Roof leaks are not a common problem for most homeowners. Usually, roof leaks are the result of improper installation or faulty materials. When roof leaks start occurring, it is important to take quick action to prevent damage and reduce risks of leaks spreading. Here are some common signs that your roof may need repairs and you should act before the situation gets worse.

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Most roof leaks come from roof vents, or more accurately, the lack of vents. Venting systems are meant to allow moisture and cool air in and out of a house. When one or both are compromised, the home becomes very hot and uncomfortable because of the absence of ventilation. You may also notice odors coming from vents that are leaking. Because roofs have cavities that act like small air compressors, they can easily cause leaky roof situations.

Frozen Gutters Another sign of roof leaks comes from ice dams. Ice dams form when snow melts quickly, creating pockets of warm air between the ice and the roof. This warm air is not free-flowing, because it is trapped against the roof. In the absence of ventilation, this accumulates and forms into a white-ish slush that collects on top of your roof and freezes over the coming winter months.

Poor Home Maintenance Regular roofing maintenance is critical for preventing roof leak damage. Since rain and snow will eventually enter the roof, routine maintenance allows you to prevent or address potential damage before it becomes irreversible. If your gutters look great but there is no sign of damage, then they probably aren’t leaking at all. If your gutters are blocked with leaves and branches, there could be a leak in your downspouts or shingles. Make sure to check the underside of your roof at least twice a year and catch problems early before they become bigger problems.

Roof Leaks If you have trouble seeing a hole in your roof, then it likely is a roof leak. It is possible to fix roof leaks without hiring a contractor, but it is more complicated than other repairs. You need to first determine whether the leak is inside your home or outside. Do a complete visual inspection of your roof to see if there are obvious signs of a leak such as holes or missing shingles. Then, identify the location on your roof where the problem is. It is easiest to start at the bottom of the roof and work your way up.

Garden Hose A garden hose can also be used to identify where a roof leak is hiding. Using a garden hose, attach it to a faucet in your attic and then carefully hose down the area. Watch for water stains, which are indicators that a roof leak is present. Use a magnifying glass if you need to be sure.

Read more about when to repair roofs.

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