A roof leak isn’t always obvious. In fact, many leak repairs, if caught early enough, might not even cause water damage at all. Of course you’ll know your roof is leaking when it’s so bad you have to put a bucket in the middle of your living room. At that point, the leak has gone unaddressed for so long (or there was sudden, severe damage) that it’s gone beyond the numerous layers of your roof. All roofs, especially modern ones, are built to withstand natural disasters and inclement weather. If there’s a leak of any size, that’s a serious issue.
The best way to prevent leaks is with regular roof maintenance, inspections and sometimes repairs. You can do some of these inspections yourself if you feel comfortable. For example, examining the roof from the ground or from a ladder (never standing on the roof) can alert you of loose, lost or obviously damaged shingles. However, for the most part only a licensed professional can perform thorough inspections.
Want to make sure your roof is leak-free this winter? Here are a few warnings signs to watch out for. If you notice any of these red flags, schedule an appointment with a contractor immediately:
1. Any moisture on the “ceiling” of the attic
Moisture can seep into your attic in many ways, and it might not necessarily be a roof leak—but it can be. Either way, this is dangerous because moisture can lead to bacterial growth or even black mold. Black mold can be deadly, and it can also exacerbate any allergies people in the house may have. Inspect your attic on a regular basis, which is safe and simple for most homeowners.
2. A spike in energy bills
A “leak” can also be an air leak—and since heat rises, if it has an opportunity to escape through a roof leak it will. Compare your energy bills this winter to last year’s. Do you notice any major discrepancies? Give your utility provider a call and ask what the average monthly price is for other homes in your area of similar size. If you’re way off from the average, something’s wrong (whether it’s a roof, appliance or other problem will require some research).
3. You can’t recall your last roof inspection
Here’s a sign many people overlook: If you don’t remember the last time your roof was inspected—or if it was years ago—that’s a risk factor for a leak. Roofs are easily one of the most expensive home repairs you can face. Even if there’s a small charge for an inspection or a repair that’s necessary, it’s much cheaper than replacing a roof.
4. Your asthma is acting up
Black mold can seriously mess with your asthma or other respiratory problems. If you or anyone in the house has been suffering from respiratory issues more than normal, mold might be to blame. There’s many ways this can find its way into your home. Start by having a contractor from Knockout Roofing inspect the home for moisture and leaks. Why suffer when you don’t have to?
No roof will stay leak-free forever since they have a shelf life. However, staying on top of warnings signs and inspections can help you extend the life of your roof for several more years.