Your Roof Is Leaking. Is It Time For A Replacement?

Roof leaks are easily among any homeowner's top concerns. A leaking roof is inconvenient and potentially damaging. Unaddressed leaks can ruin ceilings and floors and even lead to rotting structural components and mold growth. Because the consequences of leaks can be so severe, it's crucial to learn how to spot them and how you can address them.

Unfortunately, many homeowners may fear that a roof leak means their roof is approaching the end of its lifespan. In reality, roof leaks can occur even when a roof is in otherwise good condition. You'll often be able to locate the source of a leak and repair it, but it's necessary to know what to look for and which options are available to you.

Why Do Roofs Leak?

As shocking as it may seem, your roof actually isn't a fully waterproof barrier. A typical shingle roof consists of a wood decking, a felt underlayment, and a top layer of overlapping asphalt shingles. You'll also usually have metal flashing around roof features such as skylights, chimneys, vents, and so on. The need for this flashing is the first sign that residential roofing isn't the impervious barrier that it may seem to be.

Instead of sealing your home against water, the design of your roof directs it away from the interior. Overlapping shingles lead water down your roof, preventing it from reaching the felt and decking below. Likewise, the flashing helps to guide water away from vulnerable areas where it can pool and ultimately find its way inside.

Leaks typically occur in areas where these overlapping layers of protection fail. These failures may result from missing shingles, damaged flashing, or failing boots around roof vents. Residential roofing design means that minor problems can lead to significant leaks. Anything that allows water to pool or back up in an expected direction can lead to leaks.

What Should You Do?

If you notice a leak in your home, don't wait to address it. Water takes time to work its way down from your attic to the inhabited areas in your home, and it takes even more time to saturate through drywall ceilings and begin dripping. There's a good chance your roof has been leaking for a while by the time you notice it.

The good news is that you'll rarely need a complete roof replacement to solve a single leak. You typically only need to replace roofing that's old or failing in multiple locations. An experienced roofing contractor can evaluate your roof to find the underlying cause of the problem, after which they can offer you a solution to repair your leak without installing a new roof.

To learn more, contact a local roof repair contractor.