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What to Do About Roof Leaks from Storm Damage

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, thankfully a tropical storm by the time it hit metro Atlanta, countless area homeowners suffered damage to their roofs, though many of them may not know it yet. Here’s how to make sure that any leaks in your home don’t turn into much larger and more expensive problems and what steps to take to protect yourself from future storms.

Do a Visual Check

As soon as possible, access your attic and check the ceilings and drywall throughout your home (including closets) for any signs of water leaks–streaks, wet spots, drips or puddling. If your shingles are damaged or not installed properly, they are compromising your home by letting water below your roof deck and into your attic. As the water sits and seeps into the ceiling, it causes the brown ceiling stain you may recognize as the outline of a small puddle. Also be sure to check around your fireplace for any signs of water.

Outside your home, walk the perimeter to check for any sign of roof damage, including shingles that may have blown off or that look loose, as well as any displaced flashing around your chimney or damage to the chimney itself.

Contact the Professionals

If your investigation shows any sign that your roof has been compromised by Irma’s strong winds and heavy rain, please call a professional immediately for a thorough examination of your roof. We offer a free roof analysis to assess the extent of the damage and recommend repairs, and can help you communicate with your insurance company.

Beware of Storm Chasers

In addition to fallen limbs and power outages, storms can also bring predatory businesses to your home. Storm chasers are roofers–often unlicensed, unbonded and uninsured–who are looking for a quick buck from anxious and vulnerable homeowners. As a rule, it’s a bad idea to work with a business that shows up at your door, uninvited. Instead, it’s best to use only known, reputable roofing companies to work on your home.

Protect Your Shingles for the Future

Cutting down trees and trimming branches near your roof will help eliminate the proximity of shingle-damaging material near your home. But it can also limit shady spots on your roof that can encourage the growth of algae and moss, which can compromise the integrity of your shingles.

Keep Gutters Clear

If you can’t remember the last time you removed debris from your gutters and downspouts, it’s time to schedule a cleanup. Neglecting gutters can cause water to back up, soaking into eaves and other part of your roof and home. This inability to drain properly can eventually lead to a roof leak and can perpetuate water damage. If gutter screens and covers aren’t enough to keep debris out, routine gutter cleaning and repair can keep your home protected from water damage.

Being able to recognize any of these early signs empowers you to stop water damage from becoming a big problem. Contact Findlay Roofing for a free roof analysis today.

Blistering, Rotting and Ceiling Spots

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Blistering, rotting, and spots on your ceiling: Which roof issue is the worst for your home? That’s the question, and we’ve got the answers—as well as why you should care.

1. Rotting: Long-Term Damage

Rotting certainly sounds like the worst kind of roof damage. However, we need to get more specific here. When someone talks about a roof rotting, they usually mean that shingle cores have started rotting. This is a common occurrence for shingles that are made out of organic materials and used in heavy rainfall climates. When we say roof rotting, we’re not talking about shingle cores—we’re talking about rotting wood. Rotting wood is a much more serious structural issue.

The reason that rot gets top billing for the worst type roof damage is it usually associated bigger issues. If shingles have had enough time and moisture damage to rot, that usually means leaks have had time to develop. The mold, pests and other problems that rot inspires may have also done lasting damage. Seeing any type of rot on a roof should sound major warning bells for hidden damage. An inspection to see just how far the problem goes is necessary at this point.

2. Ceiling Spots: Hidden Leaks

Ceiling spots are a close second to rotting when it comes to roof troubles. Why? Because when you see a ceiling spot, it is typically caused by a roof leak. Is it a broken skylight? Is it attic condensation? Is there a puncture in your roof materials? It’s hard to know – but a spot indicates that a leak has occurred long enough to do unpleasant damage that requires in-house repairs as well. Perhaps the worst part is that it can be very difficult to tell where ceiling spots originated because the leak may have run through your house before settling into one spot. It takes a professional roof inspection to narrow down the cause of tricky ceiling spots. If you notice a growing ceiling stain anywhere in your house, it’s important to find the source as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage.

3. Blistering: Shingle Replacement

Out of these three roof troubles, blistering probably causes the least widespread damage – but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless. When a shingle or tile blisters, that means that water has soaked into the top layers of the shingle and has caused the materials to expand and warp – the same way you get wrinkly fingers if you stay in the water too long. Blistering not only causes permanent damage to shingles, it also leads to increased aging, wear, and other problems.

If you notice blisters or other strange things happening to your shingles, there’s a good chance that you will need to replace your shingles. Call in a professional to make sure as blistered shingles can be difficult to notice from a distance and may be mistaken for algae problems.

Photo Source: Flickr

What are Ceiling Spots?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Have you noticed ceiling spots or stains in your house? A roof leak could be responsible: Here’s what to do about it.

Ceiling spots and stains

It’s a common problem – one day you look up at your ceiling and notice a brownish stain spreading. Sometimes this ceiling spot is only a faint outline, like a dried-up puddle. Sometimes it is a darker area that is slowly seeping into nearby materials.

Those spots are caused by water damage. Ceiling tiles and drywall are usually made from porous materials. When moisture gathers in your house and finds a way to seep into the ceiling, it lingers there, slowly evaporating and cause both stains and structural damage. If you notice one of these stains in your home, it is important to find the source – before the damage gets worse.

Is your roof to blame?

Sometimes it’s easy to see if a water spot is connected to a roof leak – if there are water spots around your skylight that get worse after rain, for example, the inference is easy to make. But for many water stains, the cause is more murky.

The uncertainty occurs because there are two major causes for those annoying ceiling spots: roof leaks and condensation problems. In areas where insulation is tight and there are no vents to get rid of moisture, hot air can create condensation that builds up on inner walls and ceilings. The condensation then trickles down over time and seeps into ceilings and walls, creating brown spots or stains. This happens most often in inner walls or ceilings from condensation that has built up in bathrooms and attics with poor ventilation. This means that when you find an annoying stain or spot, you need to find out what is causing it.

Testing and repairs

The first step in getting your water spot taken care of is to call in a roof technician to take a look at it. The technician can examine where the spot is, where it originated and if it is an “active leak.” Active leaks are more likely to be related to roof problems and can be measured with a moisture meter and other tools.

If it is your roof causing a leak, then repairs can be tricky: It’s not a matter of simply looking straight up. Water spots are caused by slow leaks that can trickle around rafters, across edges and through corners in a maze that only ends with your ceiling. A roofing repair professional will need to examine your attic and roof to pinpoint the causes of damage…and see if any other repairs need to be made.

Sometimes only a small puncture in roofing felt or loose section of siding is responsible, which makes this a simple fix. But always wait until the leak is identified and fixed before replacing drywall or ceiling panels: You don’t want to deal with the same problem twice!

Photo Source: Flickr