Roof Water Damage - what are the 7 early signs of problems
Worried about your roof after a recent storm? Don’t ignore that feeling. After any storm your home and especially your roof could suffer from significant water damage, leading to holes, leaks, and indoor flooding. How can you protect yourself against leaking roof? What are the signs of roof water damage? We’ve got the answers for you. Read our guide below to learn 7 signs your roof needs maintenance.
1. Water Stains
One of the clearest signs you have roof water damage are stains on the ceiling. Look up and check for dark, circular spots. These are areas where water pools together whenever it rains. These spots indicate roof damage significant enough for water to push through the shingles. Before you know it, these pools of water can destroy the ceiling and leak directly into your home.
As soon as you spot water spots on the ceiling after rain, you need to inspect the roof section above. Try to check the area directly above the water stains and determine if those are the damaged shingles. Don’t hesitate to call professional roof repairmen to check your shingles for you!
2. Broken or Missing Shingles
Walk around your house. Look for signs of broken shingles. There’s always the possibility that a few shingles broke down during successive storms.
Climb up your roof and visually inspect for missing or broken shingles. If you find any on the ground, you might be dealing with water damage. Storms and continuous rain can break roof shingles and dislodge them, causing water to leak into your home.
Don’t ignore the problem, even if you only have a couple of broken shingles. A single missing shingle can leave a hole susceptible to the rain. That hole might start small but it could lead to a significant amount of water leaking into your ceiling and decking.
You can replace a few shingles, fortunately, without having to replace or repair the whole roof. If you notice too many shingles missing or broken, however, it’s a better idea to call professionals so they can assess the damage and determine a better course of action.
3. Shingle Granules in the Gutters
Look at your gutters. If you find a ton of granules, your roof already suffers from too much water damage.
Rain and storms can quickly remove the granules protecting the shingles. Once those are gone, your shingles face full exposure to the elements, particularly rain and strong winds. When the sun shines again, the exposed shingles will begin to crack.
It’s okay if you spot some granules in the gutter. That’s normal. All roof shingles have a few loose granules. However, once your gutter fills up with granules, it’s time to replace them. Your roof can’t take the beating anymore and keeps shedding its granules. You might have to replace your whole roof because the damage spread to most of your shingles.
4. Soft Wood Decking
Don’t forget to check between your ceiling and the shingles.
Some people go up on their roofs and walk around, looking for soft spots. This is an effective way to determine soft, soggy decking but it’s also dangerous. You run the risk of stepping on weakened portions and you could crash straight down.
Water alone won’t cause soggy decking. The real problem is that your roof already began to rot, compromising the stability of your roof and ceiling. It also makes your roof more susceptible to more water damage.
You can identify some signs of soggy decking and weakened roof spots visually too. Look for dents on your roof. They should look like small, dark craters. These are the areas where the decking weakened. The weight of the shingles push down and cause the area to slightly cave inwards. If you spot too many of these, call repairmen!
5. Saggy Ceiling
Did you inspect the roof and saw no sign of soggy, weak areas? Don’t assume there’s no water damage yet. You might have to look on the other side by checking the ceiling.
As mentioned, you should keep an eye out for water stains. However, you might not see any because there wasn’t enough water to leave any noticeable signs. You can still look out for saggy areas or sections with bubbles and curves. Saggy ceiling spots indicate where the roof leaks and water pools, much like water stains.
If you’re going to repair the damaged area, make sure you clean the surrounding area. The worst-case scenario is that the ceiling collapses and water floods into the attic or upper rooms.
6. Water Spots on the Walls
Make it a habit to check your step flashing too. This is the section where your roof and walls meet. Look for signs of loose concrete, soggy wood, and rust.
Damaged step flashing is a serious problem. If you leave it that way for too long, you risk the possibility of your wall and roof crashing down. It’s also a complicated problem to fix so don’t hesitate to call for help as soon as you see signs of water damage.
You can also look for tiny leaks running down the wall. These leaks are hard to spot since you normally won’t notice them. Unlike regular leaks on the ceiling, these don’t make a sound and you’ll only notice them when there are too many. By then, your wall will look like it’s weeping.
Of course, the most obvious sign of water damage in your roof is a leak! Look out for drops coming from the ceiling or wet spots on the floor.
You shouldn’t wait for obvious leaks before you call professionals for roof repair. Roofs require significant damage to start leaking this way and that means you or the previous house owner ignored all the other signs mentioned above.
Don’t let your roof damage reach this point! Maintain your roof and keep it strong from the rain and wind.
Deal with Roof Water Damage!
Look for these signs of roof water damage as soon as a storm clears out. You don’t want to suddenly discover leaks and broken roof portions during the next night of heavy rain. Check your roof and call professionals for help.
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