I Found Leaks in My Attic, What Do I Do?
Discovering leaks in your attic can be frustrating. You may be worried about the effects of moisture and the impact that water damage may have already caused. From mold growth to wood rot, leaks can have devastating consequences on the health, comfort, and structural integrity of your home. Of course, repairing a roof leak is the first step in solving the problem. However, you may not know where to start looking for the source of the leak. This is when you will want to call in a roof leak repair contractor.
The Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks
Determining the cause of the roof leak is key to preventing the damage from reoccurring down the line. Some types of roof leaks have obvious causes, such as a storm that caused a tree to fall and damage your roof. However, some types of roof damage may have no obvious cause. Fortunately, a roof leak repair contractor has the experience and knowledge needed to pinpoint the cause of a leak to prevent you from wasting time and money. If you decide to inspect your roof yourself, there are several things to look for.
One of the first things that most roofing contractors look at is the flashing. Flashing are pieces of thin metal typically installed under shingles and on the joints of the roof. Whether exposed or concealed, flashing is designed to create a water-resistant barrier. Over time, flashing can corrode, resulting in cracks that allow water to seep through. To fix cracked flashing, a contractor will remove any shingles in the way, pry up the old, damaged flashing and remove the cracked section. A new run of flashing can then be secured in its place and protected using roofing sealant.
Broken shingles are another common cause of attic leaks. Sometimes, shingles are simply cracked, curled, or broken, and other times, they go missing due to high winds or old age. You can often tell if shingles are missing as there will be different colored sections on your roof. You may also find the “missing” shingles in your yard. If just a few shingles have become damaged or missing, they can usually be repaired. A roof leak repair contractor will go onto your roof and remove the old shingles and replace them with new shingles and nails.
Improperly Sealed Valleys
Another common cause of roof leaks is improperly sealed valleys. The valleys are the V-shaped metal channels that run up and down the slopes of the roof. If these areas are not well sealed, water is able to seep inside any gaps and eventually into your attic. When inspecting the roof, a contractor will usually look for signs of moisture along the seams of the roof. Due to the complexity of this problem, only a professional is able to fix it properly. Improperly sealed valleys can be repaired by lying down a new leak barrier and placing new shingles overtop.
If you have skylights on your roof, know that these areas are prone to leaks. Fortunately, leaks from skylights are usually easy to spot. You may notice moisture around the skylight itself and may even need drop buckets to catch rainwater. Leaking skylights can develop for a number of reasons, such as deteriorating insulation around the edges of the skylights or an improper fit upon installation. When inspecting skylights in your attic, look for any gaps or cracks around the window. You will also want to ensure that any flashing around the light is in its proper place. Seal up any cracks with a layer of moisture-resistant silicone.
In some instances, it is not the roof itself that is the problem but your gutters. Gutters are designed to carry water away from your home. When they become clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, a blockage can form, preventing water from passing through. When rainwater pools near your roof, moisture can seep into cracks and into your attic. The only way to fix this type of problem is by cleaning out the blockages from the gutters to ensure that the water is able to run off of the roof and away from your home.
Consequences of a Leaking Roof
If you have a roof leak and fail to have it fixed, you will have to deal with the various consequences that occur. One of the biggest consequences of a roof leak is the potential for damage. Moisture can result in wood rot, which ultimately affects the structural integrity of your home. If you allow water to continue seeping into your attic, the materials can become compromised and eventually give out. This can cause your ceiling to collapse and possibly even sections of your roof.
Mold is another major concern in homes suffering from roof leaks. It does not take long for mold to start growing when the conditions are right. Mold grows best in damp, warm, and humid conditions, such as attics. If mold is allowed to continue growing and spreading, individuals living in the home may feel its effects. Mold can cause a wide range of health problems, such as sneezing, skin irritation, nasal congestion, throat irritation, and chest tightness. Individuals who suffer from mold allergies can experience severe reactions. As mold spores are able to travel through the air, getting rid of mold in your attic is not easy and typically requires help from a mold remediation company.
Contact a Roof Repair Contractor Today
If you do not spend much time in your attic, you may not find a roof leak until the damage is done. That is why it is important to have your roof inspected on a regular basis by a trained and certified roof leak repair contractor. Only an experienced roofer will know what to look for when inspecting your roof and attic. They can also catch minor roof problems before they turn into larger, more expensive issues. For more information or to hire a professional to inspect your home, contact a roof repair contractor in your area.