If you have visible roof damage then you know you need help quick from a restoration company. But sometimes you have a leak in our roof that isn't so evident but can cause structural or mold problems down the line. So how do you know if your roof is leaking? Look above to your ceiling, if you see water stains or if water is running down your walls, it's probably caused from a faulty roof. The first thing you need to do is find out where the leak is coming in so you can determine how to correct the situation. Your goal is to minimize the damage to prevent further leaks, and to repair the leak before it causes more costly destruction.
Roof Damage That Needs Quick Attention
If your roof has had storm damage or worse that has left the roof open in spots than you need the quick help of a restoration company like 1st Call Disaster Services.
Any Leak Can Cause Damage
Pay attention to even a minor leak before it causes additional damage to your ceiling and room. Water coming in through your roof can work its way down your ceiling and possibly even eventually damage your foundation. However, one of the biggest problems from leaking roofs is damage from mold or mildew. It could also damage your homes ceiling, framing or insulation.
Avoid Internal Damage
The first thing to do, once you discover you have a leak, is to protect your furniture and property from water damage. Relocate any furniture, electronics and valuables from the area. Be sure to cover any heavy items that can't be moved with plastic or tarps to keep the water off.
Tracking the Leak
If you find ceiling water stains, peeling paint, mold, or smell damp odors, you most likely have a leaking roof. Next you need to track the leak to determine where the water is coming in. Check the roof and look for missing shingles, loose nails and flashing around the chimney. Also look around skylights or vents if you have them.
If you still can't find the source of the leak, check your attic and look for a water path. You may need to remove some shingles above the ceiling to find the location of the leak.
Water doesn't usually flow straight down, so where you see the ceiling leak doesn't actually mean that's the point of entry. It may travel down some trusses or beams before it enters into you home.
Avoid further damage to your home by adding a temporary fix. You can place a bucket under the leak once you know where it's leaking from. If there's a bulge in the ceiling from water seeping through, you could take a screwdriver or similar sharp object, and create a small hole to relieve pressure from the ceiling, allowing the water to drain through.
If you have determined the leak is caused by a broken shingle, you could use a 12"x12" piece of galvanized steel metal flashing and force it under the broken shingle. This would be a temporary fix to stop the leakage. If the damage is more extensive you might need to remove a few nails on surrounding shingles so the flashing can be driven up, allowing the water to run over the metal rather than internally.
Once you have located and secured the leak it's time to call a professional. Most home owners do not have the necessary skills to repair a damaged or leaky roof, nor will the problem just go away or fix itself. Remember, there are countless reasons your roof may be leaking, it could be a damaged pipe flashing, clogged gutters or missing shingles. You could have had massive storm damage or tree fall on the roof or worse. A professional can pinpoint what the cause is and repair it quickly. If an unfixed leak has brought structural or mold problems, a professional restoration company can help here also.
A good restoration company can make sure your water or wind or fire damage is fixed right and that you're out of pocket damage liability is kept to a minimum. We've helped numerous home and business owners and they and their insurance company always appreciate our surgical approach to restoration!