If you have water stains that run down walls or go across your house’s ceilings, the most likely cause is a leaking roof. Even if you plan on getting a new roof soon or the leak is minor, it’s still a good idea to immediately fix a leaky roof. Small leaks can become big problems in a short amount of time, leading to ruined insulation, rotted wood framing, black mould and damaged drywall on walls and ceilings.
Believe it or not, tracking down the leak source is sometimes harder than the repair itself. Water tends to travel, and often the damage may take place far from the source, making the initial cause of the roof leak hard to trace. Be prepared to do some work before actually tackling the problem.
The roof is one section of your property that requires a high level of maintenance. Once it starts to leak, the roof can be fixed from either the inside or outside. On account of the myth that fixing a leaking roof from the inside is impossible, some homeowners seek outright replacement of their roof. There are ways, including Do-It-Yourself methods, of fixing a leaking roof, but it takes the curious and skilled roofer to do this correctly and come out with a process that won’t end up creating more leakages in the roof.
So, rather than opting for or recommending a complete replacement, let’s walk through the best ways to fix your leaking roof. You’ll need to get some tools to carry out a successful fix on your leaky roof. They include the scraper, leak patch, bucket, caulking, and roofing tar. Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
Water Leaks from Ceiling
- Have you noticed water stains on your ceiling, particularly new ones that have appeared after significant rainfall or storm? Water leaks from the ceiling or even very small water spots can be early signs of leaks.
- Are there any damp spots on the ceiling, around interior air vents, and fireplaces?
- Does the paint or drywall around or light fixtures or electrical outlets look moist or damp?
- Do you hear any unexplained dripping sounds inside your home?
- Do you notice drips or moisture on the walls, especially after a major thaw? (Be aware that freezing temperatures can create an “ice dam” that appears to stop the leak, but the issues will come back once the weather warms up).
- Is there a noticeable musty smell in your house, especially in the attic or upper floors?
- Do you see the interior paint bubbling, peeling, or otherwise being oddly affected during hard rains?
- Are there water stains on the rafters or the roof sheathing in your attic or on the top floors?
Roof Leak Warning Signs Outside
- Have you seen loose shingles lying in your yard or around your property?
- Is there buckling or curling on your shingles?
- Have you spotted roof rot or extremely degraded or discoloured shingles?
- Has the colour or appearance of your roof changed in any particular spot?
- Do you see exposed nails on your roof or nails that look loose?
- Is there any cracked or damaged flashing around your roof vents?
- How about your chimney? Any cracked sealants or damaged roof flashing?
- Have you seen any debris piles in the valleys or lower spots of your roof or around your chimney?
- Do you have clogged or loose gutters or downspouts?
- Any peeling paint or rotting areas under the eaves of your roof?
- Have you noticed any shingle granules or other debris in your gutters?
- If you have moss or mold on your exterior walls (especially if it appears to be growing)
Key Things to Do if Your Roof Is Leaking
Roof leaks aren’t fun. Your home is a place that should make you feel safe and protected from the outdoors. Unfortunately, outside elements like rain and snow can creep their way into your house whether you like it or not. Incidents happen, and when they do, it’s best to take action as soon as possible — especially when there’s a possibility of water damage to your home. Looking for roof repairs? Look no further! Top Glaze has you covered.
If you find that your roof is leaking, there are some key things you can do to manage the situation and minimise any potential damage from the water. Here are the steps to follow:
Move Things Out of the Way
When your roof is leaking, that’s bad enough. The last thing you want is to ruin your belongings in the process. If there’s a leak over your bed, clothing, or furniture, it’s time to clear the area!
Water damage can completely destroy some of your precious belongings, and nobody wants that. Not to mention, some fabrics trap water and create a dreadful mildew smell. So whatever you can push out of the way, do it ASAP!
Contain the Water
If you have a leaking roof, try to contain it as much as possible. Grab buckets, garbage cans, towels, and anything else you can find to capture the water to reduce the impact and damage that water can cause.
Not to mention, it could cause water damage to your floors. Make sure you have several containers nearby that can trap the water and switch them out regularly to reduce the risk of overflow.
Relieve Water Pressure
A sagging bulge hanging from your ceiling is a sign that there’s water collecting in that spot. Although it might seem unwise to poke a hole in the area, do it. If you leave it, the water could spread and cause more serious damage to the ceiling.
Plus, it could eventually erupt on its own and create a larger mess. Use a screwdriver to carefully puncture the lowest point of the bulge, and put a bucket underneath it to catch the water. Several punctures may be necessary, depending on the size of the leak. Top Glaze has the best range of help if you’re looking for Melbourne roof repairs.
