A leaking roof is no joke. Indeed, a leaky roof is failing to fulfill one of its primary functions, which is to keep the elements from getting inside your home. Water inside your house can cause damage to the structure, and over time, it can also pose health risks. If you suspect you have a leaky roof, do a little reconnaissance by checking the following things, and then call your local roofing professionals for help.
1. How the Roof Looks From the Outside
If you suspect you have a leaky roof, start with a visual inspection of the roof from the outside. If you can safely climb a ladder to look at the roof, then do so. Simply walking around your house works well, too.
You need to look for obvious signs of damage to your roof, such as damaged or missing shingles. If the shingles are cracked or warped, water can get under them and enter your house. Shingle damage can occur because of age, bad weather, or even pest infestation. For example, mice can squeeze under a tight opening and burrow, causing further damage.
Don't focus on just the shingles, though. Look also at the flashing, which is the metal around your chimney. If the flashing is missing or rusted, it can be a point of entry for the water. Likewise, look for any damage to the fascia or soffit. The fascia is the vertical board just below the roof, while the soffit is the horizontal board located just behind. Damaged boards can also let water in.
2. Underneath the Roof From the Inside
Next, conduct an inspection of the area directly underneath the roof from the inside. Do you see any daylight? Obviously, if you can see right through your roof, you have cracks or other damage that's allowing the water inside.
Likewise, if it's a rainy day, look for actual water. You might see water dripping or even puddling. If you want to be proactive, and you're not worried about climbing up on the roof, you can run water over your roof to help you locate the leak. However, safety should be the first concern, so you may be better off calling in a professional.
3. Visual Signs of Damage
While you're in the attic, look for signs besides actual water that you have a roof leak, such as damage caused by the presence of water.
One sign is bubbled or expanded plaster. As the water collects between the ceiling and the plaster, it can cause the plaster to bubble away from the wood. You can see the same effect with paint on the walls if the water has been collecting behind them.
Another sign of a leaking roof is discolored spots. You can find these spots on the walls, ceiling, or floor. When water is present and doesn't get dried out, it promotes the growth of mold and mildew. The black or otherwise discolored spots you see are mold or mildew.
4. Location of the Water
The location of the water doesn't necessarily tell you where the roof leak is. In fact, after you've visually inspected the area directly below the roof, you should also look around for other leaks. Once water gets under the shingles and past the roof foundation, it can trickle anywhere. Indeed, it can even get inside the walls and damage the wood or insulation.
Identifying the location of the water can also help you determine its cause. For example, if you try the hose test and see water, then the location of the leak is the roof. However, if you're just seeing the presence of water, the leak could be from another source, such as a leaking pipe or condensation from an HVAC unit.
Once you've done your inspection of your house, you should have a pretty good idea about whether you have a leaky roof. If you do, let the roofing professionals at Wheatley Siding Windows & Guttering help. Contact us today.