Roof leaks can come in many different sizes. If you have a large hole in your roof that lets water pour in, you don’t need much effort to identify it, but most leaks are far less obvious. Nevertheless, it’s important to track them down, since the longer they’re left unrepaired, the more damage they’re doing to your home.
Causes of Roof Leaks
Leaks can be caused storm damage to your roof, but often there isn’t such an obvious cause. Roofing materials don’t last for ever, and they can simply decay. Alternatively, work on your roof such as adding dormers can cause damage if it’s sloppily done, or removing fixtures such as TV aerials can leave small holes.
In general, the most vulnerable areas of your roof are the ridge, valleys, flashing and the tiles themselves. Problems can also be caused by the underlay rotting, if water manages to get underneath the tiles.
Signs of Roof Leaks
There are a number of signs to look out for that your roof may be leaking, though many of them could also have other causes. The main ones are:
- Spots or marks on your ceiling, especially in the form of concentric rings.
- Black stains around the chimney, which could indicate mildew or mould.
- Paint peeling or wood rotting around skylights.
- Roofing materials fallen into the garden or in the downpipe.
- Visible damage to roof tiles or flashing.
Finding the Leak
If you suspect you have a leak, you still need to track it down. That’s not always easy, unless the damage to the roof is clearly visible, since the marks on your ceiling won’t necessarily be straight underneath the leak.
The best strategy is to examine your loft area. Stains there are likely to be closer to the leak, but you can find it most easily by looking for holes. To do this, go into the loft during full daylight and switch all lighting off. If you have skylights or dormers, try to cover these. If you can get the loft sufficiently dark, holes will be visible as points of light.
What to Do If You Have a Leak
The worst thing you can do with a roof leak is to ignore it. The roofing materials around the hole will degrade, and meanwhile the damp will be causing serious damage to the timber, the plaster and the whole structure of the building, what could have been a simple patch may turn into major repairs.
If you suspect you have a leak, you’re welcome to get in touch with us for an expert examination.