If you find that your roof is leaking, you need to take fast action to fix the problem in order to save your property from suffering significant damage.
- Age, the weather, and damage to the roof can all cause it to leak.
- Some problems need to be fixed, while others need to be replaced.
- If you find and fix these problems quickly, you may not need a whole new roof.
- A skilled contractor can help you when you need it.
A leaking roof is a disaster for many people because water that gets into the house can do a lot of damage. If you don’t fix the problem right away, this water can get into the ceiling, behind the walls, and into your insulation. It can also damage your floors and appliances.
The good news is that there are things you can do to keep your roof from leaking and things you can do if it does leak to limit the damage.
Here’s what you should know about roofs that leak and what you can do to keep your home from getting too damaged.
How to Tell if Your Roof is Leaking
You should look out for a few signs of a possible roof leak so you can fix the problem before it does a lot of damage.
Water spots on your walls and ceiling are some of the most obvious things to look out for. After a while, these spots usually turn brown and stain, and you might also see water coming through your ceiling. Most of the time, water spots mean the leak is big because the water has to go through the attic and insulation to get there.
When the leak is just starting, water spots can also show up in your attic. These spots mean that there is a small leak letting water into the attic, but it isn’t yet bad enough for the water to get into your living space. We don’t usually go up into our attics, so finding these problems early might require a bit of luck.
Damage on the outside of your home is another sign that your roof is leaking. You won’t know if that falling tree branch caused a leak until it rains, so it’s a good idea to have a professional contractor look at any damage before the next rain.
Remember that the sooner you fix a leaking roof, the less likely it is that it will cause major damage to your home.
What to Do When a Roof Leaks
There are many reasons why roofs leak. Your roof might be leaking because of more than one thing. Problems can build up over time.
An old roof is one of the most common things that lead to these leaks. Every year, your roof shingles have to deal with sun, snow, rain, and big changes in temperature. Because of these things in the environment, the shingles become hard and break.
When your roof is getting close to the end of its useful life, you should start making plans to replace it. If you don’t, water damage could happen inside your home. Roofing problems can start early if the weather is bad, the roof wasn’t put on right, or the shingles break.
Even brand-new roofs can leak since shingles aren’t usually the only thing on top. For example, if you have a brick chimney, the crown could crack, the mortar between the bricks could wear away, or the flashing could let water in behind it.
Then there are simple parts of your roof’s construction that can wear out or cause problems over time. Every roof is a complicated system for keeping out the weather and keeping the right temperature. In that system, there are many places where leaks can happen. Here are a few ways water could get through the outer layer and into that system:
- Flashing around skylights and vents
- Getting into the valleys of the roof
- The rubber “boot” that goes around vents.
- Skylights have rubber seals around the glass.
- Flashing along the tops and bottoms of roofs with complicated shapes (these can also collect ice, which leads to damage)
- Clogged gutters that make it hard for water to drain off your roof
- Uncut roofing nails that freeze and melt, dripping condensation into the roof system over time.
- Missing shingles that let water in instead of letting it run off as they should
Most of these parts are made to stop leaks, but over time and with exposure to the elements, they can wear down or crack, letting water into the system.
Without regular, thorough roof inspections, it can be hard to find these places where water can get in. The best way to keep damage from water from happening is to have licensed professionals look for leaks twice a year.
Getting the Problem Fixed
When you find damage to your roof, or at any other time, it’s time to call in a pro to fix it. Homeowners might be able to stop leaks temporarily with tarps or flashing paste, but the real problems, like rotting fixtures or deteriorating shingles, will need to be fixed by professionals.
That might seem like a big step, but each of the above problems can lead to bigger problems that can’t be fixed with simple fixes. Regular roof inspections and repairs cost much less than putting on a whole new roof. A penny spent on prevention will save a lot of money in the long run.
When you see missing shingles, it’s usually best to have a contractor put on new ones. But you should be aware that it can be hard to match colors because the sun will cause your old shingles to fade. There are also small differences in the colors of shingles, but your contractor will do his or her best to match them.
If your roof has a hole, a skilled contractor will be able to design and install the best way to fix the problem. Don’t try to fix it yourself if you can help it: Your roof has many layers of protection, and if you don’t know what you’re doing when you fix them, you could end up with leaks that cause problems in the long run.
Chimneys that are broken or have worn-out flashing will also need to be fixed or replaced. For flashing, your contractor might try to reseal it, unless the metal has been exposed to the elements for years and is now brittle or rusting.
Trying to Stop Future Problems
In addition to having a professional fix your leaking roof, there are some things you can do to keep your home safe.
First, have a contractor look at your flashing and, if necessary, seal it again. You might need to replace the flashing around your chimney, in the valleys of your roof, and near your vents. Your contractor will be able to handle this job without having to replace the whole roof.
If you’ve ever seen an old house in ruins, you know that the fireplace and chimney are often the only things that are still standing. Even though these fixtures look like they can’t be broken, even small cracks in the joints or crown can let water into your home. The brick is very strong, but there can be problems with the mortar.
You can fix your chimney and seal the joints between the bricks and mortar to keep water out. This job doesn’t take long and doesn’t cost much, but if you catch it early, it could save you a lot of money.
Shiners can become a big problem in your home, but you can stop that from happening. For a short-term fix, you can use side-splitting pliers to cut the nails that are sticking out. If you do this, water from frost won’t leak into your attic and cause serious damage.
But you should also know that shiners can form if your attic doesn’t have enough insulation or ventilation. Updating these parts of your home will cost you money upfront, but it will make your home use less energy and protect your roof from damage in the long run.
What Wayne NJ Roofing Can Do for You
No matter what problem you’re having with your roof, you need the help of a skilled contractor who can find the cause of the problem and fix it. In New Jersey, this means picking a professional team that knows how to deal with the problems that our weather brings to residential roofs.
We solve problems with roofing and siding by being open and letting people know what’s going on. After a free consultation with us, our clients have all the information they need to make the best decision to protect their homes for the next 30+ years. We have rare certifications that make sure our work is of the highest quality and let us offer the best warranties in the business. From the first phone call to the last inspection, we try to make the whole process easy.
Wayne NJ Roofing is a local business in New Jersey that fixes and installs roofs in the Morris County area. When the time comes, our team can fix damage to your roof or replace your shingles. We can also improve your ventilation to stop the buildup of moisture. Get in touch with us to find out more or to set up a free consultation.