A leaking roof spells trouble. Unfortunately, this is not a problem you can deal with by hoping for less rain or by patching the damage, (not that you should ever patch your roof yourself.) What we mean is, a leaking roof can be quite complex, and usually by the time you’ve noticed it, it’s likely to have caused extensive damage to other parts of your home as well.
As water leaks in, it runs through many layers of materials within the roof, walls, and levels… all the way to the foundation sometimes. Some water gets absorbed as it goes which leads to rot, mold, and distortion. All these things will get worse and worse if a leak is left unattended. So, what should you do about it?
Can You Find The Leak?
There are several areas on your roof that can be susceptible to leaks. By taking a walk around your home, you may be able to spot some of the issues that lead to leaks. Others are not quite so easily seen, and so may be harder to catch in time.
Joints or Seams
Joint lines are covered by flashing which can crack, lift, or become ineffective for various reasons. This is a natural point of entry along the roof. The flashing is doing a lot of work to protect the roof from leaks and needs instant repair should it be damaged.
Usually this is not a complicated job, so long as there has not been much other damage from water seeping in already.
Weather Worn Areas, Flaking Or Cracking
You probably won’t know if there is a crack in your underlayment, but sometimes this is a result of water getting in through a broken or dislodged tile, which you can see. So, stay on top of checking out your roof’s aesthetics.
Coatings are prone to crack after time, or if the product or workmanship quality was poor. This may be hard to spot depending on what sort of coating has been applied.
Sagging, Structurally Weak Areas Or Pooling
Check valleys and flat roofs for signs of this often. Check inside and outside for any signs of sagging. Water will pool in the lowest point on a surface, or areas taking extra weight. This wears at a roof in very specific (and dangerous) ways.
What Else Can You Do?
You can keep an eye out around your home for signs of leaks. We mean visible signs, not ones you have to get on the roof to check for. Climbing on your own roof may affect both your health and roof your insurance, in the event you cause more damage to it or yourself.
The visible signs we are talking about could be water marks, warped areas, loose looking tiles, condensation, areas that drip heavily after rain has stopped, or mold. Remember to check nooks and crannies in your attic, especially if you don’t use the space.
Be vigilant and know your home – how it smells, old marks, and do your hurricane prep checks! Also, keep track of the age of your roof and all its parts. This is where having a relationship with a professional roofing company could come in handy.
If you have the right maintenance plan and are aware of changes, then leak detection will very likely happen early enough to prevent the extensive damage so often associated with roof leaks.
Can You Tell What Caused The Leak?
It can be a gamble with weather like ours in South Florida, to know how a leak started. Going through the variables and doing some checks can help narrow down possible causes.
Age Or Lack Of Maintenance
Any roof is eventually going to show signs of weakness, some roof materials more so than others. If we want them to last the full length of their lifespan, it takes some care. There are loads of elements in Florida that take their toll on roofs. The industry is also subject to very tight controls for optimum safety. These measures are designed as hurricane precautions but will also help protect you from unexpected leaks and their damaging effects
Even if you have done everything right, sometimes Florida weather just strikes unsympathetically. If you notice, or even suspect the weather has done something awful to your roof like lift an edge or dislodge a tile, then you need to act promptly.
After heavy rain, do a generous check to make sure you know what areas of your roof are prone to pooling. Be attentive to what state everything is in, so you know right away about any changes instead of seeing the damage start to happen inside your home first.
What Else You Can Do?
You can see that not all of these are noticeable. You would have to be up on your roof to know about some of them soon enough to prevent further damage, and that is just not something you should be doing at all. Your roof needs a caregiver, a professional who checks its health often enough and, in enough detail, to catch the early signs. So, the thing you can do about a leaking roof in this regard is to build a relationship with your local roofing contractor.
What A Professional Will Do About A Roof Leak
A professional team with the right experience for your specific area will know your options and have the right advice. We use materials that comply with all safety codes. We also draw on our extensive knowledge of weather and damage trends to keep you covered.
Assess The Roof
A roofing company will take a different approach depending on what the leak is caused by and where it started. If it happens in the seam or flashing then waterproofing will be done, along with repairs to make sure the weak spot is sealed before any roof coatings are applied.
If the kind of roof you have makes a repair difficult, especially in the case of bitumen roofs, then time will be taken to repair the entire area in a way that makes sure the integrity of each layer is maintained.
Communicate The Problem
A professional roofing contractor will keep you informed of where all there is damage, and your option going forward. The very next step is to assess the age of the roof, the all-around condition of the roof, and the materials so that we know what we’re dealing with. Roofs showing serious signs of expensive work needed may be easier to replace, and more cost effective. You just can’t safely “band-aid” a roof, unfortunately.
This is also the part where you check what your insurance covers, and what limitations are posed.
Depending on the leak, like where it is and how much damage has already been done, it may become advisable to replace the roof. If you know you’ve had your roof at least ten years, be mentally prepared for this being the best option.
Tend To The Details
The area will be secured, and all the right safety equipment will be made ready, and work will begin on the area. This could mean shingles are removed, layers are cut into, coating is applied, or even structural repair takes place.
If the fault is weather related, then not only will we perform repairs on the damaged area but check the entire roof for structural issues. Once we know what your roof components are, we can go through what kind of maintenance is pivotal in the future.
Each kind of leak may have a variety of solutions. We will run through these, focusing on the benefits and drawbacks of each.
To Top It Off….
Roof leaks happen, but they turn into a nightmare pretty fast if they don’t get early attention. If you notice a roof leak, the first thing you need to do is call your local team on 954-344-4622. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, leaks are not the kind of repair that can afford delays.