We’ve all been there: Looked up at the ceiling and noticed damp spots or streaks. Or, even worse, looked up to find water dripping down from these areas. The disheartening telltale signs that the roof is leaking.
For most homeowners, roof leaks are completely unavoidable. They’re also frustrating and annoying inconveniences – especially for homeowners going through their first roof leak, or a roof leak that causes lots of water damage within the home. We can’t even begin to pinpoint how many frantic calls we get in any given month: ”My roof is leaking…help!”
After a roof leak, the most important thing you can do is call a restoration company, get the water damage checked out and taken care of and fix your roof. But for many homeowners, this isn’t enough. They also need to understand why their roof leaked in the first place.
While roof leaks are common narratives and will happen to almost every home at one point or another, they can be caused by a variety of different things. We like to make sure homeowners who experience a roof leak understand the possible root causes of such a leak. Ultimately, having a good grasp on what the problem will identify your roof’s risks and help you take steps to prevent further leaks.
If your roof is leaking, one of these three culprits may be the reason. These are the most common causes of roof leaks we see among our customers.
Sometimes, the roof is just plain old. We especially see this in old-style period homes in Skokie and Evanston. Roofs simply don’t last forever, and it can be hard for homeowners to keep this in perspective when they buy an old home, often forgetting to inquire about the roof in the process!
If the building materials that comprise your roof age past their functional life expectancy, they’ll start to break down. You can usually see this in a quick inspection of the shingles and foundation of the roof. It’s fairly easy to tell when they have reached their breaking point.
Since any functional issue that compromises the integrity of your roof leaves you at risk for leaking and collapsing, you’ll want to make sure you get the building materials replaced and updated on schedule before disaster strikes, if possible.
Poor room ventilation
Remember, your ceiling and your roof are connected and one can either protect or damage the other. In rooms where high moisture is generated due to life activities, condensation can build up on the ceiling and cause serious damage to the roof over time. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, etc. Basically any room where water is boiled, steam is created, water sits in the open or moisture from the outdoors has free entry.
To fix this issue, make sure these high-risk rooms are properly ventilated at all times.
Punctured roof or obstructed water flow
Some bad news for homeowners: Your roof is, unfortunately, not impervious to damages caused by falling objects and inclement weather. This is one of the most common reasons for roof damage we see, and it’s one that often goes unrecognized until it’s too late.
Hail, falling trees, branches, satellite dishes, animals — you name it – can cause major damage to a roof. That’s why most experts recommend that you schedule a roof inspection as soon as possible after heavy storms if you notice even the smallest sign of a leak. This makes sense – if your roof was punctured by a falling item, it leaves it open for water to seep into your home and cause costly damage.
Even if your roof was not punctured by a falling object, it can still be affected by debris that sits on it and causes water flow obstructions. If debris blocks water from flowing down your roof in its natural direction, it will likely cause water to pool on your roof. Eventually, that water will wear through the roof, seep into the home and cause leaks and extensive water damage.
Roof leaks are never fun to deal with, but it’s important to understand that they do happen – it’s a normal part of life for many homeowners. In the event that you do have a leak, stay calm: You are not alone. First, try to understand the root cause of the roof leak and make sure you can describe it in detail. You’ll want to make sure you schedule a roof inspection and repair. And of course, the experts at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons are standing by to provide you with quick and speedy water damage clean up if water has leaked into your home.
ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning,Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.