Never put off needed repairs to a home's roof, especially if it's already leaking. Roof leaks can lead to mould growth in the home, and to your heating and cooling escaping during winter and summer, so that you pay more for utilities throughout the year. Note a few important questions you might have about roof leaks and roofing repairs, so you know when to call a roofing contractor and what work might be expected for your home's roof.
What causes roof leaks?
There are a number of issues that can lead to a home's roof becoming damaged and starting to leak; shingles may get very old so that they're brittle and shrunken, and the roofing surface under the tiles then becomes exposed. Hail, tree branches, and other debris that hit the roof can cause damage to its surface, and leaks then form. If algae forms under the roof shingles and tiles, this can cause them to pull away from the roof's surface, leading to leaks.
It's important to know these causes of roof leaks so you maintain your roof properly; clean the roof's surface to avoid algae growth, and inspect the roof after storms to note any needed repairs. You also need to know these common causes so that you don't assume your roof won't leak before it's expected lifespan. As an example, many homeowners assume that if they get a "30-year roof," or one that is expected to last for thirty years before it needs replacing, then they won't need to worry about leaks within that time. This isn't the case, as storms, exposure to harsh sunlight and failure to maintain the home's gutters can all cause early damage and eventual leaks.
Do roofs only leak after storms?
If your home has been through a strong storm, it may be more likely to then leak, as wind and falling debris may cause roof damage, as mentioned. However, roofs can suffer damage over time and develop cracks and holes, but you may not notice any leaks until the next rainfall. Until that time, you might still be losing heating and cooling in the home, and allowing humidity in from the outside, which can also cause water damage. A roof may also be leaking but you don't notice it until that water drips through the attic and into an occupied floor. This is why it's good to have the home's roof inspected as often as needed to find developing damage and have it repaired before the roof actually suffers leaks.