Woman holding bucket under leaking roof

What to Know About Roof Leaks from Heavy Rain

Need a roof leak repair ASAP? If you are in an area in the Austin, TX area that gets a large amount of rain, heavy rains, wind, severe thunderstorms, or other inclement weather, you may have damage to your roof and not even know about it.

Some of the signs of roofing damage can be blatantly obvious, while some can be far more insidious, only becoming visible when they advance to later stages. In some cases, this damage can be relatively affordable to fix, however, in cases of severe roof damage the costs can skyrocket to several tens of thousands of dollars.

Many people, from renters to homeowners, to those with commercial buildings, know that roofing leaks and even humidity can cause expensive damage. While it’s important to catch these leaks as early as possible, it’s common to be unaware of the indicators of water infiltration.

At LOA Construction, we focus on providing professional roof leak repairs while also providing stellar communication and information to our valued clients. Below we discuss the warning signs of roofing damage:

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6 Obvious & Not-So-Obvious Signs of Roof Leaks In Heavy Rain

Many of the roof repair signs listed below will have a range of severity, meaning you may be able to spot them in their very early stages as well as when they become much more obvious. Other signs, however, will not be very easy to spot with the naked eye in their early stages, and will only become recognizable once they have advanced to more serious conditions. 

1. Sagging Roof

A sagging roof is one that may seem like it would be easily seen by the homeowner, and when it progresses to an extremely damaged state this is true. In most cases, any roofing damage that is occurring to the decking or supports will not be easily seen until it begins to show very obvious sagging. 

A sagging roof happens when the structure supporting the roof has become consistently wet enough that the weight of the roof begins to push down on the middle of the peaks. This can sometimes be seen as a “dent” or other depression on the slope of the roof. In rare cases, this can be repaired, but most of the time by the time it is seen, the roof is too badly damaged and must be replaced. More information here about whether you should repair or repalce your roof.

2. Change In Gutter Function

Your gutters are very important especially in areas that get high amounts of rain and snow. They not only help route the water coming off of the roof away from walls and overhangs, but they also help divert the flow away from the perimeter of the home and its foundation.

Initial signs that your gutters may need repairs or updates include:

  • • Low flow at the downspouts during heavy rain
  • • Visible damage or detachment from the building
  • • Overflowing gutters

These malfunctions are frequently caused by wind or severe storms pulling the gutter away from the building. Additionally, storm debris can cause impact damage, and debris from the roof can wash down and obstruct the downspouts. When the gutters aren’t able to quickly and effectively route water away from the roof, home, and foundation, it can be the beginning of extensive and very costly repairs.

Read More: Leaking Roof? Why You Need To Fix It Immediately

Roof inspector

3. Damp Or Wet Spots In Attic

During or after heavy rain events, the homeowner should make sure to do a quick visual inspection of the attic or crawlspace to ensure there are no signs of water intrusion. By looking carefully at the underside of the roof you can determine if water has been able to infiltrate behind or under roofing materials.

Signs of this will look like any other wet spot that you may see on lumber, it will generally be darker and if you can reach it, it will be obviously wet. If you find a wet spot on the underside of the roof, be sure you also look at the area below that point, as well as up to ten feet in all directions, to see if the leak has gone farther than the roof. More information here about finding and fixing a leaking roof.

4. Power Outlet Indications

Some of the lesser-known signs revolve around your electrical outlets. Since they are located between studs, they are a prime spot for leaking or dripping water to contact. This can have different results depending on the situation, and either one can almost guarantee that you have a roof leak somewhere above the outlet.

You should examine all power outlets and the areas around them, looking initially for any discoloration or bubbling of the paint. Since the electrical box will not absorb any of the water it will first go into the area around the cutout. This will cause the drywall to moisten and latex interior paint will begin to bubble or lose adhesion.

If you have GFCI outlets, in a kitchen or bathroom, for example, you may also notice the outlet breaker tripping repeatedly.

5. Light Fixture Signs

Another common sign that your roof has a significant, or long-neglected leak, is that you may suddenly see water dripping from light fixtures. This happens because the water has been dripping for long enough that it is now in contact with your ceiling materials, and has found the path of least resistance: the opening where light fixtures are installed.

