Leaking Roof? Here’s What to Know:
If you’re struggling with brown stains on your ceiling, a leaking plumbing system, or water coming down the sides of your walls, know that you are not alone.
We recently asked David Gross, project manager, to share with us common reasons for a leaking roof. This is information that has been gathered from thousands of roof inspections. Hopefully, this helps:
1. Clogged or Overflowing Gutters
Sometimes when approaching a house for a roof inspection, commonly you will notice that the gutters have started to overflow. Imagine that this is your gutter. Over time, the roof sheds gravel material right into the gutter. Without general maintenance and inspections, the gutters get clogged, the water rises and it is forced back into the house, which can cause leaks on the sides of the walls.
2. Pipe Boots
Now, there’s a good chance that you have one or maybe even up to seven of these on your home. 90% of the homes in the Memphis region have this on their roofs. The pipe boots ensure a leak, free plumbing system. The problem is that these are made of rubber and your roof is typically made of shingles. The rubber material doesn’t last as long as your shingles, so with a roof that’s over ten years of age, the rubber starts to get brittle. It’s common for general maintenance practices to have these replaced after ten years because it gets so brittle, cracks, dries out, and don’t last as long as the rest of the roof.
3. Missing Shingle
What you see without a shingle on your roof is a big black square, a hole, or maybe you could even see wood. A good practice is every time you check the mail, just take a look up, see if you have any missing pieces or if you notice that your neighbor has some, let them know. When you have pieces, that are supposed to shed water, missing, that sometimes forces water back into the roof, which would cause the brown stains on your ceiling.
4. Rusted Nails
On average, there are about 10,000 to 12,000 nails in every roof. Sometimes they’re placed perfectly. Over time as roofs age, occasionally these nails are exposed to water. If these nails are exposed to water long-term, over time, they rust. As they rust, they force water down into the ceiling. What you will see if you have a roof leak that’s caused by a nail, is a small leak eventually just gets worse and worse until most people do something about it. This is very, very common.
5. Old Age
The average age of a roof here in the Memphis area is going to be around 20 years. We have really hot summers and really cold winters. Most of these roofs are built for 30 years, but we just don’t get lucky enough to get as much life out of them once they start to age. Just like paper, your shingles become brittle and they tear easily. Knowing this, any imperfection at all in the roof is going to be compromised.
Now, if your roof is getting older, you’re noticing water coming in, or you notice a couple of stains on the ceiling, it may be time for you to consider an inspection.