The roof to your home has many purposes—it boosts your curb appeal, encapsulates your home style, insulates during the cold months, and keeps you cool in the hot months. Most importantly, though, it keeps your home safe from the elements. It’s a shelter over your head, and it keeps you warm and dry no matter the weather.
Of course, you want it to function properly and not leak. Roof leaks can be quite common if you don’t have it properly installed or maintained. We’ve got a few tips to help protect your home from roof leaks and signs to look for in the event it does.
Signs of a Roof Leak
Ideally, you can catch and avoid a roof leak before it infiltrates inside your home, but if you notice these things, chances are you have either a roof leak or excessive moisture in your attic.
- Stains or wet spots on your ceiling or interior walls
- Moisture or mold growth in the attic
- Distorted or curled shingles
- Damp external walls
- Wet roof decking
- Your gutters are dripping water long after a rainfall
- Missing or damaged flashing around chimney or boots
- Missing shingles or granules
Getting a Professional Roof Inspection
If you notice any of the above signs of a roof leak, you should call a professional to get a comprehensive roof inspection. Especially after storms or the spring melt, your roof could be susceptible to damage and thus leaks.
Like Northface Construction, a professional roofer can quickly and easily spot any hail or wind damage on your roof. They can also determine whether the staining on your ceiling is from a roof leak or just excess moisture in your attic. Both things they can help fix and alleviate that concern.
Up on your roof, they will look for curled or missing shingles, missing granules, hail dents, damaged gutters, or flashing—all things that can lead to a roof leak. They can then repair these small damages and save you the pain of replacing your roof or even parts of your attic and ceiling in the event of a drastic leak.
Maintenance Tips to Prevent Roof Leaks
There are some small maintenance steps you can take to help avoid leaks in the roof and prolong your roof’s lifespan in general. Some maintenance tips that you could do on your own include;
Keeping your roof clear of debris. Just like you would do a spring clean up in your yard and around the house, the same goes for your roof. Fallen leaves, sticks and other debris falls on your roof and should be brushed off or soft-washed off. If debris sits there for long periods of time, it can cause wet spots or standing water, leading to roof leaks and mold growth.
Keeping your gutters clear and secure. Gutters need to be installed and sloped correctly to function and actually keep your roof dry and free of moisture and debris. If your gutters get clogged, not only does that rainwater stay up on your roof, but the weight of your gutters can put pressure on your roof and cause damage to shingles on the edge. Gutter guards can help keep your gutters free of debris and keep water flowing.
Do frequent visual inspections. You don’t always have to rely on a professional to inspect your roof. You can also do visual inspections yourself as you do other work around your house. Just take a peak up towards your roof to spot any defective or damaged shingles.
Re-seal or Re-caulk when needed. Sealant and caulk can get worn and need replacing over time. If you can manage to replace these things on your own, you can maintain susceptible spots like window sills, chimneys, openings in the attic, and other cracks that can leak near your attic or roof.
Inspect flashing for damage. Flashing around chimneys and ventilation boots are the main causes of roof leaks. The flashing around them is intended to keep out water and create a seal between the shingles and the edge of that chimney or boot.
Do regular checks of your attic. Just like doing a visual inspection of your roof, You can also take a quick peek into your attic and spot any obvious signs of leaks. You can look for wet spots on the attic floor, look for light coming through any holes, and check for any mold or mildew growth.
Proper Roof Leak Protection During Installation
It’s imperative that your contractor who repairs or installs your roof also does the proper sealing and roof leak protection protocols to ensure you don’t have to face a disaster later on. Professional roofers will often place an ice and water shield and an underlayment beneath any shingles they install. These extra layers help protect your home from leaks if any shingles lose granules or are damaged in a storm.
Since chimneys, vents, and boots are some of the biggest culprits of a roof leak, when installing new shingles on a roof, we install a thick extra step leak protection around those, making sure leaks cannot easily happen over time.
We also install a drip edge along the edge of the roofline. Drip edge protects from water infiltration beyond the shingles. A big hot topic when it comes to drip edge is whether or not it is needed and if you can reuse it.
Whether it’s needed really depends on the manufacturer. As a GAF certified contractor, we always install it because GAF requires drip edge as part of their installation procedure. Without it, the shingles would not meet building code.
When asked if it can be reused or not? We would say, absolutely not. As you can see in our video, the condition this old drip edge was in, you would not want to put that back on your home with your new shingles. You cannot use any damaged or corroded flashings. This applies to the metal around the chimney or any other metal flashing component.
A combination of proper installation, at-home maintenance, and knowing the signs of a leak can all protect you and your home from more severe damage. At Northface Construction, we take every precaution to ensure your home is safe from leaks. Living in Minnesota, this is especially important due to our rainy spring and summer and snowy, icy winters. If you require a roof inspection, repair, or replacement, please call us right away.