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What can I do about Roof Leaks?

Woman trying to stop leaks

Roofs take a beating all year round. From rain and wind, to heavy snow and ice, to heat and mold; your roof ages and weakens with time. This can result in leaks, doing hundreds of more dollars’ worth of damage to your home and possessions. Your best chance is to see the signs of roof damage and to stop leaks before they happen. Roof leaks can be hard to spot as water gets under shingles and eats away underneath, making an invisible problem. Water builds up, causing more and more damage so stay vigilant for signs of leakage in your home. The roofing professionals at Seawright Roofing & Solar are available to help with any repairs or replacements you might need.

Taking Precautions

The best way to handle leaks is to stop them before they start. If you are buying a home or have had yours for a while, visually inspect the roof from all angles. You may be able to prevent roof leaks by fixing potential problems now.

  • Check your shingles - Shingles should be flat and not loose. If your shingles are curling, buckling or just missing, they need to be replaced. This can often be done in chunks. Sometimes this is due to weather damage or improper application. Shingles help protect the under layers of the roof by helping shed water. If these are damaged or gone, your first defense against leaks is gone. Be sure and especially check for damaged and missing shingles after serious storms and in the spring.
  • Check collars, flashings, and gutters - Check things attached to your roof or any seams. Water can cause these pieces to pull away and create holes, allowing water to seep in. Repair and replace damaged items immediately. Look for granules from weakened shingles collecting in the gutters. If you see your gutters are clogged, rusted, or sagging, rain water or wind may have caused the shingle granules to run off the roof and into the gutter, ultimately clogging the gutters and contributing to water seeping into your home. Check for gutter damage on a regular basis and keep your gutters clean with proper maintenance.
  • Check for mold, algae or rot - Fungus grows most in warm, humid climates such as the southeast of the United States but can thrive in any warm moist environment. Check for mold, algae and rot on the roof and walls of your home. Although this can be caused by other things, it is worth investigating. While it may not impact overall life of the shingles or walls, it could indicate future potential problems.
  • Check out the “Most Likely Roof Leak Spots” - Roofs are most likely to leak at any joints or breaks in the roof. This can include chimneys, plumbing vent flashing, skylights, dormers, missing shingles or anything poking through the roof such as nails. Watch these spots after storms or snow as they are potential water entryways.
  • Check your attic - All these same signs, water damage, rotting wood, mold etc., can be seen on the flipside of your roof as well. Check your attic for these signs and especially at any openings, like next to your chimney or skylight. Be sure your attic is well ventilated. Mold likes warm wet environments, ventilation helps keep your attic dry and at a moderate temperature. A hot attic can also warp roof shingles, causing them to bend and break, allowing water to seep underneath.

Finding a Leak (Before the water hits the floor)

After a moderate to severe storm, whether it be rain, hail, or wind, you should inspect your property for roof damages. Repair any obvious issues.

The most obvious sign of a roof leak (besides a hole in the ceiling or water on the floor) is a stain or a wet spot on your ceiling. But by the time you’ve identified ceiling damage, you’re already hundreds of dollars deep in damages. Wet spots form after a much longer process, starting with harsh weather conditions and shingle damage. The spot is also most likely not at the source of the actual leak. Since most roofs have a slope, water often runs downward and then drips. The source of the leak has yet to be found.

To locate a hard-to-find roof leak, go in the attic with a flashlight during or shortly after a heavy rain, being careful not to step through the ceiling. Inspect all parts of the roof and rafters above the wet spot. Follow any water damage up the walls or rafters to their highest point, this should be the source. Measure down from the roof peak to the highest point of the leak and over from a gable end to the leak. When the roof is dry, go on the roof, and transfer the measurements to the roof, allowing for any overhang on the end of the roof. Examine this space for the source of the leak. If it is not immediately obvious, look further up the roof as it may have trickled down from another point.

Never go up on a wet roof. Please use great caution not to step through ceilings or rotten tiles and when using a ladder. It is always best not to work alone.

Damage Control

Now that you’ve found the leak, the damage can be assessed and repaired. Call Seawright Roofing & Solar to fix and replace your damaged roof. Until help arrives, do your best to minimize interior water damage. Move items away from the leak, especially valuables, wood, electronics and absorbent furniture and rugs. Cover things that cannot be moved with plastic or garbage bags. Collect any dripping water to stop it from warping the floor or seeping into carpet. Water leaks may cause paint on the ceiling to bubble or blister. It is better to allow the water to escape and drip down. Puncture a small hole in the paint to let the water out.

Be sure Seawright Roofing & Solar is your first call after you discover a leak in your roof. We can get there quickly and repair your roof before too much damage is done. Even if your roof needs replaced, we have great financing options available for any budget. Protect you and your family with a dependable roof, to keep you dry all year long.

Schedule a consultation with us today at 1-803-828-4181.

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701 Gervais St Suite 150-204
Columbia, SC 29201
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