Most homeowners are well aware of the costliest home repairs, from a cracked foundation to a termite infestation – and of course, a roof leak. While a tiny drip may not be cause for panic, the truth is that even a small leak, if left untreated, can turn into a major expense, not to mention the hassle involved with putting a new roof on your home.
The good news is that with proper inspection, maintenance, and repair your roof can last for decades (depending on the materials used). When you have a clear understanding of what to look for in terms of the most common causes of leaks, you’ll have every opportunity to spot possible threats and address them appropriately. Here are just a few potential causes of roof leaks that every homeowner should be aware of.
Deteriorated or Damaged Materials
The reason most homeowners spring for annual inspection and roof maintenance in Arlington Texas is so that they can stay on top of deterioration that naturally occurs over time. Your roof will age, like every other part of your home, but some parts are bound to deteriorate faster than others.
Perhaps the most common cause of roof leaks is deterioration of roofing materials, including not only your shingles, shakes, or tiles (which can last many decades in some cases), but more importantly the flashing used to seal possible points of ingress like chimneys, vents, and skylights. Flashing is fairly durable in and of itself, but it is generally sealed in place with tar or other sealant that can deteriorate more rapidly.
With regular inspection you can see when flashing is starting to peel up, as well as when shingles are damaged or even missing. Since these are some of the most common causes of roof leaks, inspection is an important part of maintaining your roof and preventing leaks.
Improper and Worn Sealant
Like a mountain range, your roof is made up of peaks and valleys. The valleys are any joints where two roof faces slope down to meet each other, say where dormers meet the rest of the roof line. These joints are often sealed as an extra precaution against leaks since water rolling down the roof tends to amass in these areas.
However, if valleys aren’t properly sealed or if the sealant begins to deteriorate, there’s a chance a leak could occur. If this does happen, you’ll want to hire a reputable vendor for roof repair in Fort Worth Texas immediately. Of course, regular inspections could help you to prevent this problem in the first place.
Your gutters and downspouts are designed to carry water away from your home so that it doesn’t cause damage to the roof or the foundation. When gutters get clogged you can not only suffer roof leaks as water backs up at the edge of the roof and begins to seep through cracks, but also damage to the foundation of your home where the water pools after spilling over the edge.
While your average service provider for roof maintenance in Arlington Texas probably doesn’t offer gutter cleaning, an inspector can at least tell you if there’s a problem with your gutters so you can address it and advise if there is damage to the roof as a result.
Snow can be a hassle for many homeowners, but a bigger problem is posed by ice buildup, which can add a lot of weight to the roof and potentially result in leaks or even roof collapse. An ice dam forms on the roof when the heat escaping from your attic melts snow near the top of the roof, causing water to run down and get caught up on snow at the edge of the roof.
Then the water freezes and begins to build up like a dam that grows larger and heavier as more water trickles down and freezes. The only good thing about an ice dam is that you’re likely to see it forming, which means you can try to demolish it before it causes any damage.
Issues in the Attic
Any specialist in roof repair in Fort Worth Texas can tell you that the cause of a roof leak doesn’t always originate outside. Sometimes problems in your attic can be the impetus for a leak.
For example, improper insulation and/or ventilation can cause heat to build in your attic, leading to condensation that creates mold or rot, deteriorating your roof from the inside out. Excess heat in the attic can also cause the ice dam effect listed above.
Infestations of rodents, termites, or other pests could also be problematic and eventually lead to roof leaks. So when you inspect your roof make sure you also inspect the attic space.