A leaking roof can escalate from a minor inconvenience to a major problem in no time. Roof leaks can cause water damage both inside and outside your home or business. Short-term effects like stains and ruined drywall, as well as longer-lasting effects such as mold, insect infestations, and even structural damage to your home can occur.
The faster you spot a leak in your roof, the better. I’m Chris Parks with North Star Services, LLC and I’m going to explain what to do if your roof is leaking and how to minimize the damage until help arrives.
Check Inside for Water Damage
Many home or business owners first notice signs of a roof leak from inside the house or business. Of course, the most obvious sign would be water dripping from the ceiling when it rains. However, sometimes a leaking roof presents more gradual signs.
Weather events tend to precede roof leaks, so check your ceilings especially following major storms. In winter, if the temperatures dip low enough, you could experience ice dams. If your roof leaks immediately following a freeze, ice dams may be the culprit.
If you notice water stains on the ceilings or walls, it’s time for some detective work. Take note of their size and how fast they spread. Take photos with your phone or outline them with a pencil so you can keep track. The smell of mold or mildew also serves as a clue to the presence of water.
Inspect Exterior for Signs of A Roof Leak
You might notice signs of a roof leak from outside the house or business. Sagging or discolored soffits and fascia are a giveaway. If you go onto your roof (always do so with safety in mind) you may notice portions of the roof feel soft or spongy under your weight.
Locate and Document the Source of the Leak
Once you discover your roof is leaking after checking inside and outside your home or business, the next step is to locate the source of the water intrusion. Check easy-to-access points. Examine your attic, crawl spaces, or utility closet. Use a bright light to seek out puddles, soft spots, mold, or other signs that lead to the source.
If you do choose to go onto the roof, start by looking “uphill” from the areas where you see dripping water or stains. Check especially around chimneys, dormers, and roof vents. Look for a missing shingle or any gaps along seams. Take note of any spots that feel soft underfoot. Then, once you narrow down the problem area, you can start to gently remove a shingle or two to look for evidence. You may spot discolored felt or wood, as well as mold.
If water is actively leaking from the roof, it often makes its way through light fixtures or walls, so don’t turn on lights in an affected area and be sure to quickly disconnect the relevant circuit breakers to prevent a short circuit, a fire, or an electrocution.
Contact A Local Water Damage Expert to Inspect Leak
Once you have determined that your roof is leaking, it’s time to contact a local water damage expert. They will inspect and assess the damage as well as propose a solution to fix the issue. Many provide 24/7 emergency services. They should not charge for a typical inspection.
Protect Your Property from Further Water Damage
It may take time before a water damage professional can make it to your home or business to fix a leaky roof, especially following storms. In that case, take steps to protect your property from water damage as much as possible in the interim.
If possible, clear away moisture as it accumulates so it doesn’t add to the damage. For holes in the roof, clear away surrounding debris, then use screws to secure a tarp as a temporary patch. For damaged seams around vents or soffits, caulk can provide a short-term fix. Ultimately, however, if vents or boots are damaged, they will need to be replaced.
Meanwhile, inside the house, place buckets to catch drips and remove rugs and furniture from the immediate area. Use a fan or dehumidifier to reduce moisture and the risk of mold.
Protecting Your Property Pays Dividends
Remember, taking good care of your roof is an important part of your property’s maintenance and protecting your long-term investment. But even a small roof leak can damage your property and its contents. It’s always best, as the saying goes, to be safe than sorry.
Request A Free Inspection Today
Is your home or property experiencing a leaky roof? As a certified IICRC restoration and remediation company in Nashville, Berry Hill & throughout Middle Tennessee, North Star Services, LLC uses state-of-the-art equipment to inspect and treat both commercial and residential properties. We provide free mold and other restoration inspections. And, are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergencies such as water damage, fire damage, flood and storm damage and more. Contact us at 629-221-0638 or request a free estimate now.