Many of us have experienced it in our lifetime, that dreaded ‘drip drip’ sound that drives us mad and tells us that something is wrong with our roof. Roof leaks can also be indicated by water stains that run across the ceiling and walls. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. Roofs are regular victims to wear and tear- but once they start leaking, it’s important to get it fixed quickly by only the best roof repair contractors in town. A roof leak left to worsen could cause damage to the entire house structure. There are numerous reasons a roof may start to leak:
Condensation occurs when your roof space isn’t well ventilated enough. The moisture against the roof causes gradual damage over time. By keeping your rooms more ventilated, you can help prevent water from building up in your home. Condensation leads to leaky roofing and must be attended to at the first sign.
Faulty/ slipped shingles
This can be the result of poor workmanship, low-quality materials or high winds- blowing the slate out of place. This leads to leaks from rain coming through the roof, and as the water builds up- damage gets worse and worse.
Unfortunately, roofs sometimes leak simply because they’re old. Over time, the materials in your roof deteriorate- they have a life expectancy. Metals in the roof expand and contract with changing temperatures, and this takes a toll over time. If you suspect that your roof is too old, causing it to leak- get in contact with a professional. An aging roof can be a safety issue and will need to be replaced. Unfortunately, there’s no home DIY fix for that.
Puncture caused by falling objects
During a storm, there is big potential for tree branches and other objects to fly onto the roof- puncturing it. If you live in a heavily forested area or near trees- it’s worthwhile to check your roof over after a storm. If there’s damage, get it seen to as soon as possible to protect the longevity of your roof.
When your gutters become blocked by debris- water is prone to pool up. The water becomes stagnant and rests against the roof, which can cause it to rot. Eventually, water will begin to get in through the rotting roof. This is why it’s important to check your gutters often and clean your gutters from debris using professional and sophisticated methods like the ones Lowe’s Home Improvement introduced to the market.
• Seals between roof material and vents, chimneys or skylights weaken.
Overtime, the waterproofing ability of seals between structures in the roof wear down and the flashing will need to be replaced.
Finding the leak
The first step to fixing a leak in your roof is tracking down where it stems from, and this can be pretty difficult. Take a look at where the water is seeping through the ceiling, and search that area of the attic (providing you have access). Get a flashlight and carefully climb upstairs. By using the flashlight, you should be able to catch water glistening, making it easier to spot. Check for any damp spots and discoloration- and try and see the trail of where the water has traveled from. If that doesn’t work, turn the flashlight off- sometimes you can see light getting in through holes in the roof. If all else fails, one trick used by many is to focus the hose on different sections of the roof- while somebody else stands inside to see if water comes through on that section. Sometimes the source of the leak can be spotted really easy, especially if it’s caused by slipped shingles.
If it’s 1 or 2 shingles causing the leak- that’s an easy fix. If shingles are missing, replace them- placing them on straight and attaching with a dab of roof sealant. To dispense the roof sealant, you’ll need to use a caulking gun- easily picked up at any hardware store.
Sometimes, leaks are caused by shingles simply curling up. All you have to do in this case is smooth them down, using the sealant to attach. One helpful piece of advice: shingles are more pliable in warm temperate- if you’re struggling to smooth out a shingle, heat the area up with a hairdryer. Sometimes, shingles will be cracked- and roof sealant can fix this problem too. Rather than replacing the shingle, all you have to do is apply sealant over the crack. Doing 2 layers will prevent the crack from reopening. Use a wide, flat object to smooth out the sealant, making the repair less obvious and more aesthetically pleasing.
Damaged flashing can cause leaks in your roof. Flashing is the metal used over joints in the roof to prevent water from getting through. Over time, flashing wears down and becomes susceptible to holes. If you feel you are able, flashing isn’t too hard to replace. You have to pry up the old flashing via the nails and remove any shingles that lie next to it. You’ll have to remove a lot of shingles, and it’s a job that takes quite a bit of time. Be careful using the shingles so that you can re-use them. Place the new flashing down and secure it with roofing nails. Once it’s on- roofing sealant on the nails will make the structure extra secure.
While it may be tempting to save money and ‘do it yourself’- it isn’t always the best idea. If you take on a task way above your skill level, you risk doing more harm than good. If the damage to your roof is really extensive and has been going on for a while, it’s best to contact a professional contractor. Your roof may be past its expiry date, and if it is- this isn’t something you can fix on your own. Other things that require training and expertise are repairing chimneys, skylights and extensive water damage.
Hopefully though, any roof leaks you experience will be small and simple. We hope that the information in the article will help you save some money by fixing basic roof leaks yourself. Just remember to stay safe. Don’t push yourself to use tools you’re unqualified for, and if in doubt- get experienced help.
Contact us today for a fast and free estimate:
Goldenberg Roofing Brooklyn 990 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (718) 489-3999
Goldenberg Roofing NYC 1274 5TH AVE, NEW YORK, NY 10029 (212) 457-1324