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5 Common Places for Roof Leaks

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Roof leaks are a major hassle for homeowners, and a costly one at that. Locating a roof leak can be frustrating if you try to tackle the problem yourself; fortunately, a professional roofing company is trained to find and repair leaks efficiently. Here’s what you should know about the five areas most likely to leak on a roof.

Chimney Leaks
A common location for roof leaks is the chimney. Some chimneys do not have covers and rain can fall directly into the chimney. Condensation in the chimney, cracks in the chimney crown and worn flashing are other causes of chimney leaks. Chimney flashing is metal that keeps the area between the chimney and roof watertight. Because flashing wears down over time and may be incorrectly installed, it is important to have your chimney inspected once a year to make sure that flashing is intact and secure.

Broken Shingles
Another cause for leaks is broken shingles, especially if your house is older or still has its original roof. Storms and strong winds can rip shingles from the roof and create exposed areas that you can’t see without the help of a professional. Your roof may have a few broken shingles or several. Leaks caused by a severe storm may require extensive shingle repairs, especially if hail or strong winds caused a lot of damage.

Improperly Sealed Roof Valleys
A roof valley is an area where two planes of the roof come together. If the valleys are improperly sealed, a leak may result. A roofing professional can detect this problem by carefully looking for wet areas near the seams of your roof. Due to the complexity of this type of leak, sealing roof valleys should be done by a professional. Findlay Roofing can provide a free roof analysis to determine the location of your leak.

Cracked Roof Vents
Another important part of your roof is the vents, which look like small pipes that protrude from your roof. Although these pipes might look strange, their job is to get rid of excess moisture from the inside of your home. A roof vent often has flashing around it and a rubber boot to help seal the top of the vent. Over time, flashing may become worn and can crack, causing a roof leak. Your roof professional will inspect the roof vents and may replace the cracked rubber boot to resolve the problem.

Ice Dam Leaks
Ice dam leaks affect people who reside in the snow belt, where cold temperatures and ice are common. Similar to icicles, ice dams are bands of solid ice that form along the eaves and block the normal flow of water down a roof. When this happens, major problems can result. Dams can rip off gutters, damage shingles and cause water to back up and flow into your home. They are rare in north Georgia, but if you own a vacation home or rental property in a snow belt state, you may want to consult a professional who can show you how to keep ice dams from forming.

Call Findlay Roofing to evaluate your roof leaks today.

Leaks: 4 Things To Do So It Won’t Get Worse

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

There is an often-anxious waiting period after you discover that your roof has a problem with leaks and before you find professional help to remove the leak. However, there are steps you can take to keep the leak from doing too much damage during this interim phase. Here’s how to protect your home while you wait.

1. Get Rid of Standing Water

Not all leaks have standing water. However, some will lead to water pooled on the floor or even on top of the roof itself if you have a blocked flat roof. Standing water like this is always bad news because it provides time for moisture to sink in and cause even more damage. Standing water can also cause stains and other issues. If you find standing water, don’t just leave it – sweeping or brushing the water away (just like you would with a pile of dirt) can be surprisingly effective. Make sure you keep an eye on the area afterward and ensure the standing water doesn’t form again.

2. Find the Point of Entry

Sometimes finding the point of entry is relatively easy. If a leak is right next to your skylight or is clearly trickling from roof damage, you know where the problem is. However, sometimes finding the point of entry is very difficult and is best left to professionals that can follow the leak across ceilings and through walls.

That said, if you can find the point of entry yourself, you’ll hold a couple of advantages. First, you can show roofing contractors where the leak is and save some time. Second, you can clean the area, remove any dirt or debris, and fix any obvious problems to help lessen the severity of the leak.

3. Put Down Protection

If a leak is dripping right in front of you, you should deal with that water flow as quickly as possible. Traditional buckets and pans can work here, but keep in mind that leaks can shift over time. If you have any tarps or plastic sheets, put them down as well. This will protect your floor and any objects that you cannot move away.

4. Deal With the Bulge

If a leak is pooling in your ceiling where you can’t find it, you will often get a “bulge” or an expanding part of the ceiling due to swelling materials and the weight of water. Like lancing a boil, it is sometimes better to pierce this bulge and get rid of the collection of water before it can do more damage. This can be a tricky process. You’ll need containers large enough to deal with gallons of water and a safe way to poke a hole in the bulge without doing even more damage (something like a screwdriver is often a good tool here).

While it’s always best to call a professional (like the professionals at Findlay Roofing), these tips should tide you and your home over until help arrives!

