Homeowners here in American experience billions of dollars in property damage annually thanks to water damage. In fact, one of the biggest causes of this issue is leaking roofs. Roof leaks make up 40% of all water intrusion problems that occur within residential and commercial buildings. This is a huge problem, and especially here in Southwest Florida you want to find those roof leaks, get them fixed, and get the water damage cleaned up quickly because it only takes 48 hours for mold to begin to grow in our heat and humidity here.
The first step to fixing a roof leak is to find the source of it, and that is something that can be surprisingly difficult. After all, that wet spot on your ceiling doesn’t mean the weak area of your roof is directly above the spot. The water intrusion can be located someplace else entirely and the water may have flowed through to the spot you see in the ceiling. Here’s some of the roof leak issues you can look for on the exterior of your home.
Mold and Mildew—Mold, mildew or algae growing on your roof shingles or an exterior wall can indicate a hidden problem. It can signal that water is getting trapped beneath the shingles or between the exterior and interior walls. However, we live in Southwest Florida, where it’s hot and humid most of the year. Therefore, this is not always a sign that your roof is leaking. Even so, it warrants further investigation.
The Takeaway: If you notice mold or mildew on your shingles or an exterior wall, have a professional inspect your roof. It’s not always a sign there’s a problem, but it can be, especially if the area feels soft and spongy.
Comprised Roof Vents—To maintain airflow in your attic, your home should have several vents that protrude through the roof. These allow air to circulate through your home. Since hot air rises, it will collect in the attic. The vents provide a way to let the hot air escape. While vital to the integrity of your home, vents can become damaged, causing water leaks. Over time, the housings on plastic vents can crack and the seams in metal vents can break. The rubber boot that surrounds the pipe can rot or tear away. Any of these issues will allow water to seep into your home. Some vents have metal caps that prevent rain from entering the inside of the vent and reaching your home’s interior. Caps often blow off during storms or become tilted just enough to let rainwater in. Keep an eye on the caps so your home remains watertight. If you notice water stains around a bathroom fan, a missing vent cap is a likely culprit.
The Takeaway: You may be tempted to use caulk to solve this problem, but it’s not a viable long-term solution. If the vents are compromised in any way, you should replace the entire unit immediately. If you find you’re missing a vent cap, you can purchase one at most hardware stores.
Rusted or Broken Gutters—Your gutters’ job is to move water away from your home. If they aren’t properly installed or have become damaged over time, that water can find its way into your home instead. Clogged gutters also pose a risk. If the water has no place to go, it can seep into your home through the seam where the gutter meets the roof edge. Missing or damaged gutter aprons will also cause slow leaks over time. A gutter apron prevents water from wicking into the fascia board. Without it, you’ll see signs of water damage on the fascia board and soffit.
The Takeaway: Over time, gutters may rust or pull away from your home due to fluctuations in temperature. If this happens, you’ll need to address the issue either with a DIY project or by calling a professional.
Drilled Holes—Sometimes, you’ll find holes on your roof that have been put there on purpose. Satellite dishes, antenna mounts, even holiday decorations are just some of the reasons someone would intentionally drill holes into their roof. Left unattended, these holes pose a problem. Water can easily enter your roof and leak into your home’s interior.
The Takeaway: Holes need to be repaired quickly to avoid water damage. Don’t just fill the hole with caulk. You’ll need to install flashing to ensure the roof is sound.
If you suspect you have a roof water leak or water intrusion from your roof or attic space please give Spectrum Cleaning & Restoration a call at 239-910-6381 or visit us online at http://www.spectrumswfl.com/