Water stains appear on your ceiling and often look like a big puddle with a brown ring. However, other water stains are more difficult to see and may occur in dark corners. If you come across discolored areas on your ceiling or walls, look closer for moisture, mold and other unmistakable signs of leaks.
If you notice drips, moisture and water stains and then they go away, that doesn’t mean the leak has magically repaired itself. You should still have it checked. For instance, your roof may have an ice dam, which is caused by ice and melting snow freezing and thawing. The thawed water makes its way underneath your shingles, freezes and causes intermittent leaks. Remember this rule: if you notice moisture, investigate it — even if the moisture appears to disappear after a short time. If you have a chronic moisture issue, it may damage your house permanently.
Spots on Exterior Walls
Every now and then, look under the roofline of your house to see if you notice anything. If you see water spots, this means there may be an issue where the roof and walls come together. Water sports here can indicate issues with the flashing.
Moss on Exterior Walls
If your exterior wall is mossy or moldy, this could be because it’s in a shady spot, although it could also mean you have an issue with your gutters or downspouts. While these components are made of a different material than your roof surface, gutters and downspouts are key components of your roof, as they help water drain from your roof and away from your foundation. If one of them is leaking, there may also be erosion under the gutters and moisture on the exterior of your house, depending on the location of the leak. You can minimize the issue of icy or clogged gutters, however, by installing gutter covers and fixing gutters that sag.
Wet or Rusty Pipes
Wet or rusty pipes are a common sign of roof leakage. If you have noticed that your stove pipe on your fireplace is rusty, or feels damp to the touch, then you might have a roof problem.
Usually, this type of leak us easily fixed, as it is just the result of your stove pipe not being properly sealed, thereby letting in rainwater.
Fixing this should be a two-minute job if you call a professional to handle it.
Curling Roof Shingles
If you’re wondering how to tell if your roof is leaking, you should always actually check your roof if you can.
If your roof is leaking, it means that water is getting in through the shingles somehow. Therefore, it is important to examine your shingles for damage.
If they have curled upwards or downwards, possible due to poor installation, then they might be letting in water.
When your roof is leaking, don’t panic! Sure, it’s a huge inconvenience to have a leaking roof. But if you follow the steps above, they’ll help you get the situation under control. With that said, there’s only so much you can do on your own and you’ll need professional assistance.
Do you need roof repair services for your home? If so, we’ve got you covered. We’re located in Jenison, MI, and we service Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.
Our team of roofing specialists are happy to assist you. Also, you can take advantage of our free roof inspection to determine your roofing needs!
Things to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
Move Things Out of the Way
When your roof is leaking, that’s bad enough. The last thing you want is to ruin your belongings in the process. If there’s a leak over your bed, clothing, or furniture, it’s time to clear the area!
Water damage can completely destroy some of your precious belongings, and nobody wants that. Not to mention, some fabrics trap water and create a dreadful mildew smell. So whatever you can push out of the way, do it ASAP!
Contain the Water
If you have a leaking roof, try to contain it as much as possible. Grab buckets, garbage cans, towels, and anything else you can find to capture the water to reduce the impact and damage that water can cause.
Not to mention, it could cause water damage to your floors. Make sure you have several containers nearby that can trap the water and switch them out regularly to reduce the risk of overflow.
Relieve Water Pressure
A sagging bulge hanging from your ceiling is a sign that there’s water collecting in that spot. Although it might seem unwise to poke a hole in the area, do it. If you leave it, the water could spread and cause more serious damage to the ceiling.
Plus, it could eventually erupt on its own and create a larger mess. Use a screwdriver to carefully puncture the lowest point of the bulge, and put a bucket underneath it to catch the water. Several punctures may be necessary, depending on the size of the leak.
Tarp the Roof
If for some reason you can’t get your leaking roof fixed right away, a tarp is the next best option. When the roof is safe enough to climb, cover the problem area with a tarp. Sometimes the problem areas are hard to find. If you are having trouble, try to determine the problem area based on where the leak is inside. Read our article: Roof Repair: 9 Common Issues and the Easiest Way to Fix Them. Use one that’s at least six millimeters thick, and extends a minimum of four feet across the problem area and up to the peak. If the peak is too far away, tuck under shingles to prevent water from going underneath the tarp.
That way, it provides plenty of protection around the perimeter and ensures that the area is completely covered.
Take Photos for Insurance Documentation
Do you want to know what to do if your roof is leaking? It’s this step! Documenting your damages will come in handy when you file your home insurance claim if the damage is eligible for a claim. We cannot overstate how important it is to take photos and document everything.
Not only does it show the severity of the roof damage, but also the other items that were compromised. If your television, computer, furniture, bedding, or kitchen were ruined by the roof leak, document it. Your insurance could potentially fix the roof and replace the items you lost.
If you are handy and think you can fix your roof yourself, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman. We highly recommend, however, to contact us or another professional roofer if your roof is leaking for professional roof repair. There are many things to know when working on roofs, and safety is always the number one concern!
Call a Professional Roofing Company
A leaking roof is a big undertaking, so it’s best to call the pros. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could get. There’s only so much you can do to manage the situation, so it’ll need fixing immediately.
Professional roofers can repair the damaged area and assess other spots on your roof that may need repair or reconstruction.
Continue Regular Roof Maintenance
After the roof is fixed and things are back to normal, there’s more work to be done. Doing routine maintenance on your roof is the best way to control leaks. Your roof takes on a lot of wear and tear, and it’s exposed to harsh outside elements. Routine roof maintenance includes:
- Inspecting for any trees that may have grown too close to your roof, and, if so, cutting back limbs and branches
- Making sure gutters and downspouts have not become clogged with leaves or any other debris. Water must be able to run away from your house as designed.
- Checking for any damage after severe weather such as loose or missing shingles
- Looking for any cracks in the chimney
- Locating and replacing any curled or split shingles
Weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail weaken the shingles over time. Ensure that your house stays in good condition by keeping major systems, such as your roof, properly maintained.
Learn more about American Central of Tulsa Roofing
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