Many Midwest homeowners give no thought to their roof until it begins leaking. Avoid costly damage to your home by knowing the signs and causes of leaks so you can replace or repair your roof before it is too late.
Causes of Leaky Roofs
The roof is the most exposed part of your home and countless situations could cause damage but the majority of leaky roofs are caused by these common occurrences:
Missing shingles: If you have a shingle roof, weather and age can wear on it over time. When shingles become damaged or fall off, you will lose your roof’s first defense against moisture, making it vulnerable to leaks.
Broken roof tiles: Though concrete and clay roof tiles are very strong, they may crack when stepped on. Some homeowners or contractors may accidentally crack tiles during inspections or repairs. Tiles can also be broken by falling debris or branches that are too close to the home. Any damaged tiles leave a gap in the protection your home receives from rain and snow.
Clogged gutters cause water to back up onto the roof. Regular gutter cleaning and visual inspections are your best defense against this.
Ice dams are a serious problem in Kansas City in the winter. Warm air from your home melts the snow from on top of the roof, allowing it to flow into the gutter where it freezes and creates a backup of snow and ice on the roof itself.
Skylights are created by making a hole in the roof. When this gap is not properly sealed or protected, it allows water to flow into the home. The life of a skylight is generally much shorter than a roof’s expected lifespan, so when they are not replaced or serviced, they can also become clogged by leaves and other debris.
Chimneys, like skylights, must be waterproofed correctly to keep moisture out of the home.
Valleys that are rusted or blocked put your roof at risk. Areas where the slopes of the roof meet must be sealed. Sometimes the seals are improperly applied from the beginning, or they may crack over time or when a homeowner or contractor steps on the roof. Many older roofs also used galvanized metal valleys which can rust and wear.
Aging roofs often become less able to protect your home over time. It is important to know when your roof was last replaced as well as the life expectancy of the materials used. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you might want to consider re-roofing. Concrete and clay roof tiles last 50 to 100 years.
What to do Next
It is important to act quickly if your roof is leaking. Remove any items in the area where you found the leak and contain the water as much as you can. Call in a roofing professional to assess the damage and do a roofing inspection to find the cause. Ask your contractor whether repairing the damage or re-roofing with concrete or clay roof tiles may be a good option.
Signs Your Roof is Leaking
Water dripping through your ceiling is usually not the first sign that your roof is leaking. The best prevention for a leaky roof is regular inspections done by either the homeowner or a professional roofer. Inspections can spot potential problems such as missing shingles, broken tiles, or debris on the roof or in gutters. It is also helpful to inspect the area around the roof for overhanging branches or other objects that may fall onto your roof during storms.
How to Fix a Leaky Roof
The method used to repair or replace a leaky roof depends on the cause(s).
Shingles or tiles may be replaced individually.
Top flashing may be installed or reinstalled to direct water on top of tiles for proper flow off the roof and away from the house. Top flashing is an excellent extra layer of protection for junctions on the roof such as valleys and areas around chimneys and skylights.
Some homeowners attempt to do these repairs themselves, but unless you are very skilled or a contractor, it is worth the investment to hire a professional roofer or roofing company to ensure that work is done correctly and is insured.
If the roof has passed or is nearing its life expectancy, roof replacement or reroofing may be your best option.
Who You Can Call in Kansas City
Contact your local Kansas City roofing repair company if you see any of these signs. And for new reroofing projects, trust the durability and craftsmanship of Stoneworth Roof Tile to provide the lasting roof you are looking for.