Having a roof leak in your home is always a big deal. Your roof is a core component of your home’s structure and protects you from the many things that fall from above. A shelter can’t provide adequate shelter without a roof and leaks can compromise the integrity of the roof on your home. If left unattended, small issues with your roof can easily spread and become larger ones.
This is why it is important to find and repair roof leaks as soon as possible. When your home is exposed from its roof, there are many things that can go wrong including damage to other important parts of your home including your walls, flooring, electrical work, etc. Not only is your home at risk, but your personal possessions can also suffer from exposure.
A common issue with a leaking roof is water damage. Keeping the rain out of your home is important and water damage can easily extend into other problems such as mold damage. The best course of action is to identify roof leaks and fix them to keep your home secure.
Texas is a diverse state when it comes to rainfall, but the statewide average for annual precipitation is 27.25”. In West Texas, these numbers can be much lower due to a more desert-like climate, however, averages balloon higher near the Gulf Coast and can even reach higher numbers in North Texas and Central Texas due to severe thunderstorms and tropical storms throughout the year. Rainfall is a threat to millions of homes and having a roof in good condition is critical for staying dry and maintaining your home.
How To Find a Roof Leak
Knowing the signs of roof leaks is an important first step in mitigating the damage that is already afflicting your home. Ceiling water damage can be detrimental in several ways, but thankfully, there are signs homeowners can look for to find roof leaks and fix them accordingly:
- Water stains and drooping ceilings are some of the most common signs of a roof leak.
- From the exterior, you may find that your roof is missing shingles or that the shingles on your roof have been damaged. This can be a sign of where water is entering your home.
- Spots and bulging in your ceiling are associated with water damage on ceiling, but so too can spotting and bulges on your walls. Water can run and find areas in your walls to settle and the results can be destructive.
- If you are noticing an odd smell, especially a musty one, there could be water leaking into your home.
- A good plumber or a roofer can help you find the roof leak
- You can also DIY find a roof leak by having one person spray the roof with a water hose while another person sits in the attic looking for dripping
Finding your roof leak can be the difference between a small fix for a couple of hundred bucks and a large job that can cost well over a thousand dollars. Identifying the leak can also help you determine whether or not this is something you can fix or if a professional is needed to do the job.
What To Do for a Leaking Roof
If you are dealing with a leaking roof, there are some simple, common-sense steps you’ll need to take:
- Contain the water by collecting it. Whether it is a bucket or a garbage can or whatever you can use, you’ll want to stop the water from falling onto other surfaces and damaging them as well.
- Don’t forget to clean up and move things out of the way. Wet areas in your home can cultivate mold and cause further damage.
- Document the damage for your insurance company. Make sure to include ample photo and video evidence with media that is time-stamped and clearly taken.
- You’re going to need to temporarily fix your roof in a safe manner. If there is no safe option, such as a storm is still going on or it is unsafe for you to get on top of your roof, you’ll either need to wait a bit or call a professional to handle the job as soon as possible.
- Tarps, rubber cement, and silicone can all help you cover and plug holes until a permanent solution can be made.
The first goal for any homeowner is to find the root of the problem and prevent it from spreading. From here, permanent solutions can be explored whether you are looking for a DIY solution or hiring a trained professional to get the job done.
How To Fix a Leaking Roof From the Inside
There’s no easy way to say this, but fixing a leaking roof from the inside of your home will leave you with limited options. First off, many problems require simply getting on the roof and getting the job done. Secondly, access to your attic can be complicated, cramped, and borderline impossible. If you are determined to give it a go and try and fix your roof leak from the inside to forgo paying others and limiting your risk of danger, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Patching the hole is a viable option. You’ll need to monitor it, as some patches may be more temporary fixes than long-term solutions, but using plants, tar, and shingles can keep moisture out of your home.
- Sealing the roof leak with caulk can help you limit the damage your home suffers, but keep in mind, that it is not a permanent solution.
The solutions to fixing your leaking roof from the inside are temporary fixes that will require permanent solutions. These solutions are still important skills to understand because they can save you money. If your home suffers a loss related to roof damage, your home insurance company will expect you to do your best to limit the losses you have suffered. During an assessment, homeowners who fail to do so will not receive more than the initial damage’s worth for a claim and will have to use other means to restore the damage stemming from the initial loss.
Tips for Fixing a Ceiling Leak
The first step is always safety. Never attempt to fix a leak in your ceiling without the proper safety precautions in place. If you are looking to take on this project yourself and can safely give it a go, here are some pointers:
- Replace damaged or missing shingles to restore your roof and make it whole.
- If you have flashing that is damaged or rusting, replace it with new flashing that can help prevent vulnerabilities.
- The same goes for vents and other areas that can lead into your home. If there is a leak because of an air vent or chimney, etc. replace it and make sure your home is no longer exposed.
- Cover any holes that may leave you exposed such as an old hole from an installation that is no longer there.
- Be sure that if you put a temporary fix on a ceiling leak such as caulking, you don’t let it last too long and replace it with a more permanent solution.
