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How Do I Know If My Roof Is Leaking

Inspect The Surface Of Your Roof

How Can I Tell If My Roof is Still Leaking From Ceiling Stains?

You wont learn how to find a roof leak if you never examine your roof. If youre comfortable climbing up a ladder onto your roof, be sure to check around any and all vents, chimneys, skylights, and seams for signs of water damage or water collection. Plus, look out for loose or damaged shingles, missing nails, cracks and staining. You should also examine any areas where leaves collect, as debris can trap moisture along the surface of the roof.

Roof Leak Repair & Fixing Your Water Damaged Areas

In order to fix the interior damages, there are options. One of them is to hire a roof leak repair certified professional who can inspect with expertise and operate safely.

There are also other methods available for those who prefer to do it yourself. Here are some safe and effective ways to fix a water damaged ceiling or walls.

First you must shut off the water source to your home. Then you will need to dry the affected areas again if theres any sight of mold, wear protective gear to prevent any respiratory issues or simply call a certified professional.

Then, you can remove the damaged areas of the interior and repair. Specifically you use a patch of drywall and sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas where the new drywall meets the original structure. Lastly, you can prime and paint the area to create a seamless finish to the area.

Repairing A Roof Vs Replacing A Roof

The best solution to a leaky roof is to call in a professional. They will assess the damage and determine how to proceed.

In a best-case scenario, the roofing issues will need a simple repair. In a worst-case scenario, youll need a full roof replacement. Another benefit to bringing in a professional is they have lots of tips on preventing a roof leak.

Read Also: How To Waterproof A Flat Concrete Roof

How To Tell The Difference Between A Roof Leak And Attic Condensation

It starts when you spot a brown stain on your ceiling or wall. Thats a sure sign that theres excessive moisture in your attic. But, while many homeowners presume its a roof leak, the truth is that it could be attic condensation.

In either case, you need to solve the problem before you suffer serious water damage to your home and/or belongings. But a roof repair wont solve a condensation problem and solving a condensation problem wont plug a leak. So the first step is to learn the difference between attic condensation and roof leaks.

How To Troubleshoot And Fix Ceiling Leaks

My Roof is Leaking  What Should I Do
  • Pin
  • Working Time: 2 – 12 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 – 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Cost: $10 and up

Discoloration, sagging drywall or buckling plaster, and dripping water from your ceiling might make you think that the ceiling itself is leaking. In reality, water coming from the ceiling is usually a symptom of problems with some other home system. When a ceiling shows signs of water damage and dripping water, the place to look is with the roofing system or the plumbing system.

Water dripping from your ceiling or visible signs of water damage on the drywall or plaster above your head is nothing to take lightly. There is very likely much more water at play than you can visibly see, and ignoring a leak can lead to structural damage and the growth of mold and mildew. Ceiling leaks may be evidenced by actual water dripping down, but before the problem gets to that point, you may see blistered or peeling paint, or discoloration over a spot in the ceiling.

Before you can repair a ceiling leak, though, you will need to identify its sourceroofing system or plumbing.

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Why Is My Roof Leaking

By | Submitted On August 13, 2010

How do I know if my roof is leaking? What do I do if I find a leak? How can I locate a leak on my roof? Finding a leak in your home can cause frustration and anxiety. However, there is a simple step by step process that will help you know what to do when you find a leak, how to locate it’s source, and prevent further damage.

Is My Roof Leaking?

It is important to keep in mind that if you find a sign of water damage in your ceiling or wall, it does not necessarily mean that your roof is leaking. The problem could also be the result of leaky plumbing or even condensation. If you find water damage on a ceiling that is not directly below the roof, you may want to consider these other possibilities as causing the leak.

Even if you find sign of water damage in your attic, these signs may not equate to a current leak. For example, if your house is 50 years old, it would have had two or three layers of roofing, and the leak could have occurred anywhere during the life of either roof. A water stain on the roof’s rafters is often what sets off an alarm with the building or home owner, but is far from conclusive evidence of an existing leak.

How to Locate a Leak

Once you are confident that your roof is leaking, you can call a certified roofing contractor to locate and repair the leak. If you would like to find the source of the leak yourself, we have provided a step by step guide.

To find a leak:

Do I Need To Replace My Entire Roof If It Is Leaking

Maybe not. It depends. For example, a small hole in your roof can easily be repaired without replacing your entire roof. If most of the granules are missing from your asphalt shingle roof, then your whole roof should be replaced.

If you know your roof is leaking, it should be inspected by a professional so as to determine how extensive the damage is. Remember, minor damages left alone can lead to big damages, and more costly repairs, later.

