How to Repair Roof Leakage: Tips for Dummies
There’s nothing more annoying than waking up in the morning with a leaking roof! Leaks are one of the most common problems among homeowners. Keep in mind that these roof leaks can give you more problems if not properly addressed. In addition to inconvenience, roof leakage can lead to structural damages, which also means more expensive repairs.
While you can always call your local roofing contractor to fix it, knowing how to repair a roof leakage by yourself has its advantages. In today’s blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about roof leaks. We will also give you some basic tips on how to repair roof leakage. Read on.
How Water Leaks can Affect your Home
Roof leaks can affect your home in many different ways. Other than structural damages, these leaks can also take a toll on your health and wellness. That’s why you need to resolve this problem as quickly as possible. Here are some possible ways a roof leakage can adversely impact your home:
- Mold Growth
Mold or fungi contamination is one of the worst effects of roof leaks. It can cause severe damages to your entire roofing system and impose health hazards at the same time. Massive mold and fungi infestation often requires extensive roof repairs and can cost you a lot of money.
Warning signs of mold growth include leaks, stains on the walls and ceilings, musty odor, sagging walls and discoloration on the structure. Fortunately today, there are highly mold-resistant roofing materials you can install to protect your property. For example, check out CertainTeed’s StreakFighter Algae-Resistant shingles.
- Health Hazards
As mentioned earlier, roof leakage and mold can pose potential health risks to your family, as well. Mold can significantly impact your home’s indoor air quality, which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. According to experts, mold can trigger asthma and allergies.
If you are allergic or sensitive to molds you may experience these symptoms:
- Congested or runny nose
- Eye irritation
- Sneezing and coughing
- Skin rashes
- Sore throat
- Lung irritation
Warning Signs of Roof Leaks
Water spots on the ceiling are one of the most visible signs of roof leaks. However, keep in mind that some leaks can be difficult to detect and usually require a professional roofer in Tampa. Other than dripping water from the ceiling, here are other potential signs of a roof leakage:
- Missing shingles
- Cracked or damaged shingles
- Damaged flashings
- Water stains on walls or ceilings
- Wet roof deck
Possible Causes of Roof Leaks
Knowing the root cause of the roof leakage is important to determine the next steps. However, it’s not always easy to identify the actual cause of these leaks. It can be related to your roof’s age, storm damage or improper installation.
Other common cause of roof leaks include the following:
- Flashing problems
- Broken or missing roof tiles and slates
- Roofing membrane and underlayment problems
- Wrong choice of roofing materials for your property's structure or roofing pitch
- Improper installation of fixings
- Poor roofing or attic ventilation
- Improper installation of skylights and roof vents
- Clogged gutters or downspouts
- Damaged chimney
- Ice damps
- Damaged roof vents
- Issues with fascia board or soffit
- Sealant problems
- Pest problems
- Overhanging trees
- Punctures or pooling water
How to Find Leaks in Your Roof
To address the leakage problems, you need to locate the leaks first. Start your search by checking at the roof uphill from the stains or discoloration. Prioritize inspecting the roof penetrations since they are the most common source of leaks. Other areas you should check are roof vents, dormers, chimneys, and plumbing. You can probably find them just several feet above the water stains.
Your next step is to get a flashlight and inspect the attic. Pay attention to roof leaks signs, such as yellow stains, black marks and mold. In case your attic is not accessible, you might need to climb up the roof to examine it.
How to Detect Difficult Leaks
As mentioned earlier, some leaks are difficult to find. And if this is your concern, you might need a helper to go up on the roof with a garden hose. Soak the area on low pressure just below the portion of the roof that you suspect. Work your way up until you find the leak area. Be sure to isolate areas when finding the leak. You can start from the bottom of the chimney first and work your way up, then soak each side of the vents.
While soaking the roof, you or your helper should wait for the drip. Let the water run for a few minutes before moving to the next area. Keep going until you find the leak. The entire process can take a long time, so be patient. If you still can’t locate it, you might need to remove shingles to find the source of leaks.
Fixing a Small Leak
Some ceilings have a plastic vapor barrier, usually found between the drywall and the attic insulation. If you have the same setup, you can check the insulation, push it aside and look for signs of leaks on the plastic. Leaks usually come from the opening in the vapor barrier or the ceiling light fixtures.
If you don’t see any flowmarks or the stains are too small, then you can check the underside of the roof for “shiners.” These shiners are improperly installed nails or those that missed their frames.
When moisture escapes into the cold attic, it can also cause condensation on cold nails. You can find these nails if you go to the attic at night. The nails may appear white since they have been frosted. So, when the attic heats up the next day, the frost melts and drips. The fastest way to address this is to clip the nail using side-cutting pliers.
Materials Needed When Fixing the Roof Leaks
In addition to safety gear and ladder, be sure to prepare your tools to address the roofing problems. Here are the materials you will need when fixing the roof leaks:
- Flat bar
- Hammer and roofing nails
- Utility knife
- Caulk tools and sealant
- New shingles
Check the Plumbing Vent Boot
You should thoroughly check all the plumbing vents. These vent boots can be made of plastic, metal or a combination of both. Inspect the bases to see if there are cracks or broken seams.
Check the rubber boot around the pipe. Look for signs of wear and tear, which is usually the cause of leaks. When you encounter any of these problems, you might need to replace your old vent boot. But more often than not, you just need to replace the crooked or old nails. For metal roofing, use rubber-washered screws. These screws are usually available at any Home Depot.
While working on the plumbing vents, you can also start checking the neighboring shingles on both sides. Experts and avid handymen usually use a flat bar to check the shingles.
Fixing the Roof Vents
Check the roof vent housing for broken seams and cracks. You can apply caulk on the cracks, but keep in mind that this will only solve the problem temporarily. So the best solution is to replace the damaged vents.
When to Replace the Roof
Water leaks do not necessarily mean you have to replace the entire roof. To make things clear, here are some signs telling you that you need to replace your roof:
- Curled shingles
- Bald spots
- Cracked shingles
- Age of your roof
- Most of your neighbors are getting a new roof
- Dark streaks
- Unexplainable plant growth on your roof
How Much Does it Cost to Repair or Replace a Roof in Tampa?
Roof repair costs in Tampa can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the damage, materials to be used, size of the property and many more. For a roof replacement or new roof installation, expect to spend between $8,000 to $15,000. The price can go higher, depending on your property’s size and structure and your preferred roofing materials.
Affordable Roofing Systems: Roof Repairs in Tampa
If you don’t have the time to repair your roof, you can always count on our team! Affordable Roofing Systems provides complete roofing services, including roof repairs, storm damage restoration, roof replacement and new roof installation. Get your roof inspected by our team of experienced Tampa roofers!
Here at Affordable Roofing, we work in complete honesty and integrity. We provide you with a fair and accurate assessment and perform all work to the highest industry standards. Call us now to get a free estimate!