If you have questions about roof leaks and what causes them to occur, you’ve come to the right place to find Answers. Sellers Roofing Company Minneapolis & Saint Paul serves Minneapolis and Saint Paul roofing clients, but also wants to help you stay informed on the causes of roof leaks, and what you can do to prevent your roof from leaking. Because your roof is one of the most significant costs during repair and maintenance of your home, we know you want to get the absolute maximum longevity of your existing roof.
By following the tips provided in this article, you can ensure that you get the most out of your existing roof, and move forward with a new roof, knowing exactly how to care for and maintain this investment in your home. In this article, all of the roof damage is in reference to an asphalt shingle roof unless otherwise stated. So, what are the major causes of residential roof leaks? Are they easy to repair? Does a roof leak guarantee that you need a roof replacement at this moment? To begin with, let’s list the most common reasons that
Asphalt shingle roof leak.
- Missing shingles will certainly cause your roof to leak. Strong winds or otherwise inclement weather can rip shingles from your roof, leaving exposed decking to absorb water, then leak onto the ceiling below it. You should ensure that all hidden areas of your roof are checked visually after severe storms, as there are many areas of your roof where you can’t see the shingles unless you physically walk around on your roof. A licensed and experienced roofing contractor will have no problem climbing up there to check in on your shingle health.
- Debris on your roof will cause your roof to leak. Excessive or built up debris on your roof can trap water beneath the debris, allowing it to seep into the shingles and underlayment via the capillary action. Your roof should be kept clean and free of debris at all times in order to prevent leaks from developing in this manner.
- Excess moisture being routed to another part of your roof will certainly cause your roof to leak. If your upper roof, gutters, drains directly out onto your lower roof, this will cause your roof to become over saturated, and it will result in a roof leak from your lower roof. Redirect any and all downspouts and gutter systems to an area where they will not direct moisture to flow onto your roof, no matter which portion of the roof it is.
- Holes from ornament installation and removal will usually always cause your roof to leak. If you have a satellite dish or weather vane installed, then you remove the hardware and leave the holes un patched, you’re guaranteed to have a roof leak. Any holes upon removal of a roof ornament need to immediately be sealed, so they aren’t given the opportunity to take on water and cause a roof leak.
- The age of your roof is a big factor in a roof leak. Materials used in roof installations deteriorate over time, leaving the material less effective at blocking water intrusion. Conditions like temperature fluctuations, severe weather patterns, and constant direct sunlight can cause your roofing material to prematurely age and develop leaks over time. Asphalt shingle roofs are notorious for losing granules into your gutters, and the shingles cracking after becoming brittle due to age. Also, direct sunlight will melt the tar used to seal your shingles together, which will greatly decrease the effectiveness of the seal.
- Roof vents are one of the leading culprits when it comes to causing a roof leak. Any roof penetrations must be properly sealed to prevent leaks. Gaskets that are around vents and pipes should be inspected for gaps around them, or cracks in the material due to age. Check for missing nails in the shingles around the plastic vent covers. Also, the plastic vents will crack after years of exposure, and this will allow water intrusion.
- The slope of your roof can cause your roof to leak. If your roof slope is too shallow, the wind can actually lift the shingles, then drive the rain underneath them. There are regulations for the minimum slope that is permissible by the International Building Code, but if you’re on the low end of the regulation, you may develop a roof leak.
- The metal roof flashing can cause your roof to leak. Metal roof flashing is used to seal roof transitions, and if water runs down into the area where the flashing should be sealed and finds a space, it will permeate your roof. Metal roof flashing is used where the roof joins the dormer, where the chimney penetrates the roof, and on the edges of skylights. Flashing can slide out-of-place if nails are missing, and the caulk around the roof flashing dries and will crack and shrink over time. Both of these issues can cause roof leaks to occur around the roof flashing.
- Roof leaks are very common on the ridge cap. This is because a ridge cap is designed to cover the gap at the peak of the roof where the slopes meet. During rope and harness, roof work, the ridge cap must be carefully protected. If it isn’t, holes can easily be created in the roofing material, which will obviously lead to a leaking roof really quickly.
How Will You Know If Your Roof Is Leaking?
A lot of people are under the assumption that if their roof is actively leaking, they’ll be placing pots and pans all over the house, trying in vain to catch the water droplets before they hit the carpet. That isn’t the way a roof leak really looks, though, the majority of the time. There are many other indications that your roof is leaking that you’ll be able to spot prior to the pots and pans doubling as rain barrels. The following list can help you to identify some of the signs of a leaky or damaged roof that needs attention.
