Most roofs start to suffer leaks during some part of their existence. A roof is normally designed to last for a basic period of time, but these standards are made under more favorable condition of weather and maintenance. A roof leak is a common problem every house encounters after a few years of the roof's existence. In some cases where the roof has not been properly designed, this may occur at an early stage. The way to deal with this situation is to be prepared for it and take steps to ensure that the leak does not develop into a more serious problem.
What to do when you see a leak spring up? First is not to panic. It's a structure and can be repaired. One needs to be careful of the steps to undertake immediately after he or she has found that there is a leak in the roof. These steps include:
Identify the source of the leak. More often the first and the most important step in repairing a leak remain to identify the source. The locations that are commonly found to leak in a building are as follows:
- The fields of shingle
Valleys in the roof
Wall step flashings
Plumbing vent flashings
Furnace or B-vent flashings
Ice dam leaks
Wind blow leaks.
Some other location in the house which is subject to more moisture than the rest of the house.
Remove all the perishable material from the vicinity of the leak. This may include closets and furniture.
In case a ceiling tile has been used, remove them. They are known to spread the leak.
Where the leak is running along a wall, try and remove the top tiling and get to the source of the leak. This does not always work because many times the leak will lead further up the roof and show no trace of leakage in between where the leak is entering the house.
Consult a roofer and see to it that the exact cause of the roof leak is ascertained at the earliest.
When the roof is still under warranty, contact the roofer and ensure that he comes and checks the roof and the repair is done as soon as possible. This will ensure that the roof does not suffer any further damage. The promptness of the roofer will be governed by the urgency you show.
Roofs require an inspection periodically and the best person to inspect them for signs of leakage is the house owner. A through inspection is warranted after rains and snow. Weather phenomena like hail storms; heavy winds and lighting may cause the roof to spring up leaks. It is best to check them in time and ensure that they are repaired promptly. Clogged gutters or hanging gardens, piled dirt and stagnant water on a roof are sure to make any roof leak. They must be removed from a roof as soon as possible. The longevity of a roof depends upon the maintenance done by the people living in it. A well-maintained roof will live it full life and there will be few, if any occurrences of leaks. The motto is to plug the leak before it begins to pour.