Spotting potential roof damage before it happens isn’t impossible! Repairing a roof leak can be difficult because the actual leak source isn’t always precisely where the water stains appear on your ceiling. Water can enter the roof at one point and run down to another before it reaches a ceiling. Some roof damage is easy to spot, i.e., missing shingles or stains on your ceilings or walls, but, by then, your home has likely already experienced significant water damage. Having a professional roof inspection and being aware of pre-leak signs in your roof can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle!
Tip #1: Perform an Exterior Inspection
A visual inspection of your roof can help you spot damaged or missing shingles, improper flashing, and even gutter concerns – all of which are significant contributors to potential roof leaks. You don’t need to be a professional to identify these signs but experience and training are essential to correctly assessing leak sources. The roofing experts at Signature Exteriors have put together a small guide, so you’re confident in what to look for during this stage for all roof types and features!
Exterior Inspection Guide:
- Asphalt shingles – Are there any damaged or missing shingles? Do you see any cracks or broken shingles? Are the edges of the shingles curling, or have they lost their coating of granules?
- Chimneys – Is your chimney leaning or loose? Are there any missing bricks or flashing? Are there any cracks visible in the mortar joints?
- Flashing – Are there any tears or gaps around the roof penetrations? Is the wall flashing still sealed?
- Flat Roof – Are you seeing noticeable patches or discoloration that indicate pooling water? Is the flat roof membrane cracked, bubbling, or buckling?
- Gutters – Are your gutters in good condition without any decay or rust? Are they still firmly attached? Do you see any bends or sags throughout the system or even missing sections? How clean are your gutters and downspouts?
- Soffit & Fascia – Is there any decay or water staining on your soffit or fascia boards? Any holes or cracks?
- Wood shingles/shakes – Is there mold or rot? Have any of the shingles split or curled?
Tip #2: Perform an Interior Inspection
In most cases leaking at or near the roof will cause visible evidence on the interior of your home. Walk each room in your house and pay special attention to the ceilings, window trims, and attic space. Moisture marks (brown, yellow, or gray stains) or peeling paint on the walls or ceilings indicate a damaged or leaky roof.
Interior Inspection Guide:
- Attic Space – Safely go into your attic space and turn out the lights. Do you see any sunlight peeking through? Do you see any damp areas on your rafters? What about wet insulation?
- Ceilings – Are you seeing any water stains? If you have popcorn ceilings, are you noticing that bits of it are crumbling and falling? If your ceilings are painted, do you notice any peeling? Have you seen or do you notice any “bubbling” in your ceiling?
- Walls and Window Trim – Do you notice any staining or streaks on your walls? Peeling paint? Is the wall area around a window warping, cracking? Are you seeing excess moisture around any windows?
Tip #3: Be on Top of Your Preventative Maintenance
You can’t prevent all roof leaks, but you can take steps to minimize the risk. Damaged roofs can negatively impact the entire property from the ceilings to the foundation. It’s vital to be educated on maintaining and spotting potential leak sources before it’s too late.
Preventative Maintenance Guide:
- Flashings – Most leaks are caused by damaged or improper flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights, and walls. Water can enter these areas and cause extensive damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and even electrical systems.
- Get regular roof inspections – You are your home’s first defense for spotting potential leak sources, but it’s never a bad idea to have a trained professional take a look. Their expertise allows them to spot signs of roof damage early, and with roof leaks especially, time is of the essence!
- Gutters/Downspouts – Water backup from poorly maintained gutters is another common cause of roof leaks and water intrusion. Keep them clean, and consider installing gutter guards!
- Minor Repairs – Immediately repair damaged or missing shingles. When one shingle goes down, it compromises the entire roofing system.
- Ventilation – Proper roof ventilation is crucial in any roofing system. Without it, heat and moisture can build up in the attic area and cause shingles to buckle and insulation to fail.
Bonus: Tip #4: Call A Roofing Professional
It’s a great idea to educate yourself on identifying potential leak sources throughout your home, but it’s never a bad idea to call a local roofing contractor. Most offer free roof inspections, and a basic roof inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs. Trained professionals have the tools and knowledge to help you keep your property in mint condition.
Call Signature Exteriors today, Charlotte’s local roofing experts, to perform a free inspection of your property. We’re fully licensed and insured and we have the most 5-star reviews of any roofing company in the Carolinas.