Finding a roof leak isn’t as simple or as easy at is sounds. Often, the actual spot where the roof leaks is not always exactly where the water stains appear on your ceiling. In many cases you might not even see water dripping from your ceiling. Most of the time a roof leak doesn’t show up inside the home and you may not even be aware of it!
Many homes have extensive overhangs and insulation which prevent you from seeing the leak, and at other times leaks drip down inside walls and not show up as wet spots. So, roof leaks can happen without being visible and often it is these hidden leaks that cause lead to mold, or structural damage.
It’s important to have your roof checked regularly, but how do you spot roof damage before leaks appear?
Identifying roof damage
Perform an Outdoor Inspection:
A visual inspection of your roof can help you find missing and damaged shingles, damaged shingles could be curled, cracked or torn.
If this type of damage is localized to one area or covers less than 25% of the roof it may be able to be repaired. However, if it’s more extensive then you may need a roof replacement. If you think that your roof is damaged, here is a basic list of all of the things to look out for:
- Curling, loss of granulation, broken, damaged or missing composition shingles.
- Mold or decay, splitting or curling of wood shingles and shakes.
- Patches, cracks, tears or blisters on a flat roof.
- Tears or buckling around rood penetrations.
- Excess cement or crumbling cement.
- Decay and stains on soffits and fascia.
- Clogged or damaged soffits and ridge vents
- Decay or rusting gutters , gutters with leaky seams or filled with debris.
- Leaning, loose, or cracking on your chimney.
Perform an Indoor Inspection:
Look for moisture marks, brown, yellow, or grey stains, and peeling paint on walls and/or ceilings. All of these could indicate a damaged or leaking roof.
Inspect your attic, if there is excess damp or you see pooled water then that could be sign or a leaking roof. If you experience a sudden surge in energy costs, then it could be a sign that the ventilation in your roof has been compromised.
Pick up the phone, call a roofer and get a roof inspection
You will be the first person that spots roof damage, but only a professional roofer can give you an actual report. A basic inspection could save you thousands of dollars in roofing repair costs by spotting minor damage before it becomes major.
Pay Attention to Roof Flashings
The majority of all leaks happen at flashings. This bodes well for roofing repairs because flashings can be easily repaired or replaced. Without good flashings water can enter a home or building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.
If you get your gutters cleaned from us, we will check these for you. Flashings should be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and gutter cleaning.
Don’t Block Ventilation
Proper ventilation is key to the durability of a roof. Without it, heat and moisture build up in an attic. Combined they cause rafters and sheathing to rot and shingles to buckle. Never block off sources of roof ventilation – even in the winter.
The NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) recommends a minimum of 1 square foot of free vent area for each 150 square feet of attic floor—with vents placed proportionately at the eaves (e.g., soffits) and at or near the ridge.
Maintain Gutters and Downspouts:
Melting snow often refreezes at a roof’s overhang due to the surface being cooler. This them forms an ice dam and blocks proper drainage into the gutter. Water backs up under shingles and other roofing materials and then seeps into the interior.
It’s super important to maintain gutters and downspouts to prevent roof damage.
Keep Trees and Bushes Away from Homes:
Certain laws may limit you from this, but it’s important to keep trees and bushes away from homes. Moss and algae can grow on moist wood shingles and shakes, causing rot and deterioration.
Trees and bushes should also be trimmed to eliminate damp and shaded areas. This will also prevent your gutters from being blocked. Tree branches that touch a roof will scratch and gouge roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches can also block your gutters and cause damage to roofing materials.
Immediately Replace Missing or Torn Shingles:
With missing shingles your homes interior and roof structure is compromised. Missing shingles mean your home is venerable to water damage and rot, and the problem can spread to nearby shingles which can be easily ripped or blown away. Therefore it is imperative to replace missing shingles as soon as possible.
Roof Maintenance is Key
Just like preventive maintenance on your car or truck, regularly getting your roof checked out is key, It’s better to keep your roof in good condition, rather than waiting for a serious problem to occur.
Roof replacement and roof repair costs a lot less when you don’t have to add in the other costs of repairing water damage, so why not use the form below and get in touch with us today?