Roof Water Damage: How to Know & When to Replace

Posted on: May 6, 2020

Water damage and rot is a scary thing. There’s a lot that can go wrong with a roof if it’s exposed to too much water.

Most often, you won’t have to worry about roof water damage because it’s less likely to be a problem if you properly maintain your roof. But, in some cases, such as that of a bad storm or other in-climate weather, damage to your roof can cause water damage.

Today we’re going to look at a few different ways to tell if your roof has water damage, how you can tell, and how to know when it’s time to get it fixed.

Let’s dive in!

Indoor Signs of Water Damage

There are about two different ways that you can find water damage. The first way is indoors, and the second is outdoors. If you know what you’re looking for, neither one of these is too difficult to spot.

Leaks and Water Spots

When you’re inside your home enjoying an evening with the family, there is nothing more frustrating than noticing that you have a leak letting water into your home. All too often, you won’t see these leaks until they’ve turned into water spots or damaged the sheetrock that makes up your ceiling.

Leaks and water spots aren’t fun to deal with at all, but if you can catch them quickly enough and fix the underlying problem, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars in repairs to rot or mold.

Sagging Ceiling or Bulges in Exterior Walls

Sometimes water doesn’t make itself known in the form of drips, puddles, or water spots on the ceiling. It can often be seen throughout your home or building in the form of a sagging ceiling. You’ll be able to notice that your ceiling is no longer flat. At some point, this may become more evident due to water spots, but keep an eye on your ceiling if you suspect water damage.

Bulges in exterior walls—especially those near the ceiling—can often be a telltale sign of water damage. Lumps are usually caused when water gets in near the wood that makes up the wall. When the wood absorbs the water, it will expand, leaving your wall looking different than it did before.

Outdoor Signs of Water Damage

When you’re outdoors, the easiest way to get a good idea of the condition of your home is to get up on the roof. It’s okay if you’re not comfortable with that, not many people are. Feel free to contact us if you’d like a free roof inspection.

Another way to check the condition of the roof is to take a glance up at your roof every once and awhile. You’ll be able to tell a lot more than you’d think you could from the ground. Here are some of those things to look for:

Missing or Damaged Shingles

It can be pretty easy to spot missing shingles even from the ground. You might notice a few shingles in your yard after a big storm that’s brought in high wind. It’s essential to get those fixed and replaced as soon as possible. Missing shingles will cause significant problems for your roof in the future.

Damaged shingles can come in many different forms, from shingles that are old and brittle to curled up edges. There are lots of ways in which shingles can be damaged. It’s often easier to see damage from on top of a roof, but it’s sometimes possible to see from the ground.

Missing Granules (Look for them in the Gutters)

Granules are the small bits of rock and synthetic material that make up the outside of asphalt shingles. As shingles age, they begin to lose these granules. A direct result of missing granules is water damage and leaking as they are a big part of the waterproofing on your roof.

An excellent place to look and see if there are missing granules is in or around your gutters. Oftentimes granules will collect in these areas after they come loose. Missing granules aren’t a sure sign that your roof is leaking, but it is a sign that your roof is ready to be replaced.

Spongy or Soft Decking

After water gets under your shingles, it can begin to soak into the decking and eventually rot it out. This is something you won’t be able to see from the ground. You’ll have to step up on the roof in order to notice that the roof is soft.

This repair can be expensive, but if you catch early enough, you won’t have to replace all of your decking.

Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor

If you think your roof is going to need to be repairs or replaced due to water damage, you’ll need to find a roofing contractor to help you replace or repair it. We recently compiled some questions to ask roofing contractors before you hire them. Check it out to make sure you’re asking all of the right questions.

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