Photo source: Flickr

Roof Leaks: The Worst Case Scenario

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Roof leaks are the sworn enemy of a happy home. Even the consequences of having just a small opening can be disastrous if you do not act quickly to plug the hole. Here is what could happen you do not fix a leaking roof pronto.

Structural Damage

Moisture and air entering the roof will damage your home’s attic instantly. If a particularly nasty storm hits the Buckhead area while your roof has holes, the damage can become severe overnight. The interior ceiling will become soaked and could collapse. As a result, you may find water dripping into your bedrooms and, eventually, your living area and family room.

Exposed underlayment in the roof means the hole will spread quickly. Rafters, ceiling joints, roof framing, drywall and any other part of the structure will be affected as a result of direct contact with water and moisture. Even a small leak will lead to rot, mold and mildew forming in the attic. This will weaken the structure and create unstable conditions.

Collateral Damage from Roof Leaks

While soaking wood is sure to deteriorate, there are many other things for homeowners to worry about with a leaking roof. This first a potential electrical fire. When a roof leaks, wiring in the attic or ceiling will get wet and short-circuit—and will potentially catch fire. Meanwhile, any standing water or slick spots inside the house create safety hazards for family members going about their business.

Other effects are more subtle. Damaged insulation compromises the efficiency of your home, making utility bills rise. High amounts of moisture and space will invite rodents and insects into the home as well. Left alone, these conditions will welcome mold and rot—and health and safety hazards for your family. Anyone with breathing trouble or allergies can get sick breathing air filled with mold.

Leaving roof leaks alone is never a good plan for homeowners— even when the situation seems manageable. If you notice a problem at home, contact Findlay Roofing for immediate attention.

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

Roof Condensation: Prevent Damage Before it Happens

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Roof condensation is a sneaky problem. It can occur even when your roof is perfectly healthy, thanks to a poor mix of bad ventilation and the cool winter rains that come to Georgia. Here are the dangers that hidden condensation can present, and how you can prevent them.

Condensation causes

Condensation is a tricky roof problem, because it tends to look and act like a leak, even if there’s no damage to your roof. It takes a close, professional inspection to tell the difference between condensation problems and leaks.

Roof condensation tends to form at certain times of year, especially the cooler months of winter and early spring. This is when cold air and water on your roof come into close contact with the hot air in your attic and roof spaces inside your house. That rising hot air has moisture in it, moisture that condenses on inner roof surfaces when it comes into contact with lower temperatures.

The result? “Sweating” walls and running water inside your house that looks like a leak and can do similar damage, even if nothing is wrong with your roof.

Moisture and insulation

Improperly installed insulation is one of the leading causes of condensation in the attic, especially when too much insulation traps warm air up near the roof and forces condensation. This works against insulation in multiple ways: When water condenses on insulation materials, it tends to seep inside the often permeable materials and stay present for a long time, encouraging mildew, mold, and other problems to build up.

These problems with insulation often go unnoticed – when was the last time you went up to your attic or crawl space in winter and early spring to make sure condensation wasn’t causing any problems? Condensation is typically noticed when it seeps down into walls and ceilings in the house. If insulation absorbs that condensation and experiences mildew problems as a result, it could be a long time before homeowners even notice the problem.

Wall and wood damage

If roof condensation does make it to walls and wood, it can create another series of problems. The inner structure of a roof is made of wooden rafters and trusses. If these wooden supports get wet, their strength is compromised and that can lead to sagging rooftops and other serious problems. Wet wood also tends to attract mold and pests like termites, inviting even more long-term damage. The stains on your drywall and other wall materials are also probably permanent, requiring more expensive replacements.

Prevention

So, how do you prevent problems like condensation, especially if you only notice it upon close inspection? The key is good roof and attic ventilation. A roofing expert can take a look at the vents (or lack of) on your eaves and see if you have proper airflow that will allow moisture to escape before it forms condensation.

Photo Source: Flickr

Leaking Addition: Beware the First Rains of Spring

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

We’ve talked about how to avoid leaks when building a new addition or major renovation on your house. But there is another time when a leaking addition can be especially dangerous: The first heavy spring rainfalls, when undetected roof damage can turn into entry points for dangerous amounts of water. Here’s how to scout out such leaks before they become a problem in those first treacherous storms.

Look for obvious signs of damage

A walk around your house after winter can show a lot. Are there are stains on your eaves or upper siding sections? This is a sign that ice dams and other problems may have developed during freezing winter conditions and created leaks along the edge of your roof – leaks that will cause even more damage during spring rains unless you let a professional find and repair them.

