Sometimes you can’t ignore the steady drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof, but most of the time you won’t even be aware of the problem until your home has already experienced costly water damage. By then, your bank account will be leaking, too. And for Rochester residents, your roof will have to work overtime to hold tight under melting snow and summer storms. So what are the signs of water damage in Rochester homes?
Tell-tale Signs of Water Damage: What to Look for:
- Water Stains: The most obvious sign of a leaky roof: ugly water stains slowly creeping across your ceilings and walls. Peeling paint can also indicate a serious problem. If you spot any unsightly water stains inside your home, get a professional to inspect your house before the stain spreads even further.
- Mold or Mildew: Water stains or standing water hiding inside your home can lead to moisture damage from mold and mildew. If you detect even a whiff of mold after a storm, then you could have water collecting inside your walls. Act quickly before the musty smell becomes a permanent resident of your home.
- Ice Dams: Every Roofing Contractor in Rochester, NY spends half the year battling those tricky ice dams that form around the edges of your roof. During the winter months, check your eaves periodically to ensure ice dams aren’t causing water to pool up and leak into your walls and ceilings.
- Buckling and Crumbling: Over time, an untreated water leak causes drywall and wood to absorb moisture, which causes it to crack, swell, buckle, or warp. The more extensive the buckling, the more extensive the water damage to your home. Also watch out for crumbling fixtures like baseboards, molding, and the area around windows. Crumbling wood could indicate water damage.
Remember: If you’re buying a home, stay on the alert for patches of fresh paint. Unfortunately, some homeowners will try and cover up water damage, mold, and stains with a sloppy paint job, leaving the buyer to clean up their mess.
Pro Tips: How To Inspect Your Roof for Signs of Water Damage
First off, it is crucial to take the proper safety precautions whenever venturing up to your roof to look for signs of damage. A good rule of thumb — if you aren’t positive you can do something safely, then don’t do it yourself!
If you’ve spotted signs of water damage, try and rule out other potential sources of the leak before you break out the ladder and hit the roof. Leaky appliances or pipes are often the cause of water stains, so if possible rule out those possibilities. And if you’re home has an attic, you can sometimes spot certain signs of roof damage from inside your home. Conduct a thorough inspection of your attic or crawlspaces for stains, mold, mildew, water, and especially for wet and soggy insulation.
“Flashing” are thin pieces of waterproof material used to stop water from leaking through your roof and into your home, and it’s usually installed at the joint where your roof meets the walls, as well as around fixtures like chimneys and vents. When you’re ready to get on the roof, check for damaged flashing and missing shingles first. Then, look for cracked or curled shingles on the exterior of your home. Wind and snow can cause shingles to break off, exposing the flashing and ceiling to the elements.
Ice Dams: What To Look For
During the long winter freeze, Upstate New York homes suffer through intense snow accumulation. Because heat from your home collects in the attic and ceiling, the roof warms up and melts the snow, which then refreezes along the eaves. This creates an ice dam, and in addition to creating those annoying icicles, it also traps water on your roof. This reservoir of snow melt can damage shingles, especially in older homes. And if the water starts seeping in through your ceiling, you might have to pay for costly water damage repair.
What To Do About Ice Dams?
Many DIY homeowners will bundle up in a winter coat and head outside to hack away at ice dams with a hammer and chisel. Unfortunately, not only is this practice dangerous, it can also cause damage to your roof and gutters. Salting your roof can also cause issues, plus it will leak into your yard and hurt your plants come springtime.
If you can, try and cool down your attic by placing a fan inside it. Pointing the fan upwards at the roof will increase air circulation and help lower the temperature, possibly preventing the creation of ice dams in Rochester.
You should also beware of snow accumulation during the winter. Severe winter storms can dump so much snow at once that ceilings break under the strain. More often the buildup leads to leaks and water damage. If you can, use a rake or broom to brush off snow from your roof after a particularly heavy snow.
Hire a Professional Roofing Contractor to Repair or Prevent Damage
Although Americans love the Do-It-Yourself spirit, sometimes you need to hire a professional roofing contractor in Rochester to do the job right. Properly installing, repairing, and weatherproofing your roof is essential to maintaining the value of your home, and it’s a worthwhile investment to take care of your roof before you find water damage. No roof lasts forever, and older homes and shingles often become damaged during the winter freeze.
If you’ve spotted (or smelled) the tell-tale signs of water damage on your property, or if you’re roof is overdue for a checkup, then JJ Construction has you covered. We’ve been protecting Rochester homes and roofs for three decades now, and we’re a proud member of the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. Reach out to us online for a free Rochester Roofing Quote, or give us a call at (585) 865-5428 and speak to one of our roofing contractors today.