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Leaking roofs are a structural problem and so much more. They create constant water intrusion capable of working from the attic all the way down to the foundation, potentially compromising the structural integrity of the home and causing both water and mold damage along the way.
Causes of Roof Leaks
There are many, many causes of roof leaks, but these are some of the most common:
Broken or missing shingles can allow water to seep into the roof. Shingles are prone to being damaged or blowing away during strong storms. Damaged flashing can also cause leaking. Flashing is the metal that is used to direct water away from chimneys, dormer windows, and other critical areas of the roof. It can crack or break letting in rainwater and other moisture.
Improperly installed roofing materials, like flashing and shingles, can also let water into the structure. It is also common for skylights and dormer windows to be installed incorrectly allowing for water leaks.
Clogged gutters are a routine maintenance issue that is often overlooked, but can cause big problems. When gutters are clogged, rainwater can’t drain away from the structure, which causes pooling and eventual leaks.
Signs of Roof Leaks
Just as there are many causes of roof leaks, there are many things to keep an eye on that indicate a leaking roof. Visible water seepage during rain or melting snow and water spots or discolored areas on ceilings and walls are sure signs of water intrusion. Peeling paint or cracked and bubbled plaster around skylights and dormer windows are strong indicators of possible poor installation and water leaks. Decay and staining in the attic and on soffits and fascia can also indicate leaks. An increased musty smell in the attic indicates potential mold growth often associated with roof leaks.
Is it Covered?
Insurance coverage surrounding roof leaks can be complicated because it’s very case by case. It largely depends on the specific policy and cause of the leak, but most policies cover water damage from roof leaks as long as it was responded to as soon as it was noticed. This can be somewhat problematic, though, because small roof leaks can be difficult to detect and may go unnoticed for a long time. In addition, coverage may only go so far as the actual water damage. The roof repair may not be covered depending on the cause of the leak. Likewise, mold remediation coverage for any mold damage is very policy dependent. Because roof leaks can be so insidious, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of leaking. If there are any indications, the leak should be addressed as soon as possible for the best possible outcome and the least hassle.
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