Homeowners Guide to Leaking Roof Repair

It's every homeowner's worst nightmare.

You come home after a tedious day at work – not to mention the commute – and you find yourself in quite a cantankerous state. All you want to do is kick off your shoes, throw on some comfortable sweats, hatch a plan for dinner and melt into the couch.

All that would be possible had the cold, insidious water droplets falling from the roof not splashed cruelly onto your head.

No homeowner truly wants to face the implications that accompany a leaking roof repair.

Talk about ill timing! There's not much more vexing to a homeowner than a permeable roof, and most of the time, it's due to outdated or poor technology, hasty labor or a combination of the two. What complicates the situation even more is the difficulty in pinpointing exactly from where the leak derives – the source is oftentimes notoriously impossible for the untrained eye to locate. 

If you are a homeowner who is desperately trying to pin down the source and cause of your roof's weakest link, remember a roof leak can spring from many different contributing factors, and this capricious little cocktail rarely shows its cards to the pursuant. 

If the problem lies in the roof itself, consider the following culprits:

– Shingles: Discolored or decayed roof shingles (such as those that have curled over time due to improper or hasty installation, or those which were improperly installed, leading to buckled shingles) present a unique set of challenges to homeowners. When shingle decay leads to exposed underlying wood, it invites rot, which in turn, beckons water seepage, mildew, mold and softening of wood, which in turn springs a leak. 

– Flashings: Flashings create a watertight seal in places where the roof's structure and integrity is interrupted or terminated altogether. They are used to seal perimeters, penetrations, walls, drains and other roof components. Without flashings, water would easily penetrate the voids in roof integrity, which is why improperly installed flashings are so dangerous to roof health and longevity. The elements, oxidization or eventual loosening of the flashing can cause deterioration, which leads to permeability. 

– Gutters: While designed to protect the foundation of the home and its structural integrity from excess water and snow, gutters can become clogged by vegetation or other organic materials. Neglected gutters that are weighed down by waterlogged vegetation will sever from the fascia and droop. The next stage? Leaks. Gutters can be one of the most pesky things for a homeowner to clean, but their proper maintenance is imperative. For a step-by-step guide on how to maintain gutters and avoid unnecessary leaks, check out this awesome blog from our friends at about home.

– Fascia: Otherwise known as a roof trim, the fascia creates a layer between the edge of the roof and the elements. Rotting fascia can lead to irreversible damage, not to mention permeability, which will quickly lead to a leak that is not easily assuaged.

So, other than the aforementioned issues, what exactly makes a roof drip? Let's look at a few sources of that dreaded indoor rainfall:

– Openings in the roof itself that penetrate the structure's building envelope;
– Leaks or exposed seams in your plumbing;
– Leaks in your air conditioning unit;
– Pest infestation, or;
– Natural condensation from ambient elements.

Are you horrified yet? Grabbing the ladder and racing outside to do battle with your roof and its wayward accoutrements? Before you wear yourself thin attempting to play the role of contractor, consider calling a professional to tackle your leaking roof repair. Leaking roof repair is a delicate undertaking which is best served by trained technicians who understand the underlying conditions, concerns and nuances in your roof and structural integrity.

Prior to contacting your local roofing professional, take the initiative to measure the leak in two different places. You'll need to first locate the leak's source and eliminate other causes (pests, weather, HVAC system, etc) before you conclude the water is derived from a roof leak.

Measure from fixed points, such as perpendicular walls or finished surfaces that extend all the way to the roof from the attic/finished ceiling. You might need to venture into your attic in order to concretely identify the leak source.
Leaking roof repair creates a damper on the life of any homeowner – and eschews envy. Regardless, it's a necessary evil if certain elements of your home are either faulty, defective or hastily assembled; neglect on the homeowner's part can also create ample breeding grounds rife with rot and decay, which will lead to imminent leaks. Be proactive in guarding your home or business from the consequences of neglect; conversely, if you suspect your structural integrity or roofing accoutrements may be faulty or facilitating rot, contact a professional to conduct a survey. 

After all, we get enough exposure to rain and moisture outside. Let's keep our precious inside warm and dry.