Written by girlontheroof

How to tell if you have a roof leak before it can cause damage to your home

How do you know if you have a leak in your roof when you live in a place where it rarely rains? Kind of hard to tell, right? We can go a record breaking number of days without rain and then get hit full force with torrential downpours and unpredictable heavy rainfall. Unlike other states where light showers occur regularly and may alert you to a sign of a leak, Arizona homes are far more susceptible to incurring costly damage if a leaky roof goes undetected.

Now is the perfect time to have your roof inspected to prevent potential leaks before the summer monsoons begin. The busiest time of year for any Phoenix roofing company is during the monsoon season. If you wait for a monsoon to hit, you may find it difficult to locate a professional roofing company that will be able to come out immediately and fix the leak that is inconveniently located over a bed or computer. The best way to prevent damage to your home and investments inside is to have yearly inspections performed by an experienced, licensed and insured roofing contractor. Roof repairs are far more cost effective than post storm damage repair. Here are some tips from FEMA for best practices for your roof.

Yearly inspections are your best chance at preserving your roof and preventing interior damage to your home. The older your roof and home are, the more important this becomes.  If you do not inspect your roof on a regular basis, how can you prevent damage?

Here’s what to look for if you have a pitched roof such as concrete tile or asphalt shingles (also applicable to wood shake).

Debris on the roof.

Why you need a roof inspectionDebris is one of the biggest causes for early roof deterioration and leaks. Roofs are designed to shed water off the roof and into either a rain gutter system or onto the ground as quickly as possible. Debris on the roof can cause a couple of problems:

  • Damning effect, on steep roofs water can run up the roof and under the roofing material causing a leak.
  • Debris left on the roof will cause the material to deteriorate at a faster than normal rate.
  • It can also cause weeds, trees, and grass to grow in that area.

The most common areas you will find these problems are in the valleys (where two roof sections come together and meet) and in a dead valley (a flat section of the roof usually located where the roof and wall meet)

deadvalley

A dead valley section of a roof.

Missing shingles, tile or shake.

Having a few missing shingles or tile usually won’t cause a leak right away but, left alone in our Phoenix heat, will cause the exposed material to deteriorate and a leak WILL occur eventually. Imagine your skin without sunblock; just like our skin, the material under the tile and shingles is not made to be exposed to the elements for long periods of time. The sun will ruin the material, increase the cost to repair and most likely cause the repair area to be larger. Shingle roofs are generally easy to check to see if you have missing or flipped up shingles as long as you can see all areas of your roof from the ground.  Tile roofs are generally more difficult and we recommend a licensed roofer to check for cracked, displaced and missing shingles once a year.

Resealing pipes and all other roof protrusions.

roofprotrusionsDuring a rain storm, water runs down your pitched roof and if your pipes and roof vents have a void in the sealant, that will be the first place the water will run into. Ninety percent of all roof leaks enter through a pipe or roof protrusion. Most of the time these items are sub-sealed, which means they are under the flashing and roofing material so you won’t be able to see if there is a void, crack or split in the sealant. The seal is only as good as the product and installer used for the project. Due to the extreme summer temperatures we experience, it is important that high quality roofing materials be used. JBS Roofing only uses the best, summer-grade roofing cement. Our experience in providing roofing in the Valley for over 34 years has taught us which products perform and which ones do not.

Birds, rats and insects.

piegeonroofBirds, insect and rodents will destroy your roof and cause a lot of damage. According to the Pigeon Guy, the most important thing to focus on is nesting. Do not allow the birds to nest on your roof.  The moment you see a bird making your roof its home you need to convince them that your roof is not a good place to rest. If you don’t, you will have a flock living, pooping and laying eggs on your roof. Pigeons and other birds feces are a health hazard and the acid in their feces will destroy your roof quickly. A leak mixed with bird feces is beyond and undesirable situation.

Insects such as bees and carpenter ants will dig through your roof and find a nice new home. Do you know which animals prefer to eat ants?  Birds. So, with insects come birds poking holes in your roof and walls in order to satisfy their hunger. Generally the insects don’t cause a leak, it is the birds eating the insects that cause the problem. Roof inspections can help identify the problem before you have a leak.

carpenterants

Holes created by carpenter ants.

Lastly, the rodents most commonly found in Phoenix are roof rats. They are just what they sound like: rats that live in your attic. They will make a hole in your roof so that they can crawl in and out of your attic. To prevent this keep trees, especially fruit trees, cut away from your home’s roof structure. This is the most common reason roof rats choose which houses to live in. To learn more about hot to prevent roof rats visit https://www.maricopa.gov/EnvSvc/VectorControl/RR/RRPrevention.aspx

If you would like an inspection performed on your roof give us a call today (623)247-9252 or fill out this form and we will contact you. JBS Roofing is licensed and bonded, has an A+ rating with the BBB, and a proud member or the Arizona Roofing Contractors Association. We also offer roof financing for residential customers.