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A leaking roof is more than simply an inconvenience. It can put people’s health and well-being at risk, increasing the dangers of sickness, house fires, or even structural collapse. That’s why it’s crucial to identify the signs of roof-leak in attic and elsewhere in your house.
A leaky roof can really wreak havoc on your room walls, foundation, and your house’s exterior walls. Moisture can enter your house even through a hairline crack or tiny gaps in the roof shingles. And, the water accumulates over time – causing problems such as mold growth, mildew, and rotting wood. Unfortunately, a damaged leak is not easily identifiable – unless you have very obvious dripping water in the attic or any of the bedrooms. Sometimes, the damage is not spotted until it’s too late.
It’s vital that you know exactly what to look for. Here are some warning signs that you need roof repairs or replacements asap.
Water spots on the interior walls or ceilings
The appearance of spots on your ceilings and walls is one of the surest signs of a roof leak. The spots look like brown water stains with faint rings around the marks.
They appear most often in the center of the ceiling but may be found in corners and alcoves as well.
Buckling or curling roof shingles
Nothing beats actually doing the groundwork and checking your roof for damaged shingles. If you spot curling (either upwards or downwards) roof shingles, it means that water is entering your building through them. The best way to detect a roof leak is to regularly examine your shingles for damage. The buckling could be due to poor roof installation.
Exterior wall growth
You need to look at your home’s exterior walls to see if there’s any evidence of mold, fungi, or moss. Such growths flourish in moist environments. As a damaged roof allows water to seep into the walls, it could be the cause of the growth. If you’re finding such growth even in the sun-exposed parts of your home, you can expect roof damage to be the culprit.
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Rusting or wet pipes
Wet or rusty pipes are some of the signs of roof leak in attic or a room. For example, if your pipes are rusty, or feel damp to the touch, they may be letting in rainwater.
It’s best to fix this problem by hiring a professional to handle it.
Of course, dripping water is one of the most obvious signs of roof leak in attic or a room. The attic should be the first place to check for drippage. If you spot a wet roof deck or hear a dripping sound somewhere in the walls, it’s definitely a leak.
The best course of action is to call a reliable roof repair service and fix the leak before it can have dangerous and expensive repercussions.
What causes a leaky roof?
While it’s difficult to find the exact entry point for moisture or water, you can always look for some telltale signs. The reason for the difficulty is that once the water is inside your attic, it travels along rafters and other horizontal surfaces.
Some of the most common causes of a leaky roof include:
- Missing flashing: The real culprit could be missing flashing around a chimney, or any other entry point.
- Missing, cracked, or damaged roof shingles: Such a situation easily allows water to leak into your attic over time.
- Ice dams: Ice dams are formed due to the constant freezing and thawing of snow over the roof. They cause water to back up under the roof shingles. The situation worsens when you do not have an ice and water underlayment installed under your shingles.
Read more: Snow and ice damage to house roofs
How much does roof repairing cost?
There’s no doubt that a leaky roof needs to be repaired immediately. Keep in mind that a leak may start out as a tiny inconvenience but it can end up causing a lot of property damage if the warning signs are ignored. Of course, a substantial roof repair or replacement can be quite expensive.
Roof repair costs can range from $150 to $400 for basic repairs to $7,000 for significant repairs, depending on the type of repair. A full-fledged roof replacement cost typically ranges between $5,100 and $10,000. Many roofing contractors or companies charge between $3.50 and $5 per square foot for their services.
How to fix the roof leak right away
Once you’ve found the roof leak in your attic, you need to be careful with the initial cleanup. Keep in mind that moisture in the attic may weaken the support joists, surfaces, and flooring.
The first step is to remove your belongings and clean up the standing water if any. Next, check for the total water damage. Keep an eye out for mold growth, rotted wood, or soggy insulation.
Start the repair work by replacing the damaged shingles (whether you have asphalt shingles or any other roofing material) and cleaning the rain gutters. If you notice a pipe leak, fix it with a plumber’s putty, pipe tape, or a C-clamp.
But, if you want to control condensation in the attic area, it’s best to install vapor barriers and improve the attic ventilation. Call in a licensed roofer or plumber to take care of the roof repair.
Read more: Issues renovating an older home
By the time you find obvious signs of roof leak in your attic, it may have already affected the rest of your house, your belongings, attic insulation, ductwork, and joists. The excessive moisture, leaking water, or a broken roof vent or pipe in your attic can lead to dangerous water damage in the walls, floors, ceilings, and furnishings in the rooms below. A damaged roofing system doesn’t just cause cosmetic damage, it brings about serious structural damage too.
Looking out for these signs of a roof leak in the attic on time will help you take the necessary roof repair steps as quickly as possible.
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