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How to Spot Early Signs of a Roof Leak?

Finding a roof leak can be difficult because often, the actual spot where the roof leaks are not always exactly where the water stains are appearing on your ceiling. Water can enter the roof at one point and then run down to another before it starts to soak into the ceiling. It’s sometimes easy to spot obvious roof damage (shingles are missing or damaged, stains on ceilings or walls), but by then, you probably already have some significant water damage. Your best bet is to find the roof damage before the leaks appear.

A visual inspection of your roof can help you spot missing and damaged shingles (damaged shingles might be curled, cracked, or torn). If this type of damage is localized (i.e., it covers less than 30 per cent of the entire roof), roofing repairs might be able to address the problem. More extensive damage might necessitate roof replacement. Also, keep in mind that not only the roof itself but the chimney, ventilation pipes, roof flashing, gutters and fencing can also become damaged. Be sure to inspect them for damage as well. If you suspect that your roof is damaged, here is a basic list of what to look for

  • Composition shingles: curling, loss of granulation, broken, damaged or missing shingles
  • Wood shingles/shakes: Mold or decay, splitting or curling
  • Flat roof: Obvious patches, cracks or tears, several blisters and/or wrinkles (also check patched areas from inside the attic)
  • Flashing: Tears, buckling around roof penetrations
  • Roofing cement: Excess cement, crumbling
  • Soffits and fascia: Decay, stains
  • Soffit and ridge vents: Clogged or damaged vents, flashing and shingles around them curling or missing
  • Gutters: Decay or rust, leaky seams, loosely attached to the structure, bent or sagging, missing sections of gutter or downspout, filled with debris. Clogged gutters can easily freeze shut and cause excessive weight on gutter fasteners, ice dam conditions, and slippery walks below.
  • Chimneys: Leaning, loose or missing flashing, damaged bricks, cap or cracked joints. Chimney flashing is especially prone to tearing because a chimney settles independently from the house.

Avoid Further Roof Damage with Early Detection

A solid roof protects your home from major and expensive damage. Your home is a long-term investment, so it pays to be aware of the signs that it’s time for repairs. Sometimes, your roof will be damaged in unexpected circumstances, like a hurricane. Most of the time, however, common sources of a roof leak can be less obvious.

Routine checks of your roof are vital and can reveal underlying roof issues. Having advance notice of potential problems can save you money. A qualified technician from Water Damage and Roofing, Austin, will thoroughly inspect your roof to determine what issues could be causing your current leak or problems that may lead to a leaky roof in the future.

Ignoring these ten indicators of a roof leak can lead to extensive damage to your home and more expensive repairs. Looking for a roof replacement? Check out Top Glaze for a wide range of roof services. 

Mould

Roof

When you have a leaky roof, mould can infest many parts of your home. When water spreads to different parts of your house, it carries with it the potential to spread mould. Mould causes damage to your home by weakening building materials, like wood and insulation. Mould thrives in the dark, warm, wet environments. When these factors are present, mould can spread quickly without you noticing.

Inhaling mould spores can be harmful to your health. This is especially true if you or your family members have respiratory conditions or allergies. Even if you don’t suffer from these conditions, mould present in your home can cause itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and cough.

If you notice mould on your exterior walls, it could be a sign of a leaky roof. Measure from the mould spot to a reference point, like a window or door, and check for mould in the same spot on the other side of the wall. You can also check to see if mould is present where your exterior wall meets your roof.

Flashing Damage

Flashing is essential to reducing the effects water has on the exterior parts of your home. Most of the corners and joints in your roof – like around the chimney – should be protected by flashing. Step flashing is used where the walls of your house intersect the roof. Wherever there is flashing on your roof, there is potential for a weak point. When step flashing becomes weak or is damaged, it can be the cause of a leak in your roof.

