Angie's List: Signs of a roof leak

Angie's List

April showers may bring May flowers, but they could also cause leaks to one's home.

Homeowner Matt Cairns checked out his finished attic after a hard rain and noticed water stains around the skylight.

He knew it was going to be a problem he would have to address, but he didn't expect it to be an urgent roofing repair.

"The next night it rained hard again, and I came up here and the spot had gotten way worse. I was able to just stick my fingers right through the drywall. Then I knew I needed to get some attention on this pretty quickly," Cairns said.

Don't Ignore Warning Signs

The roof is the home's number one defense against the elements. No part plays a bigger role in keeping the elements out, so when a roof requires a repair, there is little time to waste according to our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List.

"Inspecting your roof regularly will help you determine if there are leaks from your roof. You want to be sure to check a leak and fix it as quickly as possible because if you don't, it can't lead to structural damage in your home and also mold, which can turn into a costly repair," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

"What a homeowner should do is look on their ceiling and look on their walls. If there is bubbles on the ceilings or walls, or if they start to see dark mold or mildew spots or even if some drywall starts to come undone, those are signs you might have a leak," said Roofing Company Operations Manager Justin Vorbroker,

Angie's List said there are four signs to look out for when it comes to a roof and leaks.

"In a roof inspection, you should look for four common problems on your roof: Curling shingles, broken shingles, missing flashing and areas where water may be pooling on your roof," Hicks said.

"Regularly scheduled maintenance is very important on a roof. General roof lifespan can be 25-30 years. But you need to get someone out there every 5 years or so just to make sure your roof is ok, you're not missing any shingles you didn't notice or missing any granule loss," Vorbroker said.

Hicks said even if the situation may seem to be one of desperation, avoid settling on the first contractor who comes along and offers to do the job.

"Keep in mind, when hiring a roofing contractor, you want to have a reputable company, someone who is going to stand behind it. Your roof will last a long time so you don't want someone working on it who is not going to be able to stand behind their work. So if you find after a storm, someone coming door-to-door, say no. Go do your research and hire a company on your own," Hicks said.

"My personal policy is to always get at least two, and ideally three quotes, three estimates on what the problem might be. So I brought out another contractor and he actually go up on the roof, he didn't want to just look at the skylight, he wanted to look at the entire roof," Cairns said.

Vorbroker said shingles are manufactured with extra granules and you will have granule loss over time, but if you see more granules than normal under your downspouts after a storm, that is a cause of concern.

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