Leak What Leak?

Many home and business owners experience leaks in their home. Sometimes it is related to the roof and can be fixed or repaired; other times it may not be a problem with your roof. See the comments below written by an expert roofer who makes it his job to know the answers to these questions.

 It might not be the roof!

  1. Peeling paint does not always equal a leaking roof; ‘sometimes a cigar is just a cigar’ sometimes peeling paint is just peeling paint. Signs of water damage are brown or coffee colored stains, bubbling dry wall, clear drip lines or peeling paint. With a  suspect stain, drawing a light pencil line around the perimeter will enable you to see if the stain is slowly getting larger if the stain passes the pencil line you know that moisture is still feeding the spot.  Another trick with a suspect area is to drill a small hole (no bigger than a pencil) in the worst section. If moisture is collecting behind the plaster it can escape through the hole and won’t spread damage all over the ceiling.  A live drip is a sure sign there is water coming from somewhere, but it may not be the roof.
  2. Is the moisture coming from the inside or the outside?  Inside ‘leaking’ can be from condensation, frost, cracked or rusted plumbing pipes, leaking condensate pans in attic AC units condensation in bath vent exhaust pipes, and steam or heating pipes that have pin holes.
  3. Siding walls, open windows in the attic, rotten attic window sills, dried out window caulking, deteriorated chimneys, and old worn out skylights, can all produce leaks that get blamed on the roof.

It may be the roof!

  1. The roofer may have made a mistake. Leaking in a newer roof could be caused by an error in the installation, but it is most often the case that if the leak remains the same after the roof is installed it is very likely that the roof wasn’t the main culprit in the first place. Installing a new roof isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t child’s play either. Any roofer worth the name can install a functional roof.
  2. The roof may just be old and dead. When a roof reaches the end of its life cracks and granule loss let rain and snow melt through. It often takes a long soaking rain before the dripping begins.
  3. If a quick shower produces a leak, it very likely that some damage has occurred to the roof, hail, blowing branches, bullet holes, cracks in plastic power fan hoods, and animal damage can easily allow large volumes of water into the house from even a short rain.

Created by John Norman


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