Roof leaking: Rhode Island (RI) homeowners shudder just thinking about it, and rightfully so, as roof repairs can be difficult and costly. Still, most people simply don’t have the knowledge, experience, or tools to tackle such a project themselves, which means when it comes to roof leaking, RI residents almost always turn to professionals for help.
However, roof leaks don’t always show up in a dramatic fashion, making their locations easily determined. Nor do they always appear during business hours when it might be possible for a roofer to arrive in short order. So, for those times when you’re trying to determine whether you actually have a leaking roof (as opposed to another water issue such as a plumbing leak), where the leak is located, and whether you can at least temporarily fix or cover it until a professional roofer is available, it’s good to know where to start.
Safety First When Addressing Roof Leaking
First, the obvious: it’s often cold and snowy in Rhode Island. Leaking roofs may be in urgent need of attention, but safety really must come first. Particularly in inclement weather or when there is ice or snow accumulation on your roof, have a helper on the ground and one on the roof. Follow appropriate safety precautions such as securing your ladder, wearing proper gear, and ensuring a means of communication with your assistant on the ground.
If you don’t know where and how to safely walk on your particular type of roof, you’re truly better off waiting for a professional roofer who is familiar with the types of roofing products used on Rhode Island. Leaking roofs can be weak and may collapse when pressure is added, which is not only extremely dangerous, but may also dramatically increase the size and cost of the necessary repair.
Up on the Roof
First, from the top of your ladder, simply look around your roof. Rhode Island homes are prone to ice dams, and you can easily check for these without setting foot on the roof. If you do not detect an ice dam, proceed up to the roof.
Once you’re safely situated on your roof, unless there’s been major damage, such as from a storm, it’s likely that what looks like a huge leak from the stain on your kitchen ceiling is actually coming from a relatively small opening. This makes it very difficult to find the leak’s source, particularly as water may travel down ceiling beams before accumulating.
There are several components to check when looking for the source of a leaking roof. Rhode Island homeowners may find that their roofs do not actually include all of these common roofing components, as there is a wide variety of roofing products in use in the area.
Scan for missing or damaged shingles, which may be causing your roof leaking. Rhode Island homes do not all have shingles, of course, so inspect your roofing materials, taking into account their strength when walking around. Also look for nails, which may have popped out, causing small leaks.
Next, inspect the valleys of your leaking roof. Rhode Island is no stranger to wet weather, and that means most residential roofs have valleys which utilize gravity to help rain and snow flow naturally off the roof. However, valleys can make detecting the source of a leaking roof a real challenge because water can enter at the top of the valley but pool up in the ceiling at the base of it. Finally, check the flashings all around your roof, including those surrounding vents and chimneys.
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