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 10 indicators of a roof leak can lead to extensive damage to your home and more expensive repairs.
When you have a leaky roof, mold can infest many parts of your home. When water spreads to different parts of your house, it carries with it the potential to spread mold. Mold causes damage to your home by weakening building materials, like wood and insulation. Mold thrives in dark, warm, wet environments. When these factors are present, mold can spread quickly without you noticing.
Inhaling mold 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, mold present in your home can cause itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and cough.
If you notice mold on your exterior walls, it could be a sign of a leaky roof. Measure from the mold spot to a reference point, like a window or door, and check for mold in the same spot on the other side of the wall. You can also check to see if mold is present where your exterior wall meets your roof. If you see any of these signs of mold, it’s important to give us a call at (512) 820 6505 so one of our technicians can assess your situation and solve your mold problem at its source.
#2 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 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 loose 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.
If you notice discolored 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 around your vents and bathroom ventilation fans. Look for signs of discoloration in these spots around your home.
The discoloration you may see is a direct result of mold 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.
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.
#5 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.
When you routinely have your roof inspected, our inspectors may find lost or damaged shingles. Lost or damaged shingles are often the source for 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.
#6 Damp External Walls
If you see mold 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.
#7 Gutter Issues
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 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 rain water to leak into the structure of your home where it can cause damage long after the rain has passed by.
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 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.
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.
#8 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 left over 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.
#9 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.
#10 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 mold 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.
Protect Your Roof with Water Damage and Roofing Professionals
Many of the above sources for roof leaks are obvious to the naked eye. Others are silent signs that your roof has damage. Silent damage is the most concerning because it can go unnoticed for weeks, or even months. Repairing your roof can protect your home from major and expensive damage.
When your roof needs repair, you should always look for a reputable and reliable roofing contractor. A leaking roof is a critical situation, one that should be taken seriously. It’s vital that you take action as soon as you notice signs of a roof leak.
Call Water Damage & Roofing in Austin at (512) 820-6505 for your FREE initial roof inspection. Our experienced technicians can take care of any roofing issues, large or small.