Roof leaks are an inconvenience that all homeowners have to face at one time or another. These leaks can take a long time to become obvious, especially if they start out as a small drip. And those small drips can cause a multitude of problems from mold buildup, attic and ceiling damage, higher utility bills, fire hazards and many more headaches.
In Arizona, we have found most roofing systems last between 15 -20 years. This time frame can be as low as 10 years and as high as 30 years, but that depends on the quality of materials used, the exposure to elements, and other factors. Many times a homeowner won’t even know they have a roof leak in Arizona until it becomes obvious by ceiling staining or wall drips (below). Let’s take a look at what we can do as homeowners to recognize a leak more quickly.
Here are some signs that you may be facing a roof leak in Arizona.
1) Old or Damaged Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing product and are generally made from a material soaked in asphalt and covered with tiny, rough granules attached with asphalt to the backing. Over time shingles will begin to wear down and may become warped, cracked or lose granules. Once this process begins, the shingles may also become loose and you might lose some due to sun exposure, wind, rain or hail, which will leave the underlayment open to damage and eventually leaks. You then have to ask the question, “Should I just replace my own shingle roof?”
2) Damaged or Missing Flashing
Flashing is the metal piece that connects the roof areas that meet a vertical surface such as wall and chimney seams. Flashing may be used in conjunction with caulking to create a water-resistant barrier on the roof. Falling debris or wind can dislodge the flashing, leaving the roof exposed.
3) Clogged Gutters or Drains
Even though Arizona gets minimal rainfall overall, we can get a large amount of rain in a short amount of time during some of our rainstorms. Combine that rain volume with roof debris like leaves and branches, it can result in a blockage that will cause standing water that may eventually lead to roof leaks or, in the worst cases, causing the roof to collapse.
4) Raised Roofing Nails
Over time roofing nails used to secure shingles in place can become loose and raised. If not found and repaired, these nails may come out entirely, causing holes that can lead to water seepage and leaks. Many times this is not noticeable when looking at the roof, so having an experienced roofing contractor inspect the roof is imperative. If not caught quickly and repaired, these small holes can lead to major leaks and possibly an entire roof replacement.
5) Age of Your Roof
With the passage of time, even the best roof will deteriorate. Weather conditions like the strong winds and heavy rains we experience during monsoon season, as well as the harsh sunlight we experience nearly all year around will cause the roofing materials to weaken and roof leaks in Arizona to start.
6) Skylights, Chimneys and Roof Vents
Trim around skylights, chimneys and roof vents will dry out and crack over time due to continued exposure to the elements. Water can seep into the smallest of holes causing significant damage and huge leak issues on your roof.
7) Water Spots on the Ceilings and Walls
Many times the first sign there is a problem with your roof leaking will be obvious water spots on the ceilings or walls. These spots are generally discolored and while they may start out small, they will grow as the leak continues without being repaired. Walls that have water damage may show discolored drip streaks or become warped or swollen. These roof leaks in Arizona may also cause water damage to your attic and any valuables you have stored there.
Request Your Free Estimate Today
If you feel comfortable doing it, and can do it safely, inspecting your roof regularly and performing basic maintenance – such as sweeping or spraying off debris – can help you prevent or locate leaks before they cause significant damage. There is a lot that you can do to better maintain your roof, especially if it’s a tile roof.
You will not always be able to see what is causing a leak even when closely inspecting the roof, or you may not feel comfortable getting on your roof to even attempt to look for evidence of leaks. In both cases, this is totally understandable and you will have to call a professional roofing company to check the source of the leak for you. It is always a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional regularly, even more so when you have a leak.
At Capstone Roofing we are happy to offer free estimates for your peace of mind. We will tell you what your options are, give you a fair price and perform work in a timely, safe, and professional manner.
Don’t want to wait? Call us today!
published on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019