As a homeowner, water spots accumulating under a leak in the roof are some of the last things you want to see when you wake up. It raises all sorts of questions—is this the only place where water is leaking? How expensive is this problem to fix? Most importantly, how do you know if the leaking roof is an emergency? We’re here to help you find the answers, so read on!
Signs of Roof Damage
Not every roofing problem is as obvious as water droplets hitting your face. That said, we’ll share some telltale signs your roof has been compromised that you should be on the lookout for.
Water Stains on Ceilings and Walls
Even if you can’t see the droplets, water stains accumulating on your ceiling or walls are common signs of a leaky roof. Water damage is one of the most insidious causes of structural problems in any home if you let the problem run rampant, and structural problems mean costly repairs. That said, not every water stain is explicitly related to a leaking roof.
There could also be a plumbing leak somewhere in the home, which is a different problem that you must promptly address. When you notice water stains, get on the phone with a professional right away—they’ll be able to identify the problem and determine the best course of action.
Missing or Cracked Shingles
Missing or cracked shingles may be signs that your roof is on its last legs, and these issues can arise in a few ways. Harsh storms and windy conditions can rip shingles from their places. This may not require you to replace your entire roof, but a roof without some shingles is a roof without all its defenses.
Your shingles will degrade naturally over time. Even if your location doesn’t experience harsh weather, regular wind and rain will have a cumulative effect on your shingles. When you notice missing shingles or cracks in your existing ones, hire someone to fix the problem. Otherwise, your home is at risk of leaks and water damage.
Shingle Pieces in Gutters
If you find small pieces of shingles in your gutters, you can take that as a sign that they are in desperate need of replacement. Over time, the protective granules on your shingles break off, causing them to become brittle. When that happens, it won’t take much to tear your shingles away from your roof and leave your home exposed to water damage.
Flashings are the metal components of your roof installed around vents, chimneys, and other roof penetrations—their purpose is to prevent water from leaking into your home. When these flashings sustain damage (whether through a storm or over time), your home becomes vulnerable to leaks.
It’s better to have your flashings repaired or replaced than to experience water damage to your irreplaceable items.
Moss or Mold Growth
Moss and mold growth are two red flags of poor ventilation and excess moisture. Both growths are known for damaging shingles and setting up the building blocks of leakage. As soon as you notice either moss or mold growing on your roof, call a professional to determine the proper next steps.
When To Seek Immediate Help
While you should address all these problems sooner rather than later, some require your immediate attention. If you spot any of the following, get on the phone with roof repair services right away!
Water stains that aren’t changing is one thing—water that you can watch dripping is another. Active leaks are a serious problem that won’t get better on its own, in fact, it will likely only get worse! Get your valuables out of the way and set up a pot to catch the water before calling a professional.
Pools of Water
Large amounts of water, even if you can’t see the pool actively forming, is a major red flag. Pools of water indicate a severe leak that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
When you spot water leaking near appliances or electrical wires, call someone. That situation is a recipe for electrocution or a fire, so stay away from the problem area and get someone to your house to fix it right away.
What You Should Do: The Steps
Whether you determine your leaking roof to be an emergency or a problem that needs fixing in the near future, there are a few key steps to follow to minimize damage and set up your home for success.
Call a Professional
The first thing to do is to get on the phone with professionals in residential roof repair. A qualified contractor is the best person to assess the damage and come up with a battle plan to fix the problem.
Move Your Belongings
If you have any personal items, such as clothing or photo albums, in the area of the leak, move them away from the water. While it won’t always be possible to protect your possessions from water damage, it’s important to do the best you can.
Turn Off the Power
Turn off the power through your circuit box if water is leaking near your appliances or wires. Doing so will minimize the possibility of fire or electrocution and make a safer working environment for your contractor.
Document the Damage
In the heat of the moment, you may forget to snap a few pictures of the problem for your insurance company. You’ll want to be reimbursed for the damage, so take clear photos of the problem.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have the pictures, contact your insurance company. They may cover or assist with the cost of repairs.
Now that you know if your leaking roof is an emergency, we hope you have a better sense of when to take steps to fix roof problems. When you do decide to take action, be sure to work with a professional roof repair company like Conde Roofing. Otherwise, you run the risk of applying a band-aid solution to a problem that needs surgery!