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Are you currently battling with a leaking roof? Having a roof that leaks in heavy rain can be very annoying, and it's essential to pay attention to it as soon as you notice the leaks. Anyone can be a victim of roof leaks, and the need to deal with the issue as fast as possible cannot be overemphasized.
In this article, we'll take you through the signs of a leaky roof, the causes of roof leaks, and some of the quick fixes you can perform to handle the problem. Keep reading to find out more about roof leaks!
What Are the Common Signs of a Leaking Roof?
Some indicators of a leaking roof are subtle, while others are more obvious. You are likely to have a hard time determining whether your roof is leaking or not, but here are some of the common signs to look out for:
- Curled, buckled, or cracked roof shingles
- Presence of debris in the downspouts or missing shingles
- Walls covered in mold, moss, or algae
- Presence of water spots on the outside walls
- Water is leaking out of your ceiling
- Water stains spread across the ceiling
- Walls covered in water streaks
- Water stains in darker corners
Why Is My Roof Leaking?
With the signs above, you may wonder what exactly causes leaks. To help you understand better, here are some common causes of roof leaks. Most roof leaks result from weather, rooftop equipment, neglect, issues with seams, and human traffic. Prevention is definitely better than cure, and the first step toward preventing leaks in your roof is to recognize the potential causes. Let's look at these causes in more detail.
Walking on the roof is entirely normal, but it is essential to remember that roofs can only tolerate moderate traffic. Subjecting your roof to heavy traffic can cause damage to the membrane, especially if it's not protected with pads.
Areas without these pads are usually found around HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems. When on the roof, it's also vital to ensure you're not careless or drop tools directly on the roof.
One of the weakest spots on your roof is the seams. Most commercial roofs today have large rolls of membranes rolled over them. These membranes are usually attached to the lower deck or secured to the insulation.
They can be mechanically fastened or fully adhered to. Another thing to note is that the sheets are not as wide as the roof. This implies that there's a need for the sheets to be joined and overlapped.
For this, you can use hot-air welding or an adhesive. You won't have issues holding up the seams for open and flat spaces. The only part that requires this is at the roof's edges, particularly around pipes and flashings.
One of the major mistakes individuals make is ignoring leaks in the roof. This can be disastrous and cause multiple issues that may be challenging to repair later. Maintaining your roof is essential to avoid leakages from weaker spots. There are many things to pay attention to when it comes to maintenance.
For example, the caulking and pitch pans have a higher tendency to crack, dry out, and leak. With resealing and regular monitoring, you can effectively prevent leaks from occurring and the development of other damages. Without this, most minor issues can lead to more severe problems and even irreversible structural damage.
Areas around large and heavy equipment like exhaust fans and HVAC units are usually prone to leaks and punctures in a roof. Other places to pay attention to include pulled-out screws, gaskets or washers that dry and rot, and other similar problems, all of which can create entry points for water. In addition, it's important to note that ventilation is not waterproof, and rain can gain entry through HVAC panels.
The next cause of roof leaks to note is weather conditions. Snow and ice can accumulate in drains and gutters, leading to ponding water. In some places, tornadoes and violent hurricanes can cause severe damage to roofs.
Slow and steady falling rain isn't left out on this, as it can equally have a cumulative effect on the roofing system. The weather condition in your area is a significant factor to look at, especially when performing maintenance for your roofing system.
Other potential causes
In addition to the points above, there are other causes to note, and they include the following:
- Old roof: If you have an old roof or the materials that make up the roof have exceeded their life expectancy, they can break down and lead to leaks.
- Leaking clogged gutters: Another area to consider is the gutter, which can cause leaks when blocked.
- Flashing: For houses with chimneys, the flashing may be the leading cause of the leak, especially at the base of the chimney. Rusted flashing can also be a significant cause of leaks.
- Vents: Also remember to check the vents as a crack in the vent, or even rusting, can cause it to break and lead to a leaking roof.
How to Stop a Roof Leak Temporarily
Now that you are aware of why your roof is leaking, here are some ways you can stop it temporarily before you hire a roofing contractor:
Safeguard your possessions
Before anything else, the first thing you should do is protect your belongings from water damage. Once you see that your roof is leaking, the first thing to do is remove rugs, furniture, electronics, and other possessions from the dripping area. Consider taking these items to a separate room or using a tarp or plastic to cover them adequately.
Get a bucket to contain the water
Once you have taken all your possessions to a secure place, the next thing to do is to place a bucket directly under the leaky spot. This is to easily catch the incoming water, rather than leaving it to spill all over the floor in your home. Consider using multiple buckets in a situation where the leak is rapid.
Soak up the water
Use mops and absorbent towels to soak up as much water as you can. Consider turning on the fan to allow air to circulate within the room and prevent mold growth and other microorganisms. These substances can cause a range of medical conditions, especially when ingested or inhaled.
Call a Professional
All the solutions mentioned above are short-term and DIY solutions for your leaky roofs. However, these methods may be less effective during heavy rain or extreme weather conditions. The best way to get a long-lasting solution for your leaking roofs is by calling a professional to fix the leaks.
When hiring a roofing contractor to perform leaking roof repairs, it's essential to go for a professional that can prevent these leaks from occurring through one of the following mechanisms:
- Utilizing sealants for the leaks
- Ensuring that the roof is installed correctly
- Applying high-quality products
What is the Cost of a Roof Leak Repair?
Many factors influence the cost of fixing a roof leak, including the severity of the damage and the features that will need to be repaired, sealed, and replaced. Generally, standard homeowner's insurance policies primarily cover roof leaks and water damages, provided it's not a result of negligence. Consider contacting your insurance company to know whether they cover the damage to your property.
Getting Professional Roof Repair Services
If you have a leaking roof, it's essential to work with professional roofers to fix the problem. While it may be tempting to depend on temporary DIY solutions, these will not help you in the long run. When hiring a roofing company, ensure the contractor is insured, licensed, and experienced.
Also, check customer reviews about the roofing contractor so you can see what previous customers are saying about the contractor. After they perform the repair, you can also ask them to provide roof maintenance tips so you can ensure that your roof lasts longer without leaks.