Tarp the Roof
If for some reason you can’t get your leaking roof fixed right away, a tarp is the next best option. When the roof is safe enough to climb, cover the problem area with a tarp. Sometimes the problem areas are hard to find. If you are having trouble, try to determine the problem area based on where the leak is inside. Read our article: Roof Repair: 9 Common Issues and the Easiest Way to Fix Them. Use one that’s at least six millimeters thick, and extends a minimum of four feet across the problem area and up to the peak. If the peak is too far away, tuck under shingles to prevent water from going underneath the tarp.
That way, it provides plenty of protection around the perimeter and ensures that the area is completely covered.
Take Photos for Insurance Documentation
Do you want to know what to do if your roof is leaking? It’s this step! Documenting your damages will come in handy when you file your home insurance claim if the damage is eligible for a claim. We cannot overstate how important it is to take photos and document everything.
Not only does it show the severity of the roof damage, but also the other items that were compromised. If your television, computer, furniture, bedding, or kitchen were ruined by the roof leak, document it. Your insurance could potentially fix the roof and replace the items you lost.
If you are handy and think you can fix your roof yourself, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman. However, we highly recommend contacting us or another professional roofer if your roof is leaking for professional roof repair. There are many things to know when working on roofs, and safety is always the number one concern!
Call a Professional Roofing Company
A leaking roof is a big undertaking, so it’s best to call the pros. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could get. There’s only so much you can do to manage the situation, so it’ll need fixing immediately.
Professional roofers can repair the damaged area and assess other spots on your roof that may need repair or reconstruction.
Continue Regular Roof Maintenance
After the roof is fixed and things are back to normal, there’s more work to be done. Doing routine maintenance on your roof is the best way to control leaks. Your roof takes on a lot of wear and tear, and it’s exposed to harsh outside elements. Routine roof maintenance includes:
- Inspecting for any trees that may have grown too close to your roof, and, if so, cutting back limbs and branches
- Making sure gutters and downspouts have not become clogged with leaves or any other debris. Water must be able to run away from your house as designed.
- Checking for any damage after severe weather such as loose or missing shingles
- Looking for any cracks in the chimney
- Locating and replacing any curled or split shingles
Weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail weaken the shingles over time. Ensure that your house stays in good condition by keeping major systems, such as your roof, properly maintained.
What Are the Dangers of a Leaky Roof
A roof leak is one of those household maintenance issues that you might be tempted to put on the back burner, but there is more than one reason to treat it with more urgency. Besides the damage it can do to the framing of your house, it also compromises insulation, promotes mould growth and may even create a fire hazard – strange as that seems. It even creates the potential for personal injury.
When water seeps through the roof, it may drip straight onto the attic floor, but it just as often runs along the underside of the roof decking to a wall and then down along the framing. Over time, the wet wood develops rot and loses its strength; the roof sags, the wall bows and even the foundation may become waterlogged and spongy. Even a minor leak can create these problems, although it may take a few years to become noticeable. By the time they are apparent, however, the repair is likely to be expensive.
Insulation Damage and Mold
If water drips from a roof leak onto your attic insulation, the insulation clumps and loses its effectiveness. You’ll probably notice this in your energy bill, because as warm air escapes through the attic, you’ll have to turn up the heat to keep your house warm. Clumped insulation isn’t just ineffective, though — it’s also a breeding ground for mold, which will keep growing even when the weather is dry. Mold is also likely to grow on any part of the roof deck or framing exposed to water, and it can cause respiratory problems for you and your family. Take a look at our range of roof repairs Melbourne.
Fire and Shock Hazard
Water from leaks can contact electrical wiring, and if there is any break in the insulation, it can create an open circuit that could lead to a fire. Even if there isn’t insulation damage, water can still be hazardous if it seeps around metal junction boxes that contain uncovered wires. Water seeping around open wiring can become electrically-charged, and anyone touching it could get a shock. Once you’re aware of a leak, you should shut off the power to any circuits that run through the affected area and call an electrician to investigate.
Premature Roof Failure
You’ll want to make the most of your roof’s service life, but this will be difficult when you don’t deal with roof leaks. When left unattended, it accelerates wear and tear on your roofing materials. This leads to premature roof replacement and its considerable expenses.
Other Water Hazards
Leaking water doesn’t have to come in contact with open electrical circuitry to create a hazard. If it falls on the floor and creates a puddle, someone could slip on it. It can also collect behind ceiling drywall and cause it to crumble or cave in — you can usually see this coming when the drywall begins to sag and bulge. A third hazard created by leaking water is the deterioration of the roof deck caused by extended water exposure. It calls for extra care when repairing the roof because you can sometimes put your foot through water-weakened plywood.