Roof inspection 101: Finding A Roof Leak
Homeowners most often seek a roof inspection because they are looking for the location of a roof leak. Finding water spots, stains and mold growth inside your home are all possible signs of a leak in your roof. However, these could be signs of other problems too. And these signs of moisture you find inside your home don’t show where the origin of the problem is. According to industry specialists, water that leaks into your home can be diverted by several factors such as roof pitch, insulation, and more. This is why when you find water damage on the inside of your home this is not necessarily where your leak is.
Following clues from the damage to where the actual leak in the roof is can be misleading and difficult. That’s why it is recommended that you get a professional out to help. Professional roof technicians will conduct an overall inspection of your entire roof. When a full roof inspection is performed they can alert you to where your current leak is, show you any other problem areas that you may need to address before they become leaks, and possibly explain what is causing the damage.
Never be duped by a “professional” who wants to charge you money for an inspection. This is a red flag that you are dealing with somebody that will overcharge and may be focused on revenue from inspections rather than performing a quality roof repair. A roof inspection should be performed by a professional residential roofer like Samson Armor Roofing who will never charge for an inspection. However, if you feel you need to tackle the inspection yourself here are some tips to do the job on your own. Remember, always put safety first. Familiarize yourself with the many safety considerations when getting up on a roof or climbing into an enclosed attic space.
DIY Roof Inspections
How Often Should You Inspect?
You will obviously want to inspect your roof if you have signs in your home of water damage that may be caused by a leak. However, to prevent costly damage and possibly mold that is dangerous to your health, regular inspections should be conducted to catch a leak before you have any significant damage. A bi-annual inspection, usually in the early spring and early fall is advisable.
You may want to adjust your schedule to the local weather patterns in your area. For instance if you live in the mid-west and experience a lot of wind and storms in the fall you may want to put your inspection off to late fall. Any time you experience any major weather event such as large hail, high winds, or very heavy rain you should inspect your roof. This will allow you to find any damage that may have occurred during the bad weather. Also, in instances of very heavy rain you may find that water is coming in that normally would not leak during light to moderate rain.
Start in the attic
A great place to begin is in your attic. First of all you will need to make sure you put safety first. Make sure you put on protective gear on such as a dust mask and gloves. Know where you can stand (on roof joists) and have a flash light so you can see clearly. Use your flashlight to inspect the underside of the roof for any signs of a leak. You may find darkened or stained areas of wood, damp wood or even mold growing on the underside of the roof. If you discover mold growing in a large area you should immediately retreat and call a professional mold remediation service. Mold can be very dangerous; leading to serious illness and sometimes death.
Some roofs have insulation installed between the roof joists. In the case that you find insulation covering the area you need to inspect take a close look at the insulation. Insulation will deteriorate when subjected to moisture. Remove any insulation that is water damaged and inspect the underside of your roof decking to determine where the leak is. If you don’t find any damaged insulation you may need to deduce where you think the water may be coming from if it is running down the inside of the insulation to where your water damage is and carefully remove the insulation that is in the way. Typically if you have significant damage noted inside the home the insulation near the leak will also be damaged. If you do have significant signs of water leaks in your home and you find your insulation in good order (dry, undamaged) the situation may be more complicated than a simple leak in your roof.
Move to the roof
Check roofing vents
If you found no obvious signs where water could be coming through in the attic check your roof vents. These are usually located near the ridges of your roof. The seals on these vents can degrade over time and allow water to flow in around the edge of the vents. If you determine that the seals are wearing out or broken contact Samson Armor Roofing and ask for assistance.
Check the Flashing
Flashing is the metal surfaces in a roof that cover seems in the roof plane, such as around dormers, chimneys, and vent pipes. If it appears there is damage, fix these problems right away, or call Samson Armor Roofing to have them fix the problems. Inadequate or faulty flashing will allow melted snow to enter the interior, causing not only infrastructure rot, but possible damage to interior walls.
Check the general surface
Asphalt shingles is a very common roof covering. Asphalt roofing materials have a granular surface, much like fine gravel. As the asphalt ages, it becomes brittle, and these granules will come out over time. If you see a lot of these granules in gutters, chances are the roof is aging. Look for bare spots in asphalt shingles, and inspect closely for signs of tearing or warping. If you notice shingles curling up, it is time to replace your roof. Call Samson Armor Roofing for a free no-obligation estimate.
If your roof has wooden shake or shingles, look for signs of dry rot or warping. If an inspection reveals that approximately one third of the shingles or shakes have any sign of the above damages, it is time to replace the roof. Never walk on a wooden shake or shingle roof when inspecting.
Simulate a storm
Sometimes it can be very difficult to find a leak in your roof in dry conditions. If you find the underside of the roof decking and insulation in your attic to be intact and dry you may need to simulate a storm. Get some help and get the garden hose up on the roof. While one person is hosing down a section of the roof the other can be inside inspecting the underside of the roof in the attic to look for any leaking water. This is particularly valuable when you find areas of the roof that appear like they may be weakened but you are not sure if they leak or not.
For a more effective roof inspection, consider a roofing professional. Contact Samson Armor roofing now to schedule your roof inspection.
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