Lack of attic ventilation being installed is a good indication that you will develop a leak in your roof. The reason is that without proper ventilation in the attic, hot air becomes trapped. This results in the shingles virtually baking from the heat, allowing them to incur damage in a much shorter amount of time than the roof lifespan should actually be. Once the shingles are baked and damaged, it is only a matter of time before water will be allowed to permeate the roofing material and start soaking into the roof decking. Curling shingles are a good sign that you probably are close to a leaking roof. These can be caused by water absorption or by hot air being trapped in the attic. Once you have curled shingles, you will no longer have effective water protection in those areas.
- Buckling shingles are also a very good indication that you’ll be addressing a roof leak sooner than later. Buckling shingles can be caused by the improper application of felt during the installation of the roof, or if there is movement or shifting in the roof deck after the shingles are applied.
- Loss of shingle granules is a clear indication that you will soon develop a roof leak. Granules are lost when shingles age, are worn by the elements, or damaged by contact with loose debris flying around.The evidence of granule loss can be seen most easily in your gutters. If you experience clogged gutters, and there are a great number of granules trapped inside them, you are losing them at a fast rate of speed, and probably already are experiencing water permeating your roof.
- Missing shingles are probably the most obvious sign that your roof is either actively leaking, or will be the next time that it rains in your area. Shingles can be removed by storms, high winds, and other acts of weather. It occurs most often with shingles that weren’t properly fastened down at installation.6. If you see roof rot, you are experiencing an active roof leak. Roof rot occurs when water is absorbed into the roof mat. It is most often experienced with organic roof shingles. Another sure sign that you are experiencing an active roof leak is ceiling or roof water spots occurring. If you can see wet or brown spots on your ceiling or roof decking, your roof is taking on water, and you need to get ready for a roof replacement being your only alternative.
- Algae and mold are a very obvious sign of a leaky roof, and indicate that your roof may have been taking on water for a good deal of time. Algae can form by being deposited on the roof, then being allowed to grow there through lack of roof cleaning and maintenance. Mold grows after airborne spores come into contact with moisture in your roof decking and ceiling and begins to flourish due to warm and humid conditions.
- Finally, if you spot damaged flashing you need to contact a roofing contractor immediately. In the case of damaged flashing, sometimes repairs can be performed if it is caught and repaired in time. If flashing is installed improperly or when drying and cracking occur around the roof extrusions, the water intrusion will be fairly quick to occur.
What Should I Do If I Have Any Roof Leak Sign Occur In My Home?
Usually, when it comes to leaky roofs, there is only so much that can be done to delay a roof replacement. However, if you are near the end of the life span of your roof, your roofing contractor can try to perform repairs in order to hold the roof over until a new roof can be scheduled and started. Some roof leaks are either too big or too dangerous to try to repair, and only a certified roofing contractor will be able to give you the breakdown of what sort of leak you have on your roof.
In the case of most leaking roofs, it is better to go ahead and start scheduling the roof replacement once you have your roof inspected and get a bid from your roofing contractor. In cases where the roof is actively leaking, your contractor will do everything that they can ensure that they push your roof replacement to the head of the line to ensure that you don’t incur any further damage to your home due to the water intrusion.
What your roofing contractor will help you to avoid is throwing away your money on roof repairs that aren’t going to stop the water intrusion, and will serve no purpose other than tossing money at a problem that isn’t going away. Unless it is identified as a few simple missing shingles, or improperly installed roof flashing, chances are that a roof replacement is in order. What will take place if that is the case? Let’s walk through the procedure to ease your worries.
So You Need A Roof Replacement?
The good news is that because you selected a certified roofing professional, Sellers Roofing Company Minneapolis & Saint Paul, because you’re fortunate enough to live in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, you can leave everything up to Sellers Roofing Company Minneapolis & Saint Paul. In most instances, there is never any need to leave your home or move your belongings in order to have your roof replaced. In this next section, we’re going to explain the roof replacement process, and how easy Sellers Roofing Company Minneapolis & Saint Paul will make it to get that leaky, old, and worn out roof out of your hair for good.
1. To start with, your roofing contractor is going to request that all vehicles and objects are removed from your driveway. This is so the roofing trailer can be parked there to catch the debris and keep the installation material at hand for the work crew. When they arrive, they will post the roofing permit so that work can legally be performed on your home without incurring fines and citations from your local governing authority.
