Water damage due to a leaking roof causes panic for many people. Stained carpets and brown patches on the ceiling are unsightly but seemingly harmless results of a leaking roof and water damage. On the bright side, the majority of roof leaks do not mean your entire roof is failing and that you need to shell out hundreds of dollars to have it replaced. But the sooner you take care of a roof leak, the better you will be able to prevent further deterioration that may lead to a complete roof replacement. If you are concerned about mould, mildew, and interior damage to your home, here are some important tips to prevent water damage because of roof leaks, and how you can get effective water damage clean-up.
How Do Roof Leaks Cause Water Damage in Your House?
Some common causes of leaking roofs include broken or cracked shingles, a lack of sealant in valleys, ice dams, clogged gutters, skylights, condensation in the attic, and wear and tear, just to name a few. Roofs tend to leak when it rains hard, so it may take a storm before you notice something is wrong. Here is a breakdown of some more reasons why your roof might be leaking.
The materials that make up your roof do not last forever. They deteriorate with age and become less effective at doing their job, which is to keep the elements out. If you live in a climate where there are temperature fluctuations and changing weather conditions, this may contribute to your roofing materials becoming brittle and cracking over time. Also, exposure to direct sunlight can cause the tar that seals shingles together to melt.
If you have roof vents, it is important to make sure they’re sealed properly to prevent any leaks during rain storms. Have a professional water damage restoration company inspect the gaskets around vent pipes to check for gaps, cracks, or missing nails. If you use plastic vents, they may crack after years of exposure to the weather.
Another cause of leaks is when a buildup of debris such as twigs, leaves, or pine needles trap water against the roof and allow it to seep in. Seasonal maintenance of the roof can help you keep it clear so that water can safely run off. You can also trim overhanging tree branches to make it easier to keep your roof free of debris.
If your gutters are clogged with leaves or other debris, it can slow the flow of water off the roof, giving it time to soak through. You can prevent this from happening by installing gutter covers to keep them clear, or simply maintain the roof gutters during seasons like winter and fall to make sure they are clear.
Strong winds during storms can rip shingles off the roof, exposing an area where you cannot directly see. After a major storm, climb a ladder to inspect hidden areas and check for any missing shingles. If your roof is very high or steep, call a professional team to do the inspection for you.
The exterior of the roof is not the only area that could be damaged and cause water damage. A roof leak can lead to insulation damage, damage to electrical wiring, mould and mildew, and water-related hazards.
Tips to Prevent Water Damage Due to Roof Leaks
- Clean gutters and downspouts twice a year (at the beginning of spring and fall). If you have pine trees or other evergreens near your home, you should perform this inspection quarterly.
- Inspect your roof regularly, especially if you live in an older home. Let a professional contractor do the inspection for you, as they can spot early signs of roof leaking. The average lifetime of a good roof job is 20 years.
- Inspect your roof after storms to ensure there is no storm damage.
- Focus on roof flashing as 90% of leaks occur here. This repair is easy to do, and prevents water from seeping through the chimney, skylights, vents, and other areas of the roof.
- Distance plants from your home, as trees and bushes can cause moss and algae to build up. These plants bring damp, shaded areas around your house, and branches can scratch or gouge roof materials.
- Check the inside of your roof space regularly. If you see wet spots, water stains, or streaming light through holes, you are at risk of a roof leak.
- Make sure the area around the chimney is clear.
- Replace shingles that have been damaged or have gone missing.
- Check your skylights after rain to make sure the seals are tight and holding up well.
- Make sure your attics have plenty of ventilation and insulation, which can prevent leaks.
- Get any loose bricks reset.
- Repair damaged, loose, or hanging gutters immediately to prevent water from staying on your roof and leading to potential leaks.
Contact Flood Services Canada for Water Damage Restoration in Toronto
If you are looking for water damage restoration due to a leaking roof, it is always best to seek help from the professionals. Flood Services Canada deploys quick-response teams to arrive quickly to the problem site and begin drying your home and recovering any damaged belongings with precision and professionalism. We have helped homes and businesses across the GTA and will use the best techniques, personnel, and technology to ensure your home is clean, safe, and dry as quickly as possible. To reach our emergency hotline, call us at (416) 999-3930. Our main office can also provide you with more information on our water damage services and useful tips for different clean-up scenarios.