A leaking roof is never a good sign. It could be a sign of plumbing trouble, air-conditioner problems, or structural failure, among others. Whatever the case, ignoring it can potentially lead to bigger problems later on. Here are four tips for safely investigating a roof leak.
Walk Around the Outside of Your House
The safest way to inspect your roof is without getting on the roof at all. Start from the ground and walk around your house to look for signs of damage to your roof. Signs to look out for include cracks, dents, or debris on your roof, walls, shingles, or gutters.
Use a Ladder
If you’re physically able to use a ladder, climb to its highest point to get a better look at your roof. Along with the signs of damage, you should also look out for animal nests, rotting, mold, or any clogs in your gutters. Try to assess most of the roof as you can from the top of the ladder without getting onto the roof itself, especially if you see damage. Unless you’re a professional, you won’t be able to tell if the structure can hold your weight just by looking at it. If you see damage that requires a closer look, call a professional roofing and repairs expert.
Examine Your Shingles
Shingles are arranged in a regular, overlapping pattern, so any abnormalities will be very obvious. You should especially keep an eye out for curled shingles, which is a sign of hot air escaping through your roof. Curled shingles will also expose a portion of your roof to water damage, which exacerbates the problem and could raise your repair bill.
Check the Attic
After checking the exterior condition of your roof, assess the interior state by heading into your attic with a flashlight. Look for beams of light, which means there is a hole somewhere in your roof. Also check for rotting wood, water spots, mold, or any discoloration, paying special attention to areas of penetration, such as around pipes, vents, ducts, and chimneys.
If you notice any problems at all, it’s time to call a roofing professional. Very rarely are roof issues quick fixes. In many cases, one problem in your roof can be a symptom of a larger issue that needs immediate correction. Not only can a professional diagnose the issue, they can perform repairs safely so you don’t have to endanger yourself.