Also Check: How To Tell When You Need A New Roof

Here Are A 19 Signs You May Have A Roof Leak

  • Water stains or damp spots on your ceiling
  • Moist drywall or paint around light fixtures or electrical outlets
  • Damp spots around interior air vents or fireplaces
  • Interior paint bubbling or peeling during hard rains
  • Dripping sounds inside your home
  • Water stains on rafters or on roof sheathing inside your attic
  • A musty house smell
  • Curling or buckling shingles on your roof
  • Loose shingles laying in your yard
  • Loose or exposed nails on your roof
  • Cracked or damaged flashing around roof vents
  • Loose flashing or cracked sealants around your chimney
  • Roof rot with discolored or excessively degraded shingles
  • Peeling paint or rotten areas under roof eaves
  • Clogged or loose gutters & downspouts
  • Debris piles in roof valleys or above chimney
  • Shingle granules in your gutters
  • Warped or swollen siding or wet floors around dormers
  • Mold on exterior walls or where roof and wall meet
  • Your Valleys Arent Properly Sealed

    How to check out a roof leak

    What Does It Look Like: An area where two planes of roof come together. Since, these areas of the roof are usually sloped, if the valleys are not sealed together properly, rainwater can get inside as it runs down the roof. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof.

    Why It Happens: A variety of reasons the sealing may not have been done properly in the first place, it may have cracked when being stepped on, or an excess of rain and ice may have caused it to erode over time.

    How To Fix It: This is one of those things that needs to be done by a professional because of its complexity and we do not recommend attempting it on your own. However, your roofer will likely fix the problem by laying a new leak barrier along the valley and shingling overtop.

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    Your Skylights Were Improperly Installed

    What Does It Look Like: Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you find yourself noticing wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, youve found the cause. However, leaks and wet spots near the top of the skylight may be a flashing issue instead.

    Why It Happens: There are two main causes for this type of leak. Improperly measuring and fitting the skylights upon installation or decayed insulation along the skylights edges.

    How To Fix It: Clear any debris off of the skylight and check for cracks in the window itself. Seal any cracks with a layer of clear silicone along its length, if necessary. If that is not the cause, check the surrounding flashing and replace as needed. While skylights look pretty, they can let in extra moisture when not properly sealed.

    How To Remove Ceiling Mold After A Roof Leak

    So, youve had a roof leak recently? While youve probably already gotten a roofer out to your home to fix the immediate problem, you should also be aware of the residual side effects of a roof leak on your home. Namely, you need to look out for the ceiling mold after a roof leak. This often times doesnt occur right away, as it takes time for mold to grow and develop. Were here to tell you how to tell if you have ceiling mold, what you can do about it, and what safety measures to take when attempting ceiling mold removal yourself.

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    Find Out Where The Roof Is Leaking

    Sometimes it isnt possible to take care of your roofing problems right away. In the meantime determine where the roof is leaking. Then, on a dry day, climb up on your roof and cover the area with a heavy-duty tarp.

    Make sure it extends well beyond the area with the roofing issues. Secure the ends with heavy rocks, or by tucking them under the shingles or tiles.

    Start Catching The Water

    What do I do if I find a leak in my ceiling

    Throw down towels and old newspapers under large areas that trickle with multiple drips.

    Use deep plastic trash cans for heavier leaks. Preserve your sanity with a length of string. Pin it to the ceiling under the leak so that water quietly slides down into your catch basin instead of constantly splashing.

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    When To Call A Professional

    While small areas of damage or a single puncture to a roofing shingle can be handled by a DIYer, roofing repairs, in general, are nothing to take lightly, since they involve working on a roof many feet above the ground. Most homeowners prefer to have a roofing specialist or skilled handyman handle such repairs, and for good reason: Each year, more than 164,000 people visit emergency rooms for ladder-related injuries, and there are about 300 deaths annually in the U.S. from falls from ladders.

    If your roof is very high or if the pitch is quite steep, it’s best to have a roofing specialist make this repair. If your roof is low and relatively flat, though, you may be able to do this repair yourself. Repairs to flashings, shingle replacements, and vent gaskets may be best left to pros, no matter how accessible the roof.

    What Are The Signs Of Rotted Roof Decking

    There are many signs of rotted roof decking:

    • Roof leaks
    • Mold and mildew in your attic
    • Sagging ceiling or roofline

    One of the most common signs that a roofs decking is damaged is a roof leak.

    Water leakage can lead to ceiling spots or leaks, stains on interior walls, cracked paint, or peeling wallpaper. A quick inspection of the attic might uncover dark water stains on the rafters or in the insulation, or even light passing through holes in the roof. If left undetected, mold and mildew will develop in the walls, ceilings and insulation.

