How to Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside
Just imagine this. You’re laying in bed one night, and you hear a drip. Oh well, it was really rainy all day, must just be outside, right? And then you hear another drip. Hmm. Sounds like that one came from inside the house. Maybe it’s a leaking sink or something? And then another drip. And another. Pretty soon, you can hear a small puddle starting to form. On the hardwood floor. In a room that doesn’t have a sink or shower in it. You run into the room, and sure enough, to your horror, it’s coming from the ceiling.
This is an incredibly helpless feeling. Beyond grabbing a bucket to catch the dripping, there’s not too much you can do in that moment to stop the problem. If you live in a really rainy climate, or have a leak in a room that has your electronics or children in it, this problem can quickly take over your brain. That’s why the team here at ACME Roofing is going to walk you through the causes, fixes, and long term prevention of roof leaks. Your peace of mind, and the security of the roof above your head, is what drives our passion for customer satisfaction, so let’s look at fixing those pesky leaks.
What Causes a Leaking Roof?
There is a wide array of different problems that can lead to a leaky roof, so let’s examine some of the most common.
- Loose or Absent Shingles: If your roof has a shingle missing, or one that has been pried loose by wind or improper installation, water may be able to get through, even in an area that looks covered.
- Roof Age: Like anything else, your roofing shingles will wear out over time, due to factors like temperature, weather conditions, and the quality of the roofing materials. Older roofs are more likely to suffer from issues, including leaks.
- Roof Slope: This is something that people often overlook. For roofs with a slope that is too shallow, wind can actually wedge open shingles even a small amount, and this allows water to get inside. Check with the International Building Code for more information on how your shingles should be installed!
- Debris Buildup: Any kind of litter or debris that has built up on your roof can create pooling when it rains. A clear roof allows water to run smoothly down, so keep any overhanging trees trimmed, to mitigate debris buildup.
- Clogged Gutters: Gutters full of leaves or other debris can slow the water flowing off the roof, giving it time to soak through. Try getting a gutter cover to help keep your gutters clear of debris, to ensure that water flows freely and quickly off of your roof.
- Roof Holes: While this may seem obvious, these holes aren’t always as easy to detect as you’d expect. For example, holes left behind after the removal of a TV antenna or some other rooftop installation are an easy pathway for water to get into your house. Be vigilant about inspecting your roof for holes and seal any that you discover, to prevent a long term, damaging drip.
- Excess Moisture: If you have any blockages anywhere across your roof, this can lead to the pooling of moisture, which can quickly turn into a leak. Make sure that all water runs smoothly off your roof, because even a small pool can put pressure on your shingles, and lead to a leak.
How You Can Find and Fix a Leak
While it’s common that you will see where the water ends up leaking out of your roof, one of the more difficult parts is finding out exactly where the water is getting in. Spotting water stains on your ceiling, or even mold growth, are signs of a leak, but because of how things in your ceiling, like insulation, can divert water, they’re unlikely to be the source. So even though you may notice the final step of the leak, the dripping, in one room, the hole in your roof could be far, far away. Finding your leak can require some serious snooping, so let’s see what kind of process this can follow.
- Inspect your roof from the attic: Grab a flashlight and make your way up to your attic. This can be dangerous, so always be careful, and make sure someone else knows what you’re doing. Footing won’t always be easy, so watch your step. Using your flashlight, take a look at the underside of your roof. Dark spots, mold, moisture, or any other types of vulnerable spots, should be noted. One of these is likely going to be the culprit in the case of the leaky roof.
- Follow the insulation: Most roofs have insulation on their underside. While this can obscure your search for the leak, you can actually use it to your advantage. Insulation deteriorates more visibly, and faster, than wood does. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, carefully remove all insulation around where you notice signs of a leak. By doing so, you can backtrack to where the water is entering your roof. Handling insulation can be dangerous, so remember to always wear the correct protective gear.
- Look for punctures: The most noticeable roof leaks are caused by sharp objects, such as nails. Keep an eye out for these, because they can offer you strong evidence for a roof leak.
- Simulate the leak: If it’s been a particularly dry period, spray the roof with water from a garden hose. This method requires two people: one person up on the roof, with the garden hose ready to go, and the other person in the attic with a flashlight, ready to scope out the leak. The person on the roof should go section by section across the roof, spraying water on the roof. The person in the attic then keeps an eye out for where the water is entering your home.
- It’s time to fix your roof: Once you’ve located the leak, you should act fast. A roof leak can only get worse over time, so fast action is the best way to mitigate further damage. Many people don’t feel comfortable fixing their own roof, and there’s nothing wrong with that, so working with a local professional, like ACME Roofing, is your best bet.
Choosing a Contractor to Fix Your Leaking Roof
- Contact at least three contractors: When trying to find the best roofing contractor, you want to keep your options open. By comparing your options like this, you increase your chances of finding the perfect contractor to help fix your roof.
- Ask for references: Once you think you’ve found the right choice for your roofing contractor, treat them like your hiring them. By asking for a list of references, past clients who they’ve fixed leaks for, you can understand what to expect from your roof leak project. Contacting your local Better Business Bureau is also a good way to crosscheck your roofing contractor selection.
- Know your warranty: Most roofing shingles have pretty good warranties, and you want to make sure that nothing the roofing contractor you choose voids your warranty. By knowing your warranty inside and out, you can ensure you’re protected against a void warranty.
- Get an estimate: Before you pull the trigger on your roofing contractor selection, get an estimate of the fees you can expect to pay. This will keep your costs from getting out of control. It’s important to always remember not to hire roofing contractors based solely on the lowest prices. The lowest price may not provide the same value as contractors with slightly higher pricing, so always keep that in mind.
No matter what you’re looking for from your roof, the experts at ACME Roofing are here to help. From fixing that pesky leak, to a full re-roofing project, our team is your roofing partner. Contact the team today to see how we can help increase your satisfaction with your roof!