Most of us want simple answers when it comes to problems with our house, particularly if it is a major concern such as a leaking roof. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine the cause of a problem such as a roof leak. Because it's a covered area with various layers and can't be easily reached, you may need to contact local roofing companies who can send a professional to your home to assess the damage and determine the cause. In many cases, by the time a leak is apparent inside your house, more extensive damage that you can't see has been festering in the attic or around the roof line. Before deciding whether you're going to repair, patch or replace your roof, talk to some area roofing companies to determine the cause. Professionals should ask the following questions:
Where Is Your Roof Leaking?
You may not know the point of origin, but you can tell them where it has shown up in your house. Do you have a moisture stain on the kitchen ceiling? Is there water damage on exterior walls? These are areas that could indicate that a leak has been forming behind the ceiling or wall for some time. Roofing companies will want to see each leak, so don't forget to tell them about every trouble spot.
How Long Have You Had The Problem?
If you called roofing companies for estimates the minute you saw a small water stain, you are ahead of the game. It's easier to correct a problem before it becomes larger. If you waited for a few weeks, hoping the issue would go away on its own, you may have created a larger problem such as moldy drywall or water-saturated wood studs in the walls. Be honest when contractors ask you how long the roof has been leaking; they will investigate the problem more fully if they know the problem has been going on long term.
How Old Is Your Roof?
If you've had the current shingles on your house for fifteen or twenty years, it's more likely that deterioration of the materials will advance rapidly and spread the leak to other areas of the house. If you've had new roofing installed in the last few years, you may have an isolated problem caused by storm damage, mischievous raccoons or an ice dam.
How Many Layers Of Material Are There?
Installing a brand new roof over old shingles is something that most roofing companies don't advocate, but you may have done so at some point. Or perhaps the previous owners simply covered over deteriorating shingles. Whatever the reason, it's important to tell contractors how many layers of material are in place, as older materials left under new roofing often lead to widespread damage and the need to pull off every layer and start over with new decking.
Have Roofing Companies Done Repairs In The Past?
It's important to know whether repair work has been done before and what kind of work those roofing companies did. In some cases, the work was done by a reputable, experienced company. Sometimes, however, a bad patch job with inferior materials may have caused the current problems and those materials will need to be replaced. When someone gives you an explanation and estimate, ask to see pictures of the damage and discuss how it will be fixed.
Don't do any interior repairs, including new drywall or patching and painting a ceiling with water spots, until all work has been completed and you've had some rainy weather. If you don't see any new signs of damage, you can repair the interior damage without worrying about it happening again.
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