If it has rained recently and you’re running around with saucepans to catch the drips as they fall, you are probably already aware of the fact that you have a leak in your roofing system. If you hadn’t already, water seeping through the ceiling like this in fast drips is the eleventh-hour way of realizing that you are in serious need of roof leak repair contractor. If you want to prevent and uncover a potential roof leak before it reaches this point of no return, however, there are a number of signs you can look out for.
Water Spots on the Ceiling
Noticing water spots on the ceiling is a sure-fire way of discovering your roof has a leak. The tricky part here is finding out exactly where the water is coming from. Water doesn’t necessarily drip straight down. There could be a slight slope to the roof, or the point of origin of the leak may not be directly above where it’s coming through the drywall or popcorn ceiling.
Slow leaks in particular can be difficult to source. They are less damaging to your home, of course, but still a nuisance when the sky starts to pour. The best way of determining the source of a slow roof leak is to examine the leak from a different angle: the roof.
This is not to say that you should go and stand on top of your roof during a rainstorm, especially if your roof has parts made of metal siding, which can be incredibly slippy and dangerous to walk on. However when the rain has subsided, or even a few days after when the ground outside is dry but you can still see the damp patch from the internal leak, proceed carefully to the roof. Go to the general area of the house which is leaking inside, and using logic determine where the most likely point of origin is.
General Roof Appearance
The general appearance of your roof can actually tell you a lot. If you are keen to look after your roof and haven’t had leaking problems yet, inspecting your roof can actually prevent leaks from ever appearing. There are a number of ways to determine if your roof is damaged so that you can address the situation before it progresses.
For example, if your roof is made of composition shingles (shingles that have an asphalt outer layer and a fiberglass inner layer), and you note that there are flaws with the appearance such as curling or loss of graininess (granulation), this is a sign that your roof is damaged. Missing or broken shingles is a much more telling sign, but sometimes all of the shingles are in place and your roof is still damaged because they are becoming worn, hence the curling or loss of granulation.
If your roof is made of wood shingles, look out for mold, decay, or splitting of the wood. Even if you have not yet noticed a leak inside the house, these signs indicate that your roof is indeed damaged and water leakage will likely occur soon. Call a professional roof leak repair contractor to replace any rotted or damaged roofing as soon as you find it in order to prevent this.
If a portion or all of your roof is flat, be sure to inspect it regularly. Flat roofs are more likely to become damaged than other kinds of roofing systems simply because the water that falls on the roof during a rainstorm or thunderstorm is more likely to pool and gathers instead of draining properly. Flat roofs do not have the natural drainage ability afforded by slanted ones, which automatically guide the water to the ground.
A damaged flat roof will often have patches, cracks or tears, or you may notice that it has a wrinkly appearance. In such cases, it is recommended to patch the roof in the places where it looks ‘weak’. Moreover, when you have a flat roof and spot an area that looks damaged, examine the area from inside the attic too, in order to ensure that there is no water damage caused there and does not require a roof leak repair.
Did you know that poorly installed gutters can actually contribute to your roof leaking? The purpose of gutters is to drain all the water away from your roof and also your home. When a gutter is installed properly, they align perfectly with every sloped edge of the roof. If you’re having problems with drainage in the home and are trying to figure out why, go outside and examine the gutters on all sides of your roof.
If there are parts which are peeling off, or they seem a bit slanted in places, or if there are points where the fastenings appear to be loose, your gutters are incorrectly installed and could be contributing to the leakages in and around your house.
Other signs that suggest you have gutters that aren’t of high quality are if you notice sheets of rain falling directly downwards, towards the foundation of the house, instead of away from it. Good quality gutters will direct water away from the house, including the foundations, in order to minimize the potential of water-related damage to the structure.
If you suspect that your gutters were incorrectly installed, it’s recommended to hire a reliable gutter repair contractor to replace them. Fixing your gutters may seem like a pain, but in the long run it will save you a lot of money and hassle because it will prevent you from encountering problems with your roof and foundations caused by incorrect gutter flow.
Taking Care of Your Roof
Now that we’ve examined some signs that you may have a roof leak, there are a number of ways to maintain your roof so that leaking is no longer a potential problem. Even if you’re confident about your DIY skills, installing or repairing a roof correctly may be a task that requires a professional because even the smallest errors can make your entire roof prone to damage, rendering it an ineffective form of shelter for your family. In order to keep track of information relating to roofs and roof leaks, check back to our blog regularly for helpful home care advice and practical maintenance tips.