Northern Virginia has seen record-breaking rain this spring which has homeowners all over the region wondering, “Is my roof going to leak?” If you roof is 10-15 years or older, it’s a good idea to be aware of the warning signs that your roof is either leaking, or has the potential to develop a leak soon. Below are 5 warning signs of a leaky roof to be on the lookout for.
#1 Sign of a Leaky Roof – Drywall Stains
If you have noticed water spots on your ceiling or walls, you may either have a roof leak, a leaky pipe or condensation on your duct work. The first place to check is your attic. Because roof leaks can travel along rafters before falling onto your ceiling, it is important to check the entire attic, and not just the area closest to the water spots. Check around anything that exits your home from the roof such as vent pipes. During particularly heavy rain with high winds, the potential is there for rain to be blown in through roof vents as well, in which case you may not have a leak but an isolated incident. If you do notice water or water stains on rafters in your attic, try to trace the leak to the source. If you are unable to access your attic on your own, call a professional roofing contractor for help.
#2 Sign of a Leaky Roof – Missing Shingles
If your roof is missing shingles, the layer of protection between your home and the elements has been compromised. Although your roof should contain an underlayment between the plywood and the shingles, underlayment is not entirely waterproof. When missing shingles expose underlayment or plywood, you are at high risk for developing a roof leak. If you notice missing shingles on your roof, or find shingles in your yard, it is best to contact a professional roofer to access your roof, assess the damage and ultimately replace the missing shingles or replace the roof if it is needed.
#3 Sign of a Leaky Roof – Buckling Shingles
When you look at your roof, if you see that it appears lumpy or raised in any area, you may have shingles that are buckling. Buckled shingles can mean that the roof and/or underlayment was improperly installed, that water has gotten underneath of the shingles and warped the plywood, or that the roof deck has shifted. In any case, shingles that are buckled are at risk of allowing water behind them, which will ultimately result in leak. If left unattended, this trapped water can rot the plywood beneath and cause extensive damage to the roof.
#4 Sign of a Leaky Roof – Curled Shingles
Shingles that appear curled at the edges are a sign of water retention. Shingles that retain moisture for an extended period of time, such as those in consistently wet or humid climates or those that are being affected by heat coming from the attic, begin to break down and curl. Any time a shingle is compromised, the risk of leaks is high. If you notice curled shingles throughout your roof, it is likely time to replace the entire roof.
#5 Sign of a Leaky Roof – Granule Loss
After it rains, if you notice a large amount of roofing granules in your gutters or downspout pans and yard, it is a sign that your shingles are wearing down. Asphalt roof granules are the first line of defense from the elements. When those granules loosen and fall off of the shingle, that line of protection is gone, and the potential for water to go beneath the shingles and cause leaks is increased.
So after all of the spring rain has passed, be sure to take a look around to see if your roof shows any of the warning signs of leaks. If you notice anything of concern, contact the Virginia roofing contractors at S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows of VA. Call us toll free at 1-866-836-ROOF. We’ve been assisting homeowners with the care of their homes since 1980.