Of course, if you are inexperienced with such repairs, attempting to fix a ceiling leak can be difficult and lead to other problems. The best course of action is to concede the work to a trained, licensed roofing professional who can make sure the job is done right the first time. The last thing any homeowner wants to do is to spend the time and energy to fix a roof leak only to have the problem end up much worse. We highly recommend using a reputable local roofing company to handle any and all roof issues.
How Much Are Roof Leak Repairs in Texas?
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to repair a roof nationally is around $1,026. If you shop around contractors in Texas, you’ll find that these figures line up with many local estimates throughout the Lone Star State. Smaller repairs may only cost between $150 and $370 to complete, but extensive repairs can cost much more and may even require a full replacement.
Replacing your roof can reach well over $5,000 which is why it is important to always stop smaller roof leaks before they spread. The bigger the damage, the more it is going to cost to repair and if the damage is bad enough, be prepared to replace your entire roof. Homeowners looking to offset these costs will need to do their part of maintaining their homes and protecting their homes through the right homeowner’s insurance coverages.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
It depends on the cause of your roof leak and the circumstances surrounding it. For example, if you are a homeowner with a shotty roof on a home that is 15 years old and it requires maintenance, you are unlikely to have your claim approved. Let’s say, however, that you are in a newer home and suffer damage caused by hail during a wave of severe thunderstorms. After the storm passes, you do everything you can to limit the damage. Your homeowner’s insurance policy is much more likely to cover your loss in this situation.
What it all boils down to is that home insurance isn’t a blanket coverage and it will not cover general wear and tear. Homeowners who have older roofs may even be subject to a roof inspection before receiving coverage from an insurance provider and may face higher premium rates as a result. Homeowners have a responsibility to maintain their homes and roofs are some of the most important areas of concern.
Failing To Fix a Leaking Roof May Cause Your Claim To Be Denied
If you are noticing a leaking roof in your home, even if it is covered by your homeowner’s insurance, you are going to need to do what you can to limit the damage. Insurance companies are not going to provide you with reimbursement for further losses that occur after the initial peril. This means, as soon as it is safe to do so, document the damage, file your claim, and repair the damage to your roof, even if only with temporary means, as soon as possible.
The same goes for other forms of roof damage. Just because you don’t have water pouring into your home, if you have suffered wind damage or possible damage from hail, etc. and your roof is suffering, you will need to clean up and repair the damage caused during your loss as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Roof Leaks in Texas
The weather in Texas can range depending on where you live, what time of year it is, and a myriad of other factors. As the second-largest state by landmass, it is unfair to say any single region truly represents the way all Texans experience the weather in our great state. But there are many commonalities that homeowners in Texas may still expect to face and some of these weather patterns can mean perils for your home’s rooftop. Here are some of the most common reasons you might find a roof leak in your home in Texas:
- Hailstorms are a huge threat to the integrity of your home’s roof. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Texas ranks highest in the nation for hail loss claims.
- Wind damage is a legitimate threat to your roof and can often accompany hailstorms. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms frequent large portions of Texas and can destroy rooftops. Homes located in the Gulf Coast region of Texas are also at an increased risk of damage from tropical storms.
- Ice and snow may not affect every home in Texas, but for homeowners in areas such as Amarillo, Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth region, or El Paso, TX, snow can affect your roofs. Ice dams can form as well as the weight of ice and snow which can also cause damage.
- Clogged gutters can’t do their job of collecting rainwater and sending it away from your home. They can also cause leaks. Roof leaks can also occur if your gutters are rusted or not functioning properly.
- Faulty construction can cause a range of problems for your roof. A common misstep is when a nail is installed but misses its frame. These are known as “shiners” and can create leaks that are very difficult to find. If you see a shiner on the underneath part of your roofing, simply clip the nail and monitor the situation. In many cases, this will solve your issue.
- General wear and tear due to age can cause roof leaks. This is why it is important to schedule annual roof inspections, especially for older homes. Remember, a home with a leaking roof may still receive home insurance coverage for related losses, but if your roof is not maintained, claims may not be accepted and coverage may even be dropped.
- Damaged or rusted roof flashing can properly prevent leaks, which is its purpose. If your flashing is compromised, you can expect water to enter your home and damage shingles and other portions of your roof in the meantime.
- Old, intentional holes that are now exposed on your roof. It may seem odd to intentionally drill a hole in your roof, but there are practical reasons for doing so, such as installing satellite television. When the satellite is removed, the holes can be a vulnerable spot for your roof and can expose your home. As more and more Texans switch to streaming for their television needs, this is a problem that is on the rise.
Not all of these issues are covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, but many are. The others can usually be remedied through general maintenance to ward off wear and tear. If you are looking to save money and protect your home’s roof in the process, Freedom Insurance Group is here to help. Serving homeowners in Texas since 2005, we work with some of the best insurance brands available and save our customers an average of 40% on their premiums.
Having a roof leak is serious, but so is overpaying for your homeowners insurance protection. Contract us today or see for yourself with our free tool providing an accurate homeowners insurance quote based on your needs!