The roof is your home’s first line of defense against any external elements. It protects you from various weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, snow, and hail. It is a vital part of your house, and it requires care and maintenance to serve its function well. It should remain in good shape to avoid problems for you and your home.
Some of the weather elements, along with other physical factors, could cause damage to your roof. Once your roof ruins, the interior of your house gets exposed and starts experiencing problems. Your roof should be completely impenetrable to prevent water from leaking into your home during the rainy season. A leaky roof costs homeowners money due to the kind of damage it causes.
You should be able to identify the signs and causes of a leaky roof to protect you and your property.
Signs of a leaking roof
A leaking roof can cause trouble in your home if left unchanged. You need to note all the early signs that indicate your roof is leaking to prevent further damage to your home.
The signs include:
- Water stains and different colored patches spread across the ceiling or run down your wall.
- Broken or punctured shingles.
- Rusty spots on the gutters.
- Rusted flashing around the chimney.
- The fascia, soffits, and roof sheathing appear rotten.
- Growth of mold on the exterior walls.
- Ice dams on the roof’s edge.
Once you note any or all of the signs, you should take action by calling a roofing contractor or doing the roof leak repair yourself.
What Causes Roof Leaks?
1. Missing or broken shingles
Shingles are the primary sources of protection across your entire roof’s surface. They are, therefore, vulnerable to various sources of damage, such as strong winds, hail, and falling debris. Heavy winds can break or blow entire shingles off your roof, especially if they are loose or weak.
Falling debris such as tree branches can puncture the shingles leaving behind small holes or cracks. Rainwater can seep through the areas with broken or missing shingles onto the underlay that can only hold small amounts of water.
The underlay can tear or rot away when exposed to moisture, allowing it to flow onto the ceiling and along the walls. Accumulation of moisture on your walls can cause rot, damp and mold growth.
2. Holes in your roof
Holes serve as entry points for water into your home. They could appear on the roof when objects such as a stone or a falling tree branch hit it. They could also be left behind when items such as antennas or a satellite dish that were mounted on the roof are taken down. Small holes can develop into bigger holes and cause more damage if left unattended.
Your roof’s lifespan is determined by the type of materials used to make it and your level of maintenance. Other external factors, such as the weather, can also determine how long your roof will last.
Most shingles and other roofing materials are designed to last for decades if they are well maintained. However, extreme temperatures and other adverse weather conditions can cause your roof to wear out faster. Your shingles will become weaker and eventually crack or break due to old age.
4. Damaged gutters
The gutters are crucial parts of the house as they facilitate the collection of rainwater. When twigs, leaves, and other debris fall and collect on the gutters, they could cause clogging. Once they clog, they stop performing their function and start creating pools of water whenever it rains. The pooling water can seep through cracks and other weak spots in your roof into the house.
5. Improper installation of skylights, roof vents, and chimneys
Improperly installed chimneys, roof vents, and skylights can make your roofs leak. The flashing around the base of your chimney, roof vent, and skylight could be damaged, allowing water to go through when it rains.
The skylight window could crack or have a hole due to falling debris causing leaks. The skylight is also prone to damage through wear and tear. Your chimney could leak once the mortar that holds it together wears out, cracks or breaks. The roof vent could also crack under external pressure and cause leaks in your house.
6. Poorly-sealed ridge caps and valleys
A valley is the V-shaped point of intersection between two planes of roof slopes. Ridge caps are the peaks on your roof that contribute to the architectural design of your house.
Valleys are the weakest and most vulnerable points on the roof. They are known to cause roof leaks, especially if improperly installed.
7. The slope of the roof
The slope of your roof dictates the rate of flow of rainwater across it. A steep slope allows rainwater to flow down the roof quickly. A flat or shallow roof slows down the flow of rainwater, allowing it to accumulate into a pool. The water can slowly penetrate your roofing material and eventually leak into your house.
8. Condensation in the attic
The attic is the highest point in your house; therefore, it is susceptible to the process of condensation. Warm air rises and cools into water droplets on surfaces in the attic due to the difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures at any particular time.
Frequent condensation allows moisture to accumulate in your attic and eventually leak into other parts of the house.
9. Ice dams
Melted snow can flow down your roof and freeze again once it reaches the edges of your roof, creating an ice dam. The dam does not allow rainwater or snow to flow down your roof, and this could cause a roof leak.
Water collects on the roof and applies pressure to the underlying shingles creating cracks or weak points. Ice dams destroy the shingles and allow water to leak into your house.
Animals such as rodents and birds could seek shelter right under your roof. They create space for their homes by making holes and carving out an area for themselves. Holes provide entry points for rainwater allowing roof leaks to occur.
What do you do if your roof is leaking?
There are a few steps you can follow to minimize the damage a roof leak can cause. Water can ruin most of your belongings, therefore you should push them away, making sure the areas where the roof leaks are clear.
Accumulation of water can cause damage to your floors, so you should try as much as possible to collect the leaking water. Use towels, buckets, and any other containers to collect the water.
You can repair the roof leak on your own by first finding the source of the leak and covering it up with a tarp or flashing. You should, however, call a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible to deal with your roofing issues.
You also need to carry out roof maintenance regularly and identify missing shingles, check for cracks in the chimney, loose flashing, missing mortar, and clean up your gutters.
Call a professional roof leak repair contractor in Denver, CO
A roof leak can cause damage to various areas in your property, such as the ceiling, electrical fixtures, and walls. Contact HotEdge, the world’s best ice melt system manufacturer, if you need help with water damage and getting rid of ice dams. We will get your roof repaired in the best way we can.