Instead of watching their favorite reality show on TV, many Chico area homeowners have witnessed a different reality: that of water streaming through the ceiling and splashing into their kitchen, family room or living room.
Water leaks are the most obvious sign that the recent rains have permeated the most important part of their home's outer “envelope”: the roof. (The other components include the attic, doors, windows, exterior walls and subfloor.) But water leaks are not the only sign.
Learn how to conduct a quick roof inspection to learn if water has compromised your home. The results could be catastrophic if you don't – damaging far more than your roof and attic. In this case, you'll need more than nerves of steel; you'll need Experts in Your Home to help you repair the damage.
Look for Signs of a Roof Leak:
Go up to your attic and see if:
- There are water stains on the walls.
- The insulation across the floor appears flat and matted.
- The vents are loose or appear to be ready to disengage entirely.
- You detect a damp or musty smell.
Now do a visual roof inspection. But instead of risking the dangerous task of climbing onto the roof, survey it from an adjacent second-floor window or view it from the ground floor with a pair of binoculars. These signs also point up water damage:
- Damaged flashing (the aluminum or steel waterproofing that directs water around openings in your roof)
- Buckled or curled shingles
- Missing shingles
- Weak or damaged seals on the roof penetrations
- Mold or algae growth
- Root rot
If In Doubt, Schedule a Roof Inspection
If you cannot get a good view of your roof – or worse, suspect you have found evidence of a roof leak – call the roofing professionals at Experts in Your Home. We will do a comprehensive roof inspection, which many insurance companies recommend be done once a year anyway.
This measure may seem overly cautious, but an impartial third party, BankRate, explains their point of view: “To a home insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your house because it's the gateway to far greater damage claims once it's breached.”
Those claims can easily reach into the five-figure range. And it would be a mistake to assume that a homeowner's insurance policy would cover all of these losses. As many Chico area homeowners have learned, insurers can refuse to pay a claim if it can show that a homeowner ignored signs of a leak or failed to have it repaired.
Count the Ways Roof Leaks Can Be Catastrophic
Insurers know: roof leaks can lead to far more than a troublesome puddle on the floor. In fact, a leaky roof can trigger six catastrophic results:
- Weaken the rafters and the ceiling, heightening the risk of a roof collapse.
- Endanger the structural integrity of your roof and attic. If you don't have an attic, the water will spill into the ceilings, walls and windows – as well as ceiling fans, lighting and everything else in its path. Ignoring water damage is one of the main reasons many homeowners must replace a roof before its time.
- Threaten your home's wiring and electrical system and heating, cooling and ventilation system.
- Present a fire hazard if wires become shorted out.
- Lead to an outbreak of mold and mildew – a huge trouble for everyone in a home but particularly those with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.
- Slips and falls – the leading cause of accidents in a home.
Experts in Your Home doesn't care for scare tactics. On the other hand, the possibility of a roof leak is one of the scariest problems any homeowner can face. And if scheduling a roof inspection spares our customers financial and emotional anxiety, that's one “reality” ending we'd like to create.