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What to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking

Roof Leaking Solutions in Baltimore, MD

A roof leak may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can pose significant dangers. Even a small leak can lead to extensive damage to your home and belongings. Water seeping into your home can weaken the foundation, rot wood framing, and can endanger the health of you and your family by promoting the growth of mold and mildew. It’s crucial therefore to address roof leaks as soon as possible.

What Causes Roof Leaks?

To protect your home, you need to know the signs of a roof leak.. Among them are:

  • Damaged or missing shingles – If your shingles are damaged, cracked, or missing, it can create an opening for water to penetrate the roof.
  • Improperly installed flashing – Flashing is the material used to seal joints and transitions on the roof, such as around chimneys, vents, or skylights. If it’s installed incorrectly or becomes damaged over time, it can allow water to seep into the roof.
  • Clogged gutters – Gutters perform the vital function of capturing rain water and moving that water away from your home’s foundation. If the gutters are clogged with twigs, leaves, or dirt, they can overflow and back up onto the roof.
  • Ice Dams – In colder climates, ice dams can form on the roof. When snow melts, and refreezes near the eaves of the roof, it can create a barrier that prevents proper drainage, causing water to back up under the shingles.
  • Poor workmanship – If any part of your roofing system is improperly installed, leaks can occur. That’s why it’s important to choose only highly trained professionals to take care of your roof.
  • Age of the roof – Even the best roof doesn’t last forever, so if yours is getting to be 15 or 20 years old, the roofing material may have deteriorated to the point where it needs to be replaced.

What are the Dangers of a Leaky Roof?

A leaky roof can pose several dangers to both your home and your family:

  • Structural damage – Water from a roof leak can lead to damage to the roof decking, rafters and support beams.
  • Mold and mildew growth – Mold and mildew can form rather quickly, damaging walls, ceilings, or insulation, and the mold spores can negatively affect the health of your family members.
  • Electrical hazards – When water comes into contact with electrical wiring, if can increase the risk of short circuits, sparks, and even potential fire hazards.
  • Damage to furnishings – Leaks can damage furniture, electronics, clothing, and sentimental belongings such as photos or documents.
  • Increased energy costs – A leaky roof can compromise your home’s insulation, resulting in higher heating or air conditioning costs.
  • Decreased property value – A leaky roof can diminish the value of your home. When a house is up for sale, an aging or leaking roof can deter potential buyers or result in a lower selling price.

How to Find a Roof Leak

If your roof is leaking, you may notice musty smells, stains, unexplained puddles, or the sound of dripping water, but how do you approach roof leak detection? Here are some tips:

  • Start at the stain – When you discover a water stain on your walls or ceiling, start with the stains and try to find the path of the water. You may need to remove damp drywall and insulation to track it down.
  • Check the attic – Check the attic floor and the rafters for dampness or stains. Use a flashlight to look for moisture, stains, carpenter ant damage, deteriorating sheathing, or other signs of a leaky roof.
  • Inspect the roof – Once you believe you’ve found the general location of the leak, check the roof in that area. Looks for damaged or missing shingles, torn flashing, or structural damage.
  • Soak the roof – Have one person run water from a garden hose over the roof while another watches from inside the house or attic. Listen for dripping water, puddles, or moisture in the area you suspect.
  • Remove some shingles – If all else fails, carefully remove the shingles in the suspected area. Look for dampness or stains on the plywood sheathing.

What to Do When You Find a Roof Leak

Once you’ve discovered a roof leak it’s important to act quickly to address the issue. Here’s what you should do:

  • Place buckets or containers under the leak to collect the dripping water and move furniture away from the leak.
  • Protect your flooring with towels, mops, or a wet/dry vacuum to soak up as much water as possible.
  • Use roofing cement or sealant to patch any small leaks or place a tarp on your roof to prevent further damage.
  • Take photos or videos to document the damage. This can help if you file an insurance claim.
  • As soon as you have things under control, contact a professional roofing company. They have the expertise and the tools to quickly roof repair or replace your roof.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Roof?

Before you hit the panic button, be assured that a roof leak doesn’t always require a complete roof replacement. A complete roof replacement can run into thousands of dollars but is sometimes covered in part or in full by your homeowner’s insurance. If all you need is a minor roof leak repair, it could cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

Final Words

If you have a roof leak, whether minor or extensive, it’s best to leave the repairs to professionals. They have the equipment and expertise to stop the leak and they can advise you as to how to properly maintain your roof in the future.  Whatever you do, don’t wait to call in a roofer.

A&B Home Improvement has been serving the Baltimore County area as a top rated roofing repair contractor since 1938 with a proven record of quality craftsmanship, unmatched service, and a focus on customer satisfaction. We are a family owned and operated business specializing in commercial roof repair, residential roof repair, siding, windows, additions, trim work, painting, and more. From planning and design all the way to the final touches, we work with you to achieve a quality job that you’ll be pleased with for years to come. No matter if you need an emergency roof repair or if your roof has reached the end of its life, we want our customers to feel confident with their choice of working with A&B Home Improvement. All of our projects carry a 15 year warranty, and shingles come backed by up to a 25-year-to-lifetime warranty.

If you’d like more information about the products and services we offer, visit our website, or give us a call at 410-881-6258. We look forward to helping with your home improvement needs.