Home ownership comes with a myriad of responsibilities, and one of them happens to be maintenance. It can be quite expensive to embark on the home-owning journey, especially if you have a lot of renovations to do. One maintenance woe that many homeowners will deal with at one point or another is a leaky roof. However, how do you know whether to repair or replace the roof? We're here with some information to help you realize how your roof started leaking, the effects of a leaking roof, and what your best course of action is.
The most common causes of a leaking roof include damage to the shingles, clogged gutters, cracked flashing underneath the shingles, condensation inside of the attic, and damaged valley seals. Damage can occur after an episode of inclement weather with strong rain, wind, or debris flying through the air. Your roof leak could also be caused by the age of the roof itself, as every roof will endure wear and tear after a number of years.
The dangers associated with roof leaks can wreak havoc on the home and those who live inside of it. A long-standing roof leak has the potential to damage insulation, wood, drywall, flooring, and electrical appliances. If a roof leak drips onto electrical wiring, it can also be a fire hazard. Many leaks end up in the attic where families store sentimental and valuable belongings. Not only can a leak cause costly structural damage, it can also invite mold into the home. This is because mold and mildew thrive in conditions with excess moisture! If a mold issue keeps growing, health issues such as respiratory irritation and intense allergy symptoms can quickly arise.
So, how do you know if it's best to repair or replace the roof? To make the distinction, you will need to introduce a professional to the situation. If the decking or underlayment of the roof is damaged, it's best to replace the roof instead of simply replacing shingles. While there are options to patch areas or shingle over an existing roof to save money, it's similar to putting a piece of tape over a pipe leak. It's better for your health, the integrity of your household, and wallet to take the steps needed to solve the problem in the most efficient way.
Roof issues can be very concerning to homeowners especially when they go unresolved. Not only does roof damage deteriorate your roof, it can also cause damage to the inside of your home. The dangers that a damaged roof can cause are not worth putting off the repairs. One tiny abrasion to your roof can mean you now have a roof leak, and if we know anything about roof leaks, that means water has intruded and is on its way to forming mold. There are also many factors that need to be considered to ensure you have a full functioning roofing system.
Mold can form if roof leaks occur. There are many ways this can happen. Loose shingles from storm damage and aging building materials are two ways roofs can become damaged. Wind is also one of the main culprits for causing roof damage. When heavy wind blows, it can cause shingles to chip away at the edges causing them to lift and become loose. This can actually impact the surrounding shingles to become out of place as well. If the damaged shingles aren’t immediately fixed, the next time high winds occur, the surrounding shingles will continue to become unbound and impact the shingles surrounding them.
There are signs you can look for when assessing whether or not you have a major roofing issue. Clear signs of a problem include yellow/brown stains in the form of puddles on the ceiling that can be viewed from the inside of your home. Roof leaks are very common especially if you don’t perform routine maintenance on your home. There are also many signs to look for on the exterior of your home. Again, pay attention to the placement of your shingles. Are they curling or cracked? Are they loose? It is also best to pay attention and maintain your gutters. Your gutters are directly connected to your roof. When gutters go unmaintained, they tend to sag adding access weight to you’re the roofing structure. This can cause your roof to be susceptible to mold formation due to access moisture buildup.
More signs of a roof/household leak are:
Different seasons can bring on a plethora of roofing issues. If you live in a climate where all four seasons occur, your roof goes through different wear and tear then someone living in a tropical climate. What everyone needs to know is all rooves are not created equal. Metal rooves may be best for cold climates and clay tile roofing system may be best for tropical climates.
Performing your own visual inspection is a great way to figure out if you have roof issues. However, when you start to see signs of damage, or after a storm, it is best to call a licensed professional to do a thorough inspection. A tip your future self will later thank you for is to update your homeowner’s insurance to cover roof damage. Homeowners are surprised when they find they don’t have coverage at times when they need it the most. The easiest way to do this is by contacting your insurance provider directly.
Resolving what can be seen as small issues, can save the longevity and quality of your roof. Performing independent inspections can help identify problems, but remember to always confide in a professional inspection/roofing company when issues arise.
Many times, a leak can be an easy fix with just a small replacement or adjustment as needed. Other times, a small leak can stem from a large problem where major damage control is required. If and when you detect a leak in your home or place of business, the issue should be addressed as promptly as possible. Ignoring signs of a leak can cause issues within your home that you can potentially avoid when you respond immediately.
There are many places leaks can occur:
o Water Heater
Leaks can cause minor problems such as and an irritating runny faucet, waste of water, and high water bills. One household can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year just from water leaks. That waste not only has a negative impact on the environment, but also your wallet. Common household leaks cause your water bill to rise, which is money out of your pocket that you could have spent otherwise.
Although minor problems can be very troublesome, there are bigger issues that can severely damage your home.
Mold development is one of the most common and most consequential causes of leak damage. Mold can form anywhere moisture is present within 24-48 hours. This is the #1 reason why you need to act quickly when you find a leak because the quicker you get rid of a leak, the less chance mold has to form. To reduce the development of mold, you must control moisture. If mold penetrates an area surrounding a leak, the entire area must be removed to eliminate mold. For example, if you smell a musty odor coming from below your sink, you most likely have a mold problem. Fixing the leak will not get rid of mold, it will still continue to spread because of the existing moisture. Removing the surrounding cupboard and base may be necessary to get rid of mold entirely. This is a must especially because mold is overall very harmful and can cause serious health issues
Structure deterioration is a cause of damage from roof leaks. Chronic roof leaks can cause the wood in your home’s structure and ceilings to deteriorate. Although this can be a slow process, watch for signs of roof leaks such as dark spots in your ceiling. When you see water come through the ceiling and leak onto the floor, this means that the surrounding area within the ceiling is absorbing most of that water. Keep a close watch on even the smallest roof leaks because even one can cause wood to weaken and eventually cause a ceiling collapse.
Electrical issues can also be a factor in assessing damage from water leaks. As your household leaks pass through and comes in contact with many interiors, it will most likely reach the electrical components of your home. Uncovered wires and outlet framework can easily cause shock and even fires when coming in contact with water. It only takes one small spark to cause an entire building to burn down. Flooding can also be a factor in carrying electrical currents and causing a fire. Act quickly if you ever find yourself in a flood and turn off your electricity in the flooded areas. This can prevent your entire home from burning down and even prevent death.
To avoid major issues and costly repairs take care of leaks in your home or business facility immediately! Ignoring what might look like a small issue can uncover extreme structural damage and can even cause harm to those around it. Call your local leak detection service company at the first sign of a leak.
AQA Website - Leak Detection Services
Environmental Protection Agency
Alliance for Water Efficiency