Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms…we see and hear these words quite frequently during the summer months from our local weather here in the South.  While the rain is certainly welcomed to provide relief on hot days and to our dry yards and crops, sometimes the rain causes havoc to our homes and roofs causing water damage to the interior of our homes.

We’ve received several calls over the last few weeks where homeowners have found water damage resulting from a roof leak.  This type of damage can range in severity and inconvenience to the homeowners.  While the cause of some leaks is obvious (missing shingles, storm damage or fallen debris), it is not always easy to find the exact location of the problem.  Here are a few ways to find the source of the leak and ways to repair the leaks.

Finding the source of the leak—follow the water stains, discoloration or drips.  The first place to look is right above the damage to see if the leak is there.  Keep in mind though it is common for water to travel on horizontal ceilings before being absorbed and leak through ceiling panels.  Check around chimneys as water can seep through the flashing where the chimney connects to the roof.

Stop the water damage from spreading—once the location of the leak has been found, you need to stop the water from causing more damage as quickly as possible.  Water leaks that are left unattended can cause water damage to personal belongings, floor coverings and walls and could result in mold growth.

Repairing the roof—safety first.  While some ways of fixing roofs may appear to be easy, you are still dealing with slopes, ladders, pitch and height of roofs, so be ready to consult a professional if the task looks extensive or too dangerous.  Here are some common ways to repair some sources of roof leaks:

  • air vents—caulk to reseal
  • uprooted nails—hammer back down or replace nails with new ones
  • corroded metals—patch with sealants
  • loose or leaky shingles—secure with roofing tar
  • damaged flashing—use adhesives to close