Check for winter shingle wear before spring showers

Inspecting the state of your roof can also provide valuable clues about any potential leaking addition problems. When looking at your shingles, watch for two warning signs in particular. First, look for missing and gray shingles. This is a sign that your shingles are growing old and that some of been lost in the winter weather. That creates dangerous gaps where water from spring storms can linger and leak through. These spots need to be professionally patched.

Second, look for “cupping” shingles that have started to curl up at the edges. This is another sign of wear and is particularly dangerous because these cupped shingles can hold the water from fresh rain and increase the changes of leaks.

Clear out and clean out

Don’t forget to pay attention to your gutters, too. Often after winter gutters are full of debris, leaves and needles. Full gutters don’t respond well to rainstorms – they can grow flooded and the excess winter may spill out onto the roof and create moisture damage. Clean out your gutters as part of your spring cleaning.

Inspect flashing

You should also try to take a closer look at your flashing, the strips of metal protectors around the edges of your roof and the intersections between roof planes and other objects. If your flashing has rusted or bent over the winter, it will now allow water to seep in and create leaking addition problems. Call in an expert to replace flashing and reseal if it looks like it has been damaged.

When the rain comes

After your first big spring rain, it’s a good idea to check up on your roof. Look for any obvious signs of leaking or pooling water that could indicate problems. The worst types of leaks are the subtle ones that escape detection, but if you catch them after the first rainfall you can prevent them from doing any further damage.

Photo Source: Flickr

Where Did Those Spots On My Atlanta Ceiling Come From?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

ceiling-water-spotsYour friends always compliment you on how clean and beautiful your Atlanta home is. Then, one day, a guest points out a few light brown water stains on your family room’s ceiling.

Your embarrassment is soon overtaken by thoughts of concern. You wonder how you missed seeing them, how long the stains have been there, and what you can do about them.

But the question you should be asking is “Where did these spots come from?” Repairing and repainting your ceiling should be a second thought behind finding the source of the water. If you don’t redirect or stop the water from flowing, you’ll be seeing spots again in no time.

To help solve your ceiling stain mystery, take a quick look at the information below.

It Might Not Be A Roof Leak

Before you blame a leaky roof for your woes, you should eliminate the other common sources of water damage that reside under your Atlanta roof.

In multi-story homes, there are many items that can be linked to ceiling stains and water spots. Most of these are found in upstairs bathrooms and utility rooms. Old, cracked or simply poorly applied caulking around tubs or showers is a common source of leaking water. The plumbing attached to toilets, faucets, sinks and washing machines can also be a source of leaks.

Another item that most people don’t associate with water damage is your air conditioner’s air handler. If your air handler is located in your attic, it has drain plumbing to route condensed water from its evaporator (cooling) coils down and out of your home.

If this drain plumbing was installed improperly, is blocked or cracked, you can get water dripping onto your ceiling below, with ceiling spots soon to follow.

Last, but not least, don’t rule out your kids. Everyone knows kids love to play with water. Sometimes their fun gets outside of the tub or sink, and sometimes, they just flat out forget to turn off the water.

Is Your Atlanta Roof Leaking?

If you’re sure the kids, the machines and the plumbing are innocent, then the next suspect in your lineup should be your Atlanta roof. If your roof is old, or its builder was not conscientious, there are many places on your roof where water may be finding a way into your home.

Curled, cracked, damaged or poorly installed shingles can open the gates for water to get below your roof deck and into your attic. Once water is in the attic, those brown, tan and yellow ceiling stains are sure to follow.

Roof penetrations are also favored entry points for water. Vents and chimneys require roof openings or cut-outs. Although flashing should be installed around these roof penetrations to prevent water from seeping below the shingles, flashing can get damaged or break loose, especially if it was improperly installed. If this happens, water will eventually find its way down into your home.

It’s a good idea to hire a professional roofing contractor to find and repair leaks in your roof. All or part of the cost may even be covered by your roof’s warranty, depending on its specific terms.

Another benefit of using a professional roofer for leak detection is that they know what to look for and where to look. Some roof leaks can be hard to find for an experienced roofer, and even more difficult for an inexperienced homeowner.

Why Is The Roof Leak So Far Away From the Ceiling Stain?

Eureka! Your Atlanta roofer says he has found the problem! But why is the roof leak he found so far away from the ceiling stain your friend discovered?

Once water penetrates a roof deck, it may run down the slope of the deck and the rafters. The trail of water may run for several feet before it forms a drop that is heavy enough to fall onto your ceiling and start the dreaded water stain.

If you’ve got water stains on your ceiling and you suspect your roof is leaking, contact Findlay Roofing for your roof repairs.