Your home's roof needs to stand up to the elements day in and day out, including extreme exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, impacts from wind-driven debris and hail, and the crushing weight of snow during the winter. Unsurprisingly, most residential roofs are fairly durable. Since your roof can stand up to so much, it may be a surprise when you notice a leak after something as minor as rain.
Unfortunately, rain alone is unlikely to damage your roof. Typically, leaks following a rainstorm indicate existing damage to your roofing system. Understanding the extent of this damage and scheduling a proper inspection is crucial to determining if you need to replace your roof to resolve the issue permanently.
Why Is Your Roof Leaking Now?
Water must take a fairly deep path in most homes before you notice a leak in your living space. A typical leak must travel through your roof decking and attic insulation before you see any stains or drips on your ceiling. In other words, a leaky ceiling usually indicates an ongoing problem you may not have noticed if you don't frequently use your attic.
These hidden leaks often become apparent after severe rain storms because the downpour finally produces enough water to saturate the layers between your roof and your ceiling. Sometimes, heavy, wind-driven rain can also find its way underneath damaged shingles. Less intense storms may not produce enough water to reach your living spaces.
What Should You Do Next?
Any roof leak that causes water to enter your home is a severe problem that requires immediate attention. A leaky roof will saturate insulation and drywall, providing locations where mold and mildew can grow. These materials can also be difficult or impossible to dry, forcing you to tear out and replace areas affected by moisture.
Once you notice your roof leaking into your home, contact an experienced roofer as soon as possible. Since water can travel a surprising distance from its source, locating the leak won't always be easy. A professional will know how to find the leak's location and, more importantly, evaluate the overall condition of your roof.
When Does a Leak Require a Roof Replacement?
Unfortunately, severe leaks into your home often warn that your roof is beginning to fail. Once a leak has gone on long enough to drip into your living spaces, there may already be substantial damage to your roof decking. Saturated decking typically must be replaced, and there's no easy way to check its condition without removing your shingles.
While not every leak will require a whole new roof, a severe leak following a heavy storm is a good indication that your roof may be reaching the end of its lifespan. If your roof is already at least 15 years old, replacement may be the best approach to both resolve your current leak and ensure you don't face more leaks in the future.
For more information on what signs indicate a roof replacement, contact a professional near you.Share
17 April 2023
When it came time to install a new roof on my home, I had no idea where to start. In fact, I was exploring roofing options that were a really poor fit in my climate. It wasn't until I reached out to a local roofer that I got some lessons on how to choose the right roofing material for my home and the weather exposure it is subjected to. I built this site to share my journey, including the mistakes I made and the things that I learned along the way. If you are considering replacing your home's roof, I hope that the information here can help to guide you through the process.