Home Improvement

Full guide for a leaking roof: How you can handle the situation

A roof leak can be frustrating. Aside from the fact that it is a lot of work, it can also be difficult to find. The sound of the constantly dripping water reminds you that something is not right. It’s even worse if the leak occurs in more than one place.

So what can you do when your roof leaks, and what are the steps that you will need to take to find and repair the leaking part. This article is a full guide on how you can handle this problem. In the next paragraphs, we will be taking you through the causes, signs, and solutions of a leaking roof. 

What can cause your roof to leak?

In order to know how to solve a problem, you must know the cause of the problem. So, here are some of the common causes of a leaking roof.

Holes in the roof

This is one of the most common causes of a leaking roof. When there is a hole in your roof it consequently leads to water dropping down into your house. These holes can be a result of removing objects that were previously attached to the roof, an example is your antenna. When you remove these attachments they leave holes that eventually become entry points for water. Also, these holes can come from something hitting your roof, like a stone from the neighbor’s compound.

Missing or damaged shingles

When a roof shingle is damaged or missing, it leaves a space for water to drop inside the house. The main function of the shingles is to protect your roof and allow water runoff from the roof. So when they are not there, the water gets diverted into your house.

There are several reasons why your shingles can get damaged or missing. It could be blown away during a storm or not even properly installed from the start.

The roof is old

The effect of exposure to different weather conditions can cause your roof to wear off and eventually get damaged. The durability of your roof depends on the type of material that it is made from; slate, wood, asphalt, fiber, and metal all have a different range of durability.  The roof gradually deteriorates and becomes porous, sometimes breaking and leaving vents for water to pass through. 

Roof slopes and vents, as well as the Chimneys

Structures like chimneys and skylights can create vents in the roof, leaving openings for water to enter your house. It gets worse if these structures are not properly installed. Also, the structure of the roof may be a contributing factor. A shallow roof slope or a flat roof can increase the chances of leaks because water cannot run down the roof as it should.

Accumulation of debris on the roof

When debris pile up on the roof, it can block water from running off properly. The water eventually builds up on the roof and may start flowing into spaces between the shingles. The water may seep down into the roof and your house.

What are the signs of a leaking roof?

There are several signs to show that your roof is leaking. Some of these are; water stains on the ceiling which appear after significant rainfall or storm, damp spots on the ceiling, moist or wet paint, dripping sounds in the house that you cannot explain, drips or moisture on the walls, and musty smell in the house, interior paint of your house starts to bubble or peel. When you see these signs inside your house, then you should check for a roof leak. 

Also, there are noticeable signs you may see outside the house to help confirm your suspicions such as loose shingles laying around the compound, discolored and curling shingles, a change in the color of the roof, and cracks on the roof, debris piles on the roof or peeling paint areas.

How to detect a roof leak

Now if you have seen these signs in your home, you will need to locate the damage, so it can be properly repaired.  The first thing is to check the underside of the roof. Using a flashlight, examine the underside of the roof and look out for any area that are darker than the surrounding roof sheathing. This may be difficult to locate especially if it hasn’t rained. You can also look out for molds growing on the underside, they are a significant sign of a leaking roof.

If you can’t seem to find the location of the leak because of dry weather try spraying the roof with water, you can do this with a garden hose. You will need one more person for this procedure so while one of you sprays the water on the roof, the other examines the underside of the roof for any leak.

Repairing Roof Leaks

There are several ways to fix a roof leak. However, these methods depend on the size and type of leak, the location of the roof leak, as well as the type of roof you want to fix.

It can be difficult to work on top of a roof on your own. Unless you have the tools and skills to carry out the task, it is better to allow a professional to do it for you. However, if you know you have the skills, tools, and especially the confidence to do the job, then you should. Note, do not try to fix the roof leak while it is raining, instead, place a bucket under any drips, which should keep the situation under control for the meantime.

It is important to inspect your roof for damages, especially after a storm or bad weather. A roof leak is usually a cumulative effect of long-term damage. Check for missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or any form of a dent on the roof. Once you have identified a roof leak make sure to correct it as soon as you can. Most times a complete roof restoration will do the job. Neglecting it may result in worse damage to your roof. Also, pay more attention to your roof if you have used it for a long time. Old roofs are more prone to leakage.

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