Your home’s roof is its first line of defense against moisture and water damage. You want to keep it not only looking great but functioning as it’s supposed to. If you spot a leak, it’s important to address it right away. Here are some red flags to watch for, as well as tips for making sure your roof lasts for as long as you own your home.
Address Water Stains or Drips Right Away
If you see water marks on your ceiling or walls, consider yourself fortunate. Although it might seem crazy to think of this as a stroke of luck, knowing where water is entering your home is half the battle. The other half is taking steps to fix the problem so it doesn’t happen again.
How to Fix a Leaky Roof When You See Drips or Water Marks
The patter of rain on a rooftop can actually be a relaxing sound. But no matter how much you love a good thunderstorm, you probably prefer it to stay on the outside of your house. If you see water marks on your ceiling or wall after a heavy rain, don’t wait to address it, as this is a sign that your roof is compromised. This problem will only get worse — it’ll never get better or go away on its own.
As Steffani Cameron at Bob Vila writes, there are several steps you should take:
Secure the Scene – It might sound like the start of an episode of CSI, but your first step should be to contain the scene. Stick a bucket under any drips, and move furniture or valuables out of the path of seeping or dripping water. If water is plopping onto the carpet or your hardwood floors, put a tarp or even some carpet remnants over your good flooring.
Drain the Water – Mom probably always told you not to poke at blisters, but the same rules don’t apply to blisters that form under your paint and drywall when water gets in. Water is a powerful force, and it will continue to build up and spread underneath the wall. It will also build up weight that can damage your walls and ceiling — even leading to a collapse. Use a small screwdriver to tap a small hole in the affected area to release any built-up water. You can always patch and repair a small section of drywall; it’s a lot harder and more expensive to replace your entire ceiling.
Check Out the Attic – If you can safely access your attic or crawl space, head upstairs during the day. You might be able to see if there are any areas where sunlight is streaming through the roof. This might be the point of entry for the moisture. You can also head outside to see if your roof has lost any shingles, or if any shingles are curled at the edges. Sometimes, fixing a roof leak is as simple as smoothing these out and nailing them back into place.
Consider the Water-Test Method – In some cases, finding the source of the leak (or leaks) isn’t straightforward. If scoping out the attic doesn’t reveal any obvious signs of damage, ask a friend or neighbor (or a very patient spouse) to spray your roof with a garden hose while you stand in the attic. If you start seeing drips, mark them with a permanent marker or piece of painter’s tape. Just make sure you can do so safely. Attics are notorious for being filled with tripping hazards and low, sloped ceilings. Before you decide to go hunting for leaks, always make sure someone knows you’re up there. It’s also a good idea to take a cell phone so you can call for help if you need it.
Call in the Pros – Although many leaking roofs can be repaired by replacing a few worn out or missing shingles, some leaks are a sign of a bigger problem. If you’ve got water coming in through multiple entry points, you probably need a new roof. In this case, it’s best to get the job done quickly. The longer you wait, the greater the chances of serious water damage both inside and out.
Is Your Roof Ready for an Upgrade?
A new roof will add value and beauty to your property — not to mention the peace of mind that comes with knowing you don’t have to cringe and cross your fingers every time it rains. Contact Nu Look Home Design today to schedule a free in-home consultation. Our home roofing experts will show you the latest home roofing designs and explain how you can get a new roof installed in just one day.