If you don’t have kick-flashing, water runs off of your roof and down your exterior walls. Depending on the integrity of your exterior wall, water could be leaking into the wall itself. If there is a door or window present where the water flows down from the roof, water can seep beneath the trim. If this isn’t taken care of promptly, rot can spread to the sheathing and framing of your home.

Regular inspection of the flashing on your home can reveal cracks, splits or lose pieces of flashing. Careful checking could also reveal spots of rust in the flashing. It’s a good idea to have the flashing on your roof checked seasonally to ensure you catch any potential damage before a leak can wreak havoc on your home.

Stains

If you notice discoloured spots or stains on your ceiling or walls, you could potentially have a leak in your roof. Stains in the middle of the ceiling or wall may be noticeable, but there are other, more hidden, places to check. When we inspect your home, we pay close attention to window and door seals, around light fixtures, and in corners. We also inspect your vents and bathroom ventilation fans. Look for signs of discolouration in these spots around your home.

The discolouration you may see is a direct result of mould or algae growing inside your walls. It’s extremely important to pay attention to these stains, regardless of their size. A small, visible stain could indicate a much bigger problem behind the stain. If you can, you should investigate the possible sources of the visible stain. If the source isn’t obvious to you, you may have a leak in your roof. Puddles of water can form from even the smallest leak, spreading damage to a larger portion of your walls or ceiling. If you notice a dark ring around the outside of the leak, it may be time to give the roofing professionals at WDR a call.

Shiners

If you don’t notice any water flow marks, or if the ceiling stain in your home is fairly small, look at the underside of the roof for ‘shiners.’ A shiner is a nail that missed the framing member. Moisture that escapes into your attic from the rooms below often condenses on metal nails. Sometimes you can spot this if you climb up into your attic on a cold night. The nails will look white because they’re frosted. When the attic heats up a bit during the day, the frost melts and drips, then the nails frost up at night again and so on.

Distorted, Lost or Damaged Shingles

A sure sign that you have a roof leak is distorted-looking roof shingles. If you notice shingles that are visibly warped or twisted, you’ve found a spot where water is possibly entering your home. When water enters at a point like this on your roof, it can travel throughout your home before it shows any visible leak signs anywhere else.

Roof

When you routinely have your roof inspected, our inspectors may find lost or damaged shingles. Lost or damaged shingles are often the source of leaks. It’s important to have your roof inspected after severe weather, like heavy winds or rain, to see if any of your shingles are missing or have been damaged. Hail has been known to actually puncture shingles, creating small holes where water can leak through. Damaged shingles are an easy fix. If you get the damage repaired quickly, you’ll be protecting your home from water damage.

Damp External Walls

If you see mould or moss growing on your external walls, this may indicate a continuous water leak. Physically touch the wall where growth may be present. If you feel dampness, it may be the first indication you have that there is a leak present. A damp external wall can lead to water issues inside of the wall. One of our experienced technicians will check above the wall for blocked gutters, downpipes or other problems that may be causing the dampness on your wall.

Gutter Issues

Leaking Gutters

Leak

If you see water dripping out of a portion of your gutters, there is likely a leak present. A dripping gutter is a clear sign that your gutters aren’t functioning properly. The purpose of a gutter is to move the rainwater away from the roof and walls of your home. When a drip is present, water isn’t being fully removed from the areas of your home; it could potentially damage. Leaking gutters allow rainwater to leak into the structure of your home, where it can cause damage long after the rain has passed by.

Blocked Gutters

Your gutters may become blocked with plant matter – like pine needles, pinecones, leaves, etc. If your gutters aren’t routinely cleaned, they will become blocked. Blocked gutters overflow, causing drips. When we inspect your gutters, we may find roofing material. If the roofing material is present in your gutter system, it’s indicative that you have damage somewhere on your roof that could be contributing to a leak. Looking for roof gutter cleaning services? Check out Top Glaze Melbourne.