    A sagging ceiling or roofline is another clue that there are major problems with a roofs decking and the roofing structure. Soaked or waterlogged decking can warp, which can lead to a bowed or wavy roofline and ceiling.

    Since your roof is consistently exposed to various weather conditions, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that you have your roof inspected twice a yearonce in the fall, after hot weather has subsided, and once in the spring, after the danger of ice and snow is behind you. You should also have your roof inspected after a big storm, hurricane, or other potentially damaging weather event.

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    Shingles Are Curling And Buckling

    When your shingles arent lying flat, moisture is likely the cause. If water is penetrating your roof and the shingles are curling and buckling, it might be time to start considering a replacement. While the underlying cause could also be improper felt underlayment installation, an aged roof that has these problems might be nearing the end of its life.

    Go Over The Estimate With Your Roofing Contractor

    What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking

    After receiving your roof estimate, your contractor should set up a time to sit down with you and go over it. They should go over each and every line item in your quote so you understand exactly what youre paying for.

    Its also crucial that you read the fine print in your estimate. The fine print tells you if a contractor will pay for damaged property and whats excluded from your repair or roof replacement.

    This is also your opportunity to air your concerns and ask any questions you have. If a roofing contractor won’t go over your estimate with, don’t think about hiring them.

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    Dripping And Discolored Internal Ceilings

    Heavy rainstorms can last about three days to a week. If you notice your ceiling starting to discolor, its a sign your roof has begun to leak. If the bad weather persists over the next few days, the leak can grow in size and release a torrent of rainwater into your ceilings.

    Pooling water can overwhelm the underlayment and begin to cause water to drip along sections of the ceiling. When this happens, you may need to schedule an emergency repair to avert further damage.

    The Main Roof Leak Signs

    At J. Smucker Contracting were your commercial roofing expert. Weve diagnosed and fixed countless roof leaks now were passing our skills onto you. Here are the main roof leak signs you can look for inside and outside:

  • Water Spots Discolored spots on your ceiling are a clear interior sign of water damage. On the top floor of your building, these water spots are a sign of water damage you CANT afford to ignore. If you see spots on the inside, get expert eyes on your flat roof ASAP.
  • Interior Walls Bubbling Another sign of a flat roof leak, bubbling in your walls is caused by water leaking from your roof and seeping into the walls. This sign often comes along with those ceiling water spots youll see and can actually take years to show up.
  • Low Spot Surrounded by Dirt on Roof Surface Unless there is a massive hole in your roof, you arent guaranteed to see the external evidence of a leak. However, if you happen to see a low spot on the roof surface surrounded by a dirt ring, that is an early and subtle sign of flat roof damage. Being on your roof is also a chance to check for more obvious damage such as rips in the rubber membrane. If you see any rips, youll know your roof needs some help. Learn about the other signs of flat roof damage you can find.
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    Hire A Reputable Construction Brigade

    It is essential to work with a reliable team since they will handle everything related to the project. Make sure that their credentials are valid and that they have been working together for years. When choosing a crew, consider asking questions regarding their experience, qualifications, and references. Check online reviews and testimonials to learn more about their reputation.When selecting a roofing firm, ensure that they follow safety standards set by local authorities. Most states require workers to wear protective gear such as hard hats, goggles, gloves, boots, and earplugs. Additionally, they must carry identification cards and liability insurance.

    Chimney Wear And Tear

    Help! What Is Causing My Roof Leak? Let Us Help You ...

    There are several ways a chimney can leak. It could be the metal flashing that goes under the shingles surrounding the chimney.

    If its brick, it could be the mortar joints. If it rains for a few days, the mortar joints and even the bricks themselves could get so saturated that water will start coming into the interior of your home causing damage to walls and the ceiling.

    It can also be water coming down through the top of the chimney. For example, a masonry top could be cracking from being wet and freezing. And a metal top could just be old and rusted or the fasteners that hold it could have come loose.

    In chimney siding, water can get in the corners where the siding butts into the corner boards. Not only can those boards rot out, but so can the boards behind the chimney that you cant see.

    Whatever the reason your chimney is leaking, you wont know the extent of the damage until a roofer gets up there and does an inspection.

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    Algae And Mold Are Growing Near The Leak

    When you see algae growing on the roof, its clear you have a moisture problem. Mold is even more concerning, as it could lead to health problems and roof decay. This extent of this type of leak could mean its time for a replacement and extra ventilation and moisture protection to prevent the problem from happening again.


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