6. Moisture Intrusion Near Windows

Windows are generally sealed well against the elements, so when you see moisture coming from above or below a window, it could be a sign of a serious leak during heavy rain in your asphalt, clay tile, or other shingle roof.

This is often seen when gutters become clogged and allow large amounts of water to flow down the side of the house, where the water then intrudes via window drip-guard failures or other small gaps. 

Why You Shouldn't Wait To Fix a Roof Leak:

Roof leak repairs can be scary and potentially very expensive, so it’s completely understandable that when people find out they need a leak fixed they often wonder how long it will take for it to get worse, and when they should just bite the bullet and call a professional roofer. Sometimes you know it’s something you need to fix as soon as possible, but you’re hoping to wait for another pay cycle or two until you have the extra money.

In situations where there is a relatively minor leak, waiting a short while may not be the end of the world. However, in situations where there is water actively dripping or flowing through the roof and into your home, time is of the essence. In either case, waiting too long can cause a much more serious situation.

Roof Collapse & Replacement

If the signs of any leak are ignored or neglected for too long, the entire roof may need to be replaced. This can multiply your initial repair cost by more than ten times, depending on the specifics of the roofing situation.

Collapsed roofing can lead to immediate structural instability as well. To help reduce the chances of needing a large repair or replacement service, invest in a regular roof maintenance service.

Damage To Drywall & Plaster

If you have a roof leak that is dripping into the space between your outer wall and your interior wall, you could see the problem grow rapidly. In some cases, the water will begin to soak into the wall materials, causing discoloration and sometimes even mold.

If the damage continues, the construction materials can begin to soften, eventually falling under their own weight.

Damage To Ceilings And Floors

Just as a roof leak near the wall can cause the wall materials to stain, soften, and eventually fall, similar damage awaits floors and ceilings. If the leak from the roof is soaking into the ceiling, it’s only a matter of time before that ceiling becomes too wet and heavy to hold itself up.

Read More: Is Your Roof Leaking by a Vent Pipe?

Damaged ceiling

Increased Risk Of Electrical Fire

For situations where the leak is coming into contact with the home electrical system, there could be the danger of fire.

It may sound odd that water leaking can cause a fire, but if the water gets into an electrical outlet it can come into contact with connections that are not meant to be watertight which can cause dangerous short circuits. This shorting can cause sparks and arcing and can lead to a fire.

Foundation Damage

When water isn’t effectively routed away from the home it can have devastating consequences on the foundation. Water intrusion into the foundation and diminish sealants and cause freeze cycle damage, resulting in cracked or crumbling foundations.

While roof repairs can be expensive, foundation repairs can be in a league of their own, and in some cases the foundation may not be able to be repaired, resulting in the home being deemed uninhabitable.

Hiring an Expert To Fix a Roof That Leaks In Heavy Rain

Even for the experienced DIYer, roof leak fixes can be difficult and dangerous. Additionally, if they are delayed for too long, or fixed incorrectly, even minor leaks can result in significant damage down the road or even cause an emergency situation.

To ensure that your roof is repaired completely and correctly, be sure you reach out to a local roofing professional for a roof inspection and repair roof estimate. If your residential or commercial roof is too badly damaged for repairs to be effective or prudent, your expert roofer can also discuss the potential costs of a new roof with you, so that you can effectively weigh your options.

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Why Choose LOA to Repair Roof Leaks?

If you suspect that your roof leak is from heavy rain or other storm damage, please contact us today for a professional roof service for virtually any roof type. We provide residential and commercial roofing services alike to clients in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Belton, Temple, and Killeen.

Our other roofing services include roof installations, replacements, repairs, maintenance services, roof coatings, hail damage repairs, commercial buildouts, gutter cleaning, siding and window installations, patios, electrical and plumbing services, and more.

Read More: What Is the Best Time of Year to Install a Roof?

Different Roof Types We Worth With:

LOA Contruction provides roof leak repairs with a variety of different types of roofing types. These include TPO, metal, and flat roofs for commercial properties, and clay, asphalt, slate, and metal and other shingle types for residential properties. When it comes to roof leaks as a result of heavy rain, look no further than LOA!

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