Whether there’s water seeping up from your foundation, water coming in from your windows or water coming in through holes in your roof, leaks can lead to long-term, costly damage to your home — especially if you leave them untreated.
Signs That Your Roof Is Leaking
Your roof is comprised of a system of finely tuned components, so looking for a roof leak can involve several different methods. A few of the most common signs include:
- Water ring/stains on your ceiling — This is the most obvious sign of a roof leak, particularly if the room is located on the top level of your home. If it’s located on a wall or bottom floor, it may be a leaking pipe. In either case, you should consider calling a contractor for further investigation.
- Damaged flashing — The sheet metal that seals the joints of your roof is called flashing. It serves a similar purpose to drywall “tape,” the paper or adhesive that seals together boards of drywall to create a seamless appearance. Roof flashing can prevent water from entering in between the exposed seams of your roof.
If you notice flashing strips that appear loose or damaged after walking around your house, it’s maybe time to replace them. You might also conduct a visual inspection of your roof to check flashing that’s not observable from the ground.
- Plugged gutters — Your gutters ensure that water is channeled safely away from your roof without being diverted into your home. If your gutters are full of leaves, ice or other debris, water may pool and enter through any existing holes in your sheathing. Worse yet, if your gutters are so plugged up that water isn’t able to enter, water may pool on your roof and put stress on your structural framing.
- Ice damage — Our harsh Northwest Indiana winters can cause significant ice build-up on your roof. Ice dams are frozen chunks that accumulate in gutters, in between shingles or places on your roof where standing water can collect. Ice dams can rip apart roofing materials and create gaps in your roof system for water to enter. Keep an eye on your roof during the winter to make sure no significant ice has built up.
- Missing or damaged shingles — Shingles are the first line of protection your roof has against the elements. If you notice missing or damaged shingles after a strong storm, or if you find shingles from your roof lying on the ground, you may need to call a contractor for repairs.
- Mold — If you smell must or mold, or can see it upon visually inspecting walls and attic spaces, then there is most likely either a leak or ventilation issue, both of which require remediation.
Overcoming A Roof Leak
If you determine that your roof has a leak, it’s time to call a contractor to begin the repair process. Though do-it-yourself fixes can be tempting, it’s best to trust an expert who knows how to stop a leaking roof safely and correctly. Moisture can lead to mold if it is not addressed quickly and effectively.
However, there are steps you can take to prevent roof leaks from occurring in the first place. In the winter, you can take the time to remove any snow that builds up on your roof. Remember, never climb on top of your roof and consider calling a professional snow removal service if you need it. You should also remain vigilant about keeping your gutters clean.
If you need a roofing contractor to repair your roof leak, or want to talk to a knowledgeable expert who can determine whether a leak is occurring, contact J & B West Roofing and Construction for a free inspection.