There’s nothing like the pitter-patter of rain on the roof and a quiet afternoon—until, of course, that rain starts to seep in through your ceiling! From mold infestations to soggy insulation and home-wide moisture damage, the havoc they can wreak is widespread and various. If severe and neglected enough, they can even mean you’ll need outright roof replacement.
Before any decision is made about the current state of your roof, though, the source of your leak needs to be located. As destructive as leaks can be, no two of them are the same, and each individual type does different kinds of damage and requires a different approach to remedying.
But no, you don’t need a textbook’s worth of knowledge to do rudimentary roof diagnosis; you just need to read on! Midwest Exteriors MN is here to help. Learn the basic types of leaks straight from a roofing contractor below.
Leaks Stemming From Your Shingles
This is the type of damage that most people think of when they think of a roof leak. It is indeed a common issue, especially with roofs that have been poorly maintained or installed. Shingles are a roof’s protective armor, so to speak, and while the decking and moisture barrier do their fair share of work, once the shingles have been compromised, your roof is significantly weakened.
Signs of shingle-related leaks, aside from the leak itself, include
● A recent storm in the area, with winds or hail significant enough to damage your roof
● Pockmarks or missing granules in your asphalt shingles
● Trees with branches close enough to scrape your shingles
● Shingles that have vanished altogether
● Shingles that are bent out of shape
You might be able to see some shingle damage from ground level, but please don’t climb up on your roof to examine it further. It’s a dangerous job; going at it without the proper safety equipment can lead to your slipping and falling. Let the professionals handle it. That’s what you pay them for!
Leaks Stemming From Flashing
Shingles work hard to protect your family, but they’re far less effective without well-installed flashing. Flashing is placed over “intersections” in your roof—where a chimney springs up or something changes angles, for example. Thanks to gravity, rainwater would otherwise want to sink down into the crack, but flashing redirects it safely into your gutter installation.
It’s a tad hard to spot these roofing leaks; after all, flashing is often situated far atop your roofing, invisible from ground level. However, if you discover leakage exclusively near your roof seams, which you can check out by heading into your attic, your flashing might be to blame. The seams near chimneys in particular tend to be fussy customers.
Unfortunately, what very much looks like a roof leak can be anything but. Anything from plumbing to poor roof ventilation can cause unattractive splotches or saggy ceilings. It can be incredibly difficult to pinpoint when something is not a roof leak—they all are made up of water getting where it shouldn’t be, after all—but here are a few rules of thumb.
If a leak gets consistently worse, regardless of the weather, it could very well be an issue with your plumbing, which deals with water day in and day out, and not your roofing, which doesn’t. However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; if you’ve experienced a rainy few weeks, or there’s snow on your roof, a roof leak can continually worsen. Since both roofing and plumbing leaks can show up on your ceiling, it’s important to get a roofing company to the scene if you have any concerns.
Poor Roof Ventilation
Homeowners often suspect roof leaks when moisture shows up in their attic, or when their insulation gets soggy, but that’s not always the case. When an attic is poorly ventilated, condensation from normal household activities has nowhere to go. It thus accumulates in the attic space, setting the stage for widespread mold infestations, inefficient insulation, and more.
You might suspect ventilation as a culprit to your moisture problem if your heating or cooling bills have risen inexplicably, and if you experience widespread water accumulation in your attic versus in one isolated area. Your decking might also have begun to rot and the nails within to rust.
We’ve written all about ventilation on our roofing contractor blog, so check out “The Importance of Proper Roofing Ventilation” for more information on this topic.
Contact Midwest Exteriors MN Today for a Roofing Overhaul
As home and condo contractors, there’s nothing we haven’t seen. We’ve been putting roofs over the heads of the Lake Elmo area since 1994—alongside siding installations and gutters, of course. If your roof needs some attention that you don’t know how to give, we’re on it, so give us a call at 651-346-9477.