Roof Leaks

Identifying the source of a leak is of paramount concern, even if a roof replacement is planned within the coming year. A leaking roof can cause a large amount of damage in a short amount of time. Roof leaks can lead to mold, sheathing damage, ruined insulation and ceiling rot.

The search for the source of a roof leak should begin uphill from where a leak stain appears in the ceiling. Most leaks happen in areas where the roof has been penetrated. This would include areas where tubes and vents for the plumbing protrude out of the roof. The source of a leak can be several feet above or to the side from where the roof stain appears.

In homes with a flat roof and an attic, identifying the source of the leak is easier. A flashlight can be used to search for signs of water stains or evidence of mold in attic insulation that would signify a leak. A Monmouth County roofing professional will still need to make an examination from on top of the roof for homes that have no attic access or for homes that have a vaulted ceiling.

When a visual inspection does not reveal the source of the leak, running water can be used.

With the help of an assistant who remains inside of the home looking for a water leak, a second individual using a water hose should climb on top of the roof and allow water to run around the area where they suspect the leak to be. Finding a leak in this manner will require patience because water may need to run in the same area for a few minutes before signs of a leak become visible.

If this process still does not reveal the location of the leak, it may be necessary to begin removing shingles around the leaking area. Water stains, felt paper that is discolored, and rotted wood are all indications of a leak.

Cracked roof vents can lead to leaks and must be replaced. Simply putting caulking material on the cracked vent or applying duct tape is a short-term solution. Loose nails or missing nails should be replaced with rubber washers and screws.

Finding a leak is more complicated in a home that has a plastic barrier separating the attic insulation from drywall. In these cases, it is necessary to move the insulation and inspect the plastic barrier for water stains. It is not uncommon for water to escape through open areas in vapor barriers, such as areas around ceiling light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Searching for and repairing a leak in the roof is a tedious and time-consuming task. However, it is well worth the effort as it will help to protect the structural integrity of the home, protect the health of the home’s residents, and save the homeowner thousands of dollars in water damage-related repairs. Have a question regarding new roofs or roof repairs? Ask a roofing professional from Fortified Roofing of Monmouth County NJ.

Common roofing term explained by Fortified Roofing of Monmouth County NJ:

Felt paper

Felt paper is a sheet of material that has been infused with bitumen. It is referred to as felt paper because it is made in a way that is similar to the way felt is made. Fibers are matted under pressure, forming the paper. Felt paper is placed underneath shingles and serves as a secondary weatherproofing mechanism.

Question and answer from Monmouth County roofing contractor Fortified Roofing:

What are indications that a roofing system needs to be replaced or repaired?

In most cases, roof damage is only identified after leaks and other serious damage to the roof occurs. It is recommended that residential roofs be inspected every six months in order to identify missing shingles, damaged flashing, cracked shingles and other signs that a roof is deteriorating. Interior signs include cracked paint, discolored walls, and wallpaper or plasterboard that is peeling off.

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