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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.

Your Roof Leak: Where Is It Really?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Have you noticed a leak in your ceiling? Careful! Just because you spot water damage doesn’t mean you know where the problem is. The source of a leak can prove difficult to find: Let’s talk about why.

Ceiling Leaks & Their Twisty Ways

Here’s the bottom line: That leak you see on your ceiling does not show you where leak actually started. Many times, the leaks in your roof that are letting water in are someplace else entirely – you can’t just draw a mental arrow straight up and assume that’s where the problem is located.

The two main causes of this odd behavior are gravity and structure. When a leak first opens up in a roof (often through a damaged shingle), water tends to follow gravity and start flowing down the sheathing or rafters. It may not actually enter the inside of your house until much later! From here, structure also plays an important role. The water may circle vents, skylights, support beams, and other structures before finally forming on your ceiling. The distance between the roof and the ceiling, as well as the shape of your attic or crawlspace, can all create a little maze that leaks may follow, making the source hard to follow.

Ceiling Leak

Dry Footprints & Other Problems

Additional problems can complicate finding a leak, too. For example, there is such a thing as a “dry footprint” that we see happen several days after a storm. In this case, the leak’s path is still wet, while the area where the water entered is dry. This can make leaks tricky to find or lead to false assumptions.

Also, some leaks may not start in the roof at all. If you have a lot of attic condensation, the condensation could be forming leaks from your attic even if there’s nothing wrong with your roof. This is another reason why it’s important to ask for a professional inspection of the leak even if you think you know where the problem is. It’s easy to be surprised.

Shingle Leak Repair

Common Sources

So, where do leaks tend to come from? Often, there are several places that an experienced roofer will look first – starting with the shingles. There’s a symptom called “telegraphing“. In this case, shingles show problems and patterns forming beneath them, especially when covering up a layer of old shingles. If the shingles are telegraphing a particularly wavy or lumpy patch, that’s a great place to start looking for leaks. Roofers also like to check around chimneys, valleys, and ice dams— which may all develop issues, especially in winter months.

Remember, if you see a leak in your ceiling, it can be very difficult to tell where it started. You can take a flashlight up to your attic or crawlspace to look for more signs, but ultimately a professional roofer is your best bet for finding and fixing the true source of the leak.

Photo Source: Flickr