Fixing a leaky roof is not a job for the common homeowner. Unless you have the proper training, tools and safety knowledge, it’s best to hire an experienced and licensed roofing expert to make sure the job is done correctly. But you can still check for leaks. Here’s what to expect when you do a roof leak inspection before deciding on a roof leak repair specialist.
How Roof Leaks Become Problems
Roof leaks can develop from multiple scenarios, such as severe weather that leads to damaged or missing shingles. Sometimes water leaks originate from loose flashings around vents and chimneys. After penetrating the roofing, water can cause damage as it flows through sheathing, rafters and ultimately ceilings. Water can cause further damage to furniture and carpeting.
Searching for Roof Leaks
The first place to check for a roof leak is in the attic, bring a flashlight for better visibility. Be careful to watch your step so that you are only walking on secure framing, as certain types of ceilings are not designed to support the weight of a person. Study the framing for wetness, stains, watermarks, and wood discoloration. Look for cracks in the roof where sunlight shines through. Keep in mind that even overlapping shingles may allow water to seep in.
One of the keys to preventing high maintenance costs is to keep the attic dry and free of moisture. If you detect any dripping, put a bucket on the floor to keep the water from spreading and causing damage. If you detect a leak but cannot find where it is coming from, wait for dry weather and then conduct a water test in which someone sprays water on the roof at various levels, while another uses a bucket to catch the water internally and searches for leaks with a strong flashlight.
Roof Leak Repair
Once you find leaks, it’s best to document them either with chalk or write down where they are, which will save time on professional roof leak repair. The methods used for repair will depend on your roofing materials and how the roof was built. In general, fixing a roof leak usually involves covering the leak with heavy polyethylene sheeting or metal flashing.
Make sure you are dealing with a roofing repair specialist who is licensed, certified, insured, and bonded. Using unskilled labor leads to unreliable results and may even void a warranty. Getting your roof inspected annually will help prevent future leaks.