2. Any outdoor pets and their belongings need to be taken inside, so they aren’t hurt by flying debris, or their food and water contaminated with roofing material.
3. Any delicate or breakable decorations or exterior lights need to be taken indoors for safekeeping while the tear off and rebuild are taking place. This is to ensure that no damage is incurred while old material is being tossed down into the hauling trailer.
4. The roofing crew will begin to tear off the old roof. They will begin at the base, near the gutters, then work their way upward and inward to the peak of the roof.
5. Once the old roof, shingle, tile, or metal, is removed and disposed of, the old underlayment is removed.
6. The roof decking will be inspected. In some states, old roof decking doesn’t have to be replaced, while in other states, it is legally required to replace the roof decking. Your roofing contractor will be aware of the local laws and can help you to understand why or why not your roof decking is being replaced. It is important to note that if any water has permeated into the decking, it will need to be replaced.This is to ensure wood rot and black mold don’t start to grow and occur, which can be unsafe, and even deadly to the residents of the home.
7. A new drip edge will be installed around the roof perimeter. This is to ensure that there is a two-inch space between the home and the water dripping off of the roof. It helps to keep the home’s foundation from flooding, and the home from becoming water damaged by rain runoff.
8. New underlayment will be applied and attached. This is a felt paper that will be either 15 lb. Or 30 lb. Strength, depending on the installation guidelines.
9. The roofing material will be installed. This can be metal, stone tile, clay tile, asphalt tile, or shingles. All material will be secured properly, and the vent covers replaced. In addition, the ridge caps will be carefully installed to avoid damaging your new roof. All extrusions will be sealed to ensure that no water can permeate and damage your new roof.
10. The crew will clean up all of the tools, supplies, and they will also ensure that everything looks impeccable for the roof inspection to be performed.
11. The roof inspector will come out and perform the inspection, then sign off on the permit so it can be closed.
12. The crew will do a final walk around the property with a powerful magnet to remove any old nails, brads, or screws. They will ensure that all of the debris is secured in the hauling trailer, and that there is nothing left in your yard that can damage your vehicles, pets, children, or lawn.
13. The permit will be removed from your home and filed with the governing authority in your area, and any lien paperwork will be signed and notarized, ensuring that all responsible parties are paid, and no liens are against the property owner for payment.
14. You’ll sit back and enjoy the beautiful new roof that your contractor efficiently and swiftly installed, with all worries of water damaging your property completely gone.
What About The Interior Water Damage?
Hopefully, the roof replacement was able to be performed prior to the water entering your attic or ceiling. Although, that isn’t always the case. If there is any interior water damage to your home, your roofing contractor will refer you to a general contractor that works in partnership with your contractor to take the worry and stress out of interior repairs for the homeowner to figure out.
If it is determined that your home has developed mold because of water intrusion, this is a scenario where you may need to vacate your home for 3 to 5 days so the home can be cleaned and treated. Once that is completed, you will be able to safely return to your family and pets to your home without being concerned about property damage or health risks.
If it is inspected and found that there is no mold or algae growth taking place, the wet areas in the ceiling will be dried out using either space heaters or shop fans to circulate the air. In most cases, there will also be a dehumidifier installed to run in conjunction with the forced air, and this will wick away the damaging moisture from the air. Once the damaged areas are completely dry, the damage will be inspected. If it is deemed to simply be cosmetic at this point, the areas will be sanded, primed, and painted to ensure that the water damage is no longer visible.
If it has caused damage to the drywall or wood, once the areas are completely dry, the affected areas will be removed, prepped with new material, then replaced. For example, if a 2×2 drywall patch has been damaged, causing the drywall to begin to crumble, the affected area will be cut out using a drywall saw. New drywall will be cut to fit perfectly in the spot, and it will slide right into the place the old drywall was. It will then be screwed down securely, taped with drywall seam tape, then “mud” will be applied to the seams, so they will be invisible.
Once the mud is completely dry, it will be sanded down, and then the entire affected area will be primed and painted. Once this takes place, the drywall replacement will not be visible to the naked eye, because it will look as though the original drywall was never damaged. The process is very similar for water damaged wood, the main difference being that wood repair and replacement is much more expensive and time consuming that drywall replacement.So, there you have it.
This is a roof leak process, from wondering about a leak, to identifying one, to getting everything repaired and back to normal. If you’re ready to get rid of that leaky, dangerous, old roof, call
Sellers Roofing Company Minneapolis & Saint Paul and get started with your roof inspection and quote today