A roof leak may seem like a minor annoyance, but it’s actually a serious problem that needs prompt attention. A leak can worsen and leave your home vulnerable to significant water damage. This can ultimately lead to costly and extensive repair work–even premature roof replacement if the leak does enough damage to the structure. Fortunately, detection and dealing with this problem is easier than you might expect. Though if you aren’t an expert it is better to leave roof leak detection to professionals.
All you need to do is catch the early warning signs of roof leaks. Here are the five essential things you need to check for:
#1. Confirm that you actually have a roof leak.
The presence of water inside your home doesn’t necessarily mean you have a roof leak. Your HVAC system could be having condensation issues, causing water stains on your walls and ceiling, or you could have a loose valve or leaky pipe in your plumbing system. Check these components for problems before assuming your roof is leaking.
#2. Look for damaged roofing material
Once you’ve established that the leak is indeed coming from your system, inspect the surface of your roof from the ground using a pair of binoculars. Look for shingles that are cracked, curled, buckling, or warped. If you have metal roofing, check for dents and holes. Whether the damage is due to age or extreme weather conditions, damaged roofing makes your system vulnerable to leaks. If you notice these signs of damage, it’s time to call the professionals.
#3. Check if your roofing nails are intact.
Shingles are attached firmly to the structure via roofing nails. However, extreme weather or improper installation may cause these nails to back out or cut through the top shingle. The resulting opening may grow larger over time, allowing rainwater through.
#4. Examine your roof flashing.
This vital component covers the more vulnerable areas of your roof. These leak-prone spots include skylights, dormer windows, vents, chimneys, valleys, and anything that protrudes from the top of your system. The flashing seals these openings from rainwater, ensuring your living spaces remain dry and damage-free. Here are some red flags that mean your flashing has sustained damage or was improperly installed:
- Cracked and eroded seals
- Nails that have worked out of the flashing
- Torn or loose pieces of metal
To stop water from entering your home through these vulnerable areas, have a reliable contractor in your area repair or replace your flashing.
#5. Inspect the area around plumbing vents for cracks.
Objects that protrude from your roof, like plumbing vents, are the most common cause of roof leaks. If they’re not properly sealed, these vents can develop cracks or breaks that provide an entryway for water. Additionally, take a closer look at your gutters. Clogged gutters cause water to back up and overflow, with some of it seeping through to the roof deck. If you notice any of these problems on your roof, call your expert roofing contractor for prompt repair.
Why Turn to a Professional Roofer to Handle Roof Leaks?
Determining the source of a roof leak is a challenge. Many times, the source of the leak is in a completely different part of your home from where the actual water damage appears. Water can enter your roof in one place and run down to another, whether along the sheathing, rafters, or topside of ceilings until it finds a place to drip down into your home. To accurately trace a leak’s source and effectively repair it, you need an experienced and highly trained roofer.
Look for someone who can ensure safe and quality workmanship. Make sure they are:
- This makes them eligible to perform roofing work in your area. They should also be very familiar with local building codes and regulations, ensuring the work adheres to safety standards.
- Roof repair is not only complex—it’s hazardous, as it requires climbing a ladder and working from great heights.Make sure they carry proof of insurance, with workers’ compensation and liability coverage; these will protect you if anything goes wrong during the project.
- You’ll be relying heavily on your roofer to ensure a safe, worry-free, and successful process, so choose someone with significant experience. This will help ensure that they understand and adhere to the necessary safety measures and keep your project on budget and on schedule.
- Having certifications from leading manufacturers says a lot about a roofing contractor’s commitment to superior workmanship and complete client satisfaction.Whether you need a leak repaired or a complete roof replacement, it pays to hire a certified roofer for the job.
Preventing roof leaks doesn’t just boost your roof’s protection and performance—it also helps extend its service life. If you want to make the most of your investment, always choose a premier roofer who can provide expert preventive maintenance solutions and a smooth customer experience.
Matthew Housh works at Arry’s Roofing, a family-owned and operated company offering a wide selection of exceptional roofing services in Florida. Passionate about writing, Matthew seeks to help homeowners make more informed decisions about their roofing project through the company blog. Check out some of his work on http://www.arrysroofing.com/blog/.