Many homeowners face the mystery of why their roof may be leaking. They may experience tell-tale signs that they have a problem leak such as moisture or frost in their attic, water stains on their ceiling, drippage of moisture on your ceiling, water stains on the outside of your house, and debris in your waterspouts.
Regardless of your experience, ultimately you'll need a roof inspection by a professional, but just because you have a roof inspection doesn't mean you will need a new roof costing around $8,000 to $11,000 which is the national average. On the contrary, you may be happy to note that your professional roof inspection often discovers minor roof repairs which may cost you as little as $150, and at most $1500.
That is, if you take action when you first note the signs of a leaky roof. Ignore those signs, and like the old auto repair ads implied, pay now, or pay significantly more later.
So what are the common signs of a leaky roof?
- #1. You notice missing shingles
Missing shingles, most often due to severe winds or weather, are probably the number one cause of a roof leak.
Miss one or two and if you are healthy and careful, you may be able to replace them by yourself. But if you are missing quite a few, you'll want to bring in a pro.
- #2. You notice holes in your roof
If you climb up on a ladder and notice that most of your shingles seem to be in shape but there are large gaps or holes, then you've likely solved the mystery of why your roof is leaking.
A pro can fill in those gaps with caulking and sealant. And if the holes were caused by critters such as rodents, you may need a pest control agent to boot.
- #3. Your roof is just getting old
Leave a roof long enough without maintenance and it will show signs of sagging, rusted nails, or curled shingles.
- #4. Clogged or damaged gutters
Gutters are intended to keep water away from your roof, but if your gutters are clogged or damaged, water can move back into your roof and cause damage.
- #5. Ice Dams
In the spring snow can melt on your roof, and then travel down the roof to portions of the roof that are colder, causing the ice to freeze and create a dam. Quite often you will need to hire a professional to remove ice dams before real damage is created.
- #6. Frost or Moisture Trapped in the Attic
If you actually have a leak in your roof, then the insulation in your attic will be wet. On the other hand, it could be a small plumbing leak that shows up as water spots on the ceilings as well as the upper walls of your higher floors.
- #7. Burst pipes
If it gets cold enough, a pipe may burst in your attic. Generally, a burst pipe will show a lot of water leaking into the top floors of your home, and this is something you will need to hire a plumber for, and quickly.
Besides the damage that a burst pipe can create, you may also have to reinsulate your attic.
- #8. Damaged Flashing
Many elements of your roof such as chimneys, pipe boots, and skylights have flashing, thin layers of galvanized steel which pro roofers use to direct water away from critical areas of your roof.
However, elements such as acid rain, wind, hail, severe heat, and heavy snow can all damage flashing, which makes your roof susceptible to leaks when it rains.
- #9.Damaged vent or pipe boots
Severe weather such as hail may damage the vent or pipe boots in your home, and you will often not notice the problem until your roof starts leaking. Often the solution is the replacement of the vent or pipe boots.
- #10. Roof slope issues
Often roof slope issues, where the slope is too low or too steep show up very soon after a house has been built.
Quite obviously if you have roof slope issues, only a professional will be able to rectify the problem.
As you can see, there are plenty of leaking issues that may show up, so it's best to have a frequent inspection by a roofing pro before you experience the sign of problems.