks, but most roof leak causes are related to a few common causes. Once a roof leak appears, action is urgent! The damaging water is already finding its way inside your house!
The main causes of roof leaks are:
- Age and weathering of the roofing materials
- Severe storms and brutal Texas weather
- Expansion and contraction of the roof due to temperature changes
- Poor installation or maintenance of your roof
- Animal intrusion
- Your chimney is very difficult to flash on your roof because it usually has an odd angle or creates a dam for water. Access to your chimney is usually relatively easy but the flashing on the outside is a little more precarious.
- Nails penetrating your roof decking automatically create direct penetrations from the elements to the inside of your home. This is very apparent in pipe and plumbing vent risers.
Remember that any penetration through your roof decking and roof sheathing is a potential roof leak. Your roof deck is your last line of defense before the water enters your home to cause roof leaks, damage your home’s interior and require special roof repairs.
Ways to Find Roof Leaks
The first step in repairing a leaky roof is to find the source of the leak. This can be a challenging task because each home is different and leaks can often occur in hidden or hard-to-reach places.
At this stage, two of the most useful tools are an assistant in your attic and a garden hose! We are hunting leaks and using the garden hose allows you to place water on your roof in a controlled manner. Your assistant can see where water is leaking through your roof decking on the inside of your house.
Water can penetrate your home’s roof especially on flat roofs and shingle roofs where there are seams on your roof surface. Water can pass your roof decking and then travel down your roof rafters, hit an obstruction and detour all before you see a drip.
- Inspect the roof for any missing, damaged or loose shingles.
- Look for any cracks or holes in the flashing around vent pipes, chimneys and skylights.
- Check the eaves and gutters for any signs of leaks or water damage. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and moisture to enter your home. If you see any dripping or pooling water, it’s likely that the leak is located somewhere nearby.
- Wait for a rainy day and then go up to the attic or crawlspace to see if there are any wet spots. If you find a wet spot, you can then use a flashlight to follow the water trail until you find the source of the leak.
- Examine the sealant around windows and doors. If it is cracked or missing, this can be a source of slowly dripping water.
Once You Have Located Roof Leaks
Once you’ve located the source of the leak, it’s time to start making repairs. If the leak is small, you may be able to simply seal it with caulk or roofing tar. For larger leaks, you’ll need to patch the hole with roofing nails, a piece of flashing or sheet metal roofing. Once the hole is patched, apply a generous amount of caulk or roofing tar around the edges to create a watertight seal.
If your roof is leaking in multiple places, it’s likely that there is a more serious problem such as damaged shingles or a hole in the roof deck. In this case, you’ll need to contact a professional roofing contractor to make the necessary repairs.
Steps To Repair A Leak
Roof leak repairs can be dangerous, especially if your roof’s pitch is severe.
Please do not put up your ladder and start tromping around on your roof! The last thing your family needs is a roof leak and you hurt because you slipped and fell off your roof!
Please leave the rooftop work to your professional roofing contractors!
Quick Roofing Repairs
Quickly repairing your roof is critical.
Most quick and temporary roofing repairs only need a few common tools. If you know you need a fast repair from animals like squirrels or raccoons burrowing into your roof, and you just need to plug the hole you may just a simple piece of sheet metal hammered and sealed onto the hole before professionals arrive to remove shingles and do a full repair.
- a flat bar called a cat’s paw
- A standard pry bar
- Some spare new shingles that match your color
- Roofing nails
- A caulk gun or roofing cement
- Possibly a putty knife to work sealant into cracks
- A utility knife or other tool to cut shingles like roofing sheers or specialized roofer’s shingle knife.
There are a few different ways to quickly fix your damaged roof to prevent further damage before the professionals arrive, depending on the severity of the leak and the type of roofing material. For minor leaks, patching or sealing the leak may be enough to resolve the issue. For more severe leaks, it may be necessary to replace damaged shingles or tiles.
Quick Fix List
- Most commonly the leak comes from damaged or missing asphalt shingles. Those shingles need to be pulled and replaced or repaired.
- When moisture is coming from a crack or hole in the flashing, the area can be resealed with caulk or roofing sealant.
- If the leak is coming from a clogged gutter, the gutters can be cleaned out. You can usually prevent further damage by leveling the drain.
- When you have water coming from a gable window’s metal flashing, sealant can be replaced to delay further leaking for a time. But the metal flashing will need correct installation for a durable repair.
- If water is coming in from around roof vents, the vent pipe can be resealed with caulk or roofing sealant. Sometimes the roof vents are dry-rotted and need to be completely replaced.
- Water coming in from a valley, you may only need to remove tree debris. Sometimes flashing can be replaced. Other times you need roofing repair or your shingles may not properly channel the water.
- If the leak is coming from ice dams, that means ice is forcing water up under neighboring shingles and down inside your roof decking.
- When water is coming in at the roof line, the asphalt shingles may need to be replaced to fix the issue, because of cracking from the sun.
For more severe leaks, the roof decking under your sheathing may be damaged. It may be necessary to replace damaged shingles or tiles in large sections.
Extensive Damage From A Leaky Roof
Leaky roofs are one of the most common and costly problems faced by homeowners. Roof repair is not difficult but can save you massive amounts of cash and frustration when you tend to your roof. If left unrepaired, a leaky roof can cause extensive damage to your home’s structure and lead to mold growth. Timely roofing repair is the only quick solution to prevent further damage.
Mold From Leaking Roofs
That moisture inside your roof sheathing travels along every gap and opening until it finds a reason to drip into your insulation. Moisture in your insulation is the leading cause of failed insulation. The moisture compacts your insulation making it useless because it stops protecting you from the excessive heat in your attic. Furthermore, mold in your insulation rots your decking and sheetrock spreads through your home.
The worst part about all this is that once mold starts to spread it only gets worse! Your air quality will suffer from all the new mold spores, prompting allergies and asthma symptoms. Some people – young people and the elderly – are particularly sensitive to hostile mold spores. There are even cases where particularly virulent molds are so toxic they can cause impaired judgment, severe breathing problems, and inflammation of the airway. Some people even suffer from hallucinations and even death from certain strains. For want of a single new shingle or new flashing piece, you can totally destroy not only your home but your family’s health!
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call us as your roofing expert to come and take a look. We will be able to tell you for sure if you have a leak and help you determine the best course of action to fix it.
Roof Leaks & Roofing Repair Conclusions
As soon as you identify that your roof is leaking, you need to take action to prevent any further water damage. Depending on the size and severity of the leak you need to react differently. You may be able to repair it yourself or you may need to call in a professional roofing contractor.
Once you’ve located the source of the leak, you need to determine the best way to fix it. For small leaks, you may be able to simply patch the area with a sealant or roofing tape. However, for larger leaks or those that are located in difficult-to-reach areas, you may need to replace the damaged section of roofing altogether.
If you decide to repair the roof leak yourself, be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. When you are not 110% confident in your ability to safely climb the ladder, it is always best to call in a professional roofing contractor. If you are not 110% confident in your skills to properly repair your roof, it is always best to call in a professional roofing contractor.
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