Your roof is the casing for your home, keeping you safe and protected in all kinds of weather. Just one little hole and everything from wind, water, and other types of damage can create an adverse effect on your living space.
What can you do if there’s a roof leak? Does the whole thing need to get replaced right away or is it possible to patch a roof?
If you’re worried about roof leak repair and how to handle it, we’ve got you covered Learn more about how you can discover and manage this common problem if it happens to your home — even while thwarting the elements.
Look for Water Damage on the Ceiling to Discover a Roof Leak
One of the easiest ways to discover if there’s a leak is by checking the ceiling. No, you don’t need a rainy day to do so, either.
Water damage in ceilings tends to present itself as a type of stain that looks brown or black in color. Water gets into the ceiling and takes the opportunity to pool itself downward. From there, it can either case leaking onto the floor or just sit within the ceiling.
This opens the door for mold to grow if left unattended. It’s best to view this as a problem and treat it right away, even if you’re not seeing droplets of water leaking on the floor.
But just because you don’t see anything on the ceiling doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods! Check out these other ways to find out if you’re dealing with a possible leak.
Go Outside and Check for Roof Wear and Tear
Leaks in a roof always start from the outside first; you’ll rarely notice them inside until it’s too late. With that in mind, it’s time to take a trip outdoors and see what the condition of your roof is.
Look for signs that there’s damage related to wind, an older roof, or poor placement.
- Missing shingles
- Shingles that are cracked or curled
- Patches of missing shingles (could be due to wind or something else)
- Signs of rot or mold on the top of the roof
Carefully assess the damage. A few shingles missing can be common and nothing to worry about. However, if there’s huge gaps or the roof feels weak, extensive repair is needed.
Consider the age of the roof, too, and what types of weather conditions it’s endured. If you live in an area with a lot of tornados or hail damage, your roof needs to get replaced sooner than you think. Roofs that are twenty years or older normally need an overhaul or else you’ll risk further damage that could become costly.
If you purchased the house pre-owned, make sure to find out when the roof was last replaced or repaired, to get an idea of when you need to have it done.
Do a Roof Test and Become a Rainmaker
Still not sure if there’s a leak present but you have a sneaking suspicion? Wait for a day that is completely dry, and get the help of a second person to do the rainmaker test.
Essentially, you’ll have someone use a garden hose and spray it on the top of the roof while you’re on that side of the house, looking for leaks. Have them repeat it on the other side too, and take your time to make sure you’re not missing anything.
If there’s no leak, you won’t hurt your house. This is a cheap and effective manner when it comes to finding out if rain is getting in and how it’s affecting the rest of the building.
If you’re still looking for more detailed information on how to think like rain, check out this how to, and find out what’s going on under your nose.
Know How to Manage Basic Shingle Repair
Perhaps you’ve checked out the roof and determined it could benefit from basic shingle repair. Even if you haven’t found any leaks, making small repairs can save you money and avoid the costs associated with a brand-new roof.
It’s better to only do repairs when they’re in a few areas, rather than a massive overhaul of the entire roof. It only requires a few items from the hardware store and isn’t difficult to manage.
Using a caulk gun, you can smooth out and replace any shingles you find curling or cracking. Roof cement helps everything to stay down and gives an extra sense of security.
Do you have extensive work that goes beyond that? if that’s the case, learn why professional help is best.
Understand When You Need Professionals
For an overall roof repair or for when you notice large parts of the roof otherwise missing or damaged, it’s time to get help from a professional. If there are substantial problems, professionals can assess what’s causing the damage in the first place.
Perhaps you need a new roof, different materials, or there’s some other interior problem that has developed, allowing leaks to get through. Roofers can let you know what your options are, and point you in the right direction for a solution that doesn’t allow water to get through as easily.
Now that you know what to do in order to discover and handle a roof leak, you can treat the problem head on, before it develops into something bigger. While diagnosing a roof leak isn’t always easy, knowing the signs and best ways to treat it can help you feel encouraged that the problem is preventable.