Rusted Gutters

If not maintained, rust can build up on your gutters. Gutter leaks can start at rusty spots or at seams that have separated because of expansion and contraction. Our roofing professionals will inspect your gutter system for rust spots and separated seams.

Missing Gutter Apron

When water flows off the edge of your roof, some of it clings to the underside of the shingles and dribbles towards the structure of your home. If you have gutters but no gutter apron to stop the water, it will wick behind the gutter. Eventually, this will cause a rot problem. You may see water stains below the gutter on the fascia and soffit. This is a sure sign that you’re missing a gutter apron.

Holes Left in Your Roof from Previous Installations

You may have tiny holes in your roof that you don’t even know about. These tiny holes are leftover from items previously attached to your roof. Things like satellite dishes, antennas, and mounting brackets are all drilled into your roof. When those items are removed, small holes are left where the screws were. These tiny holes can slowly leak water into your home. We’ll thoroughly check for these holes and other holes that may be present in your roofing.

Damaged Plumbing Vent Boots

Plumbing vent boots can be all plastic, plastic and metal, or two-piece metal units. We’ll check the plastic bases for cracks and metal bases for broken seams. Our technician will also examine the rubber boot surrounding the pipe. The rubber can be rotted away or torn, allowing water to seep into your home.

Dirty, Clogged Soffits

Attic ventilation is critical to the health of your house. Soffit vents inhale outside air, which is necessary to create airflow that moves warm attic air out of the roof vents. Once the air enters the soffit, it moves through an air chute or some other opening along the underside of the roof into the attic. Clear soffits help to prevent moisture buildup and ultimately mould growth on your roof’s framing. Even the roof vents themselves may have cracked housing or broken seams. During a professional inspection, our conscientious technicians will examine your soffits and check for any damage.

How to Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside

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.

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. Take a look at our range of roof repairs Melbourne.

Step 1: Look for the Leak

The first thing to do when you attempt to fix your leaking roof from the inside is to locate where the leak is. To start with, get inside the ceiling and trace the path of dropping water as it enters into the ceiling through the attic of the roof. You can go in with a flashlight in case the ceiling is dark. 

This process requires a lot of patience because the water sometimes travels some distance from the leaking points before dropping through the roof deck.  

The best result comes when it’s showering or dropping light rain. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait until the showers stop, and the leak area is dry. 

If you go by locating in wet conditions, you’ll have to divert the water. Diverting the water comes easy when you quickly put a nail into the hole from where the water drains. This helps you to channel the water into one direction where you can catch it.  

You can then remove the insulation from the ceiling before you clear the water from the various leaking points. Depending on the quantity of the drops of water, you can use a large bucket to catch the water.  

Step 2: Seal the leaking point with tar

To achieve the desired when sealing the leak, you must wait until the leaking point is dry. 

Waiting until the roof is dry helps you get the right leaking point and ensures the roof patch sticks on the leak. 

Now that you’ve identified the leak’s location(s), you can go ahead to make a temporary patch on the leaks. But just before then, you can use a piece of marking chalk to draw a circle around the leak. This will help you in a significant way the next time you’re ready for permanent fixing of the roof.   

Doing the leak sealing requires pressing roofing tar on a piece of shingle or plywood. With the help of a knife, apply any of these materials to the leaking point. Please make sure the targets round the leaked patch so it sticks firmly in place. To achieve maximum results, you can use a scraper to cover the entire leaking point and surround it with the caulking and ensure it evenly spreads.

Step 3: Inspect the Roof From Outside

Now that the leak is patched and covered with the caulking, the roof should be in good condition to continue to do the job of shielding your family from wind, snow, and rain.

Before descending from the roof, get out of the ceiling to examine the work you have just completed to see if it’s in order. In the process, you’ll have to check if there’s any part of the shingles, underlayment, or flashings damaged or affected slightly. Also, check for any wear and tear, as well as loose nails. Please take the opportunity to also clear the roof on any heavy foreign objects that have made the roof their home.

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