If you see mold or mildew stains on the kitchen or living room ceiling, you might just have a water leak. You can often tell where the leak originated based on the location of the mold and mildew. While you might not be able to “DIY” a major roof repair, prompt action can help you verify your roof is leaking and address the problem before the damage becomes more widespread.

Schedule an Emergency Inspection

You might assume that the leak is small because you’ve only spotted a small area of mold or other damage. However, the damage needs to be professionally assessed to determine not just the size of the leak but what is causing it. Water enters or moves through a house by taking the path of least resistance. It can cause extensive damage far from the site of the original leak. In other words, the water could travel a long distance before finding an entry point. It can cause serious damage all along its route, but that damage might only be noticeable once it enters your home.

A Small Leak Might Result in Localized Repair Work

As long as the damage is localized to a specific part of the roof, the leak can likely be fixed without having to replace the entire structure. Of course, the exact steps that a roofer will take will depend on the origins of the leak.

Leaks most commonly occur around dormers, chimneys, or similar structures. In such a scenario, damaged or missing shingles will be replaced with new ones that are less vulnerable to water damage. Caulk or roof cement will be applied around the chimney or dormer to seal and protect it.

If missing shingles are to blame for water accessing the underlayment or other materials, they will need to be replaced. The damaged underlayment might also need to be replaced using stronger, more moisture-resistant material.

Don’t Ignore Any Signs of a Leak

A leak might appear to the untrained eye to be minor if you only notice water during heavy downpours. Many homeowners are tempted to fix these seemingly minor issues on their own, especially if no serious damage has occurred yet. Unfortunately, the truth is that even minor water damage can ravage your house. You might develop mold or mildew growth in hard-to-spot areas. Your home’s electrical system could also be vulnerable, increasing the risk of shorts and even electrical fires. The damage can also reach insulation, which will cost you more in energy costs.

Finally, water can cause serious structural damage to your home. If the water makes its way to your home’s foundation, you could be facing extraordinary costs to repair it. Cracked foundations can cost many thousands to address, and your home could be uninhabitable during the time the issue is being rectified. Similarly, a sagging or visibly degraded roof is a structural emergency. The roof is your home’s first protection against the elements, but once it’s been compromised, your home can no longer protect you or its contents properly.

Failing to promptly repair roof leaks and the resulting water damage is more than a nuisance: It can also leave your home vulnerable to pests, including termites, mosquitoes, and other insects. Animals, including squirrels, mice, and rats, can penetrate your home’s defenses in search of food, shelter, and nesting spots. You could be facing bills not only for roof repair but also pest control!

When a Small Leak Could Result in a Full Roof Repair

Ignoring a small leak could eventually result in widespread damage that requires far more extensive repairs than would have been required by that one little leak. In some cases, you might even need to replace the entire structure, including the roof deck, to protect your home and keep water out. This is especially true if your roof is already old or has experienced other damage.

Asphalt shingles will typically last about 20 years when they are installed correctly and maintained properly. If your roof was installed more than two decades ago, it might be due for a new one. At a minimum, you should consider investing in repairs to give you more time to save for a new roof.

In some cases, inspections can uncover serious structural issues, which means that simple repairs are likely not possible anymore. Your contractor will explain their findings and your options so that you can make a decision that best fits your needs and budget.

If you need roof repair services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Big Rock KangaROOF today. We will be happy to inspect, repair, or replace your roof in a timely, friendly, and affordable manner. Our team can work on metal or shingle roofs, and we can also help with repairs related to storm damage. Call us to schedule your consultation!

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