A leaky roof is not something that just occurs. Usually, it is the result of severe weather or poor maintenance. If you have a leaky roof, you may be wondering why it is leaking. Many issues can lead to a leaking roof; so, the answer is not always straight forward. Although, it is often a mixture of problems.
In any event, it is important to get the leak fixed as soon as possible. The longer a leak remains, the more damage it will do to your home and roof.
Causes of Roof Damage
Damage is the most common cause of a leaky roof. But, how do they get damaged? Numerous elements can damage a roof, however, some elements more than others.
For many homeowners, damaged shingles are the most common cause of a leaky roof. Shingles can become damaged from impact damage, weather, or improper installation.
In many cases, impact damage is the result of either animal running across it, homeowners walking on the roof, or hail damage.
Improper installation usually will not happen if homeowners do their research and hire a professional roofing contractor. Improper installation typically occurs when homeowners attempt to install their own shingles.
Undoubtedly, however, the weather is the leading cause of shingle damage. Hail can create holes in the shingles, and strong winds can rip shingles off the roof. Though, extreme heat and frost damages roof shingle the most. The contracting and expanding of the roofing material eventually cause it to crack. Water can seep underneath the shingle and in the shingle when they crack. Further damage occurs to the shingle if the water freezes, making it expand.
In some cases, roofs leak just because they are old. Like everything else, they break down and need to be replaced. Although, some roofing materials do last longer than others.
What to Do if You Discover a Roof Leak
Understanding what causes a leaky roof is important, however, knowing how to minimize the damage until you can get it fixed is what you really need to know. Unless it is a small leak, you will need to hire a professional roofer to ensure that it is repaired properly. Or else, you may possibly be looking at another leak.
The first step is to determine if you have a leak or not. Some signs include:
- Moldy or moist drywall
- Water stains or damp spots on your ceiling
- Missing shingles
- Hearing dripping water in your home
- Interior paint bubbling or peeling during heavy downpours
- Damp or must smell in your house, typically in the attic
Next, you have to locate the source of the leak. Keep in mind that the leak may not be in the same area where you find water stains. In fact, the leak may be several feet away from where you see water stains on your ceiling. Once you locate the source of the leak, it is time to minimize the damage as much as possible until a professional roofing contractor can repair it. One way to minimize damage is to collect water during downpours.
If you discover that the water is being collected or stored in the ceiling, take a screwdriver to make a small hole. By doing this, you are able to funnel the water out in that one location.
How to Repair a Roof Leak
The best way to repair a leaky roof is by hiring a roofing contractor. The professional contractor can check the overall structure of your roof and also other problem areas that might become a leak.
In some cases, a small roof leak is something you can take care of on your own. This is usually the case when the leak is the result of a nail in the roof. You can prevent more water from dripping into the attic by using a sealer.
In other cases, you simply require more caulk or sealant around roof joints. However, in the long term, you cannot count on caulk. When possible, it is best to replace damaged or rusty flashing around these joints. If you are unsure of the repair process or are uncomfortable being on a roof, you are much better off calling a professional roofer.
When Should You Hire a Professional Roofer to Repair a Leaky Roof?
In most cases, a leaky roof is something that is better left to the professionals. Not only is it dangerous to try to repair the roof on your own, but you have nobody to blame but yourself if you make a mistake.
Instead, contact a professional roofing contractor if you suspect a leak.