The best way to prevent leaks is to get regular roof maintenance from a roofing contractor you trust. But when your roof begins to age, any major storm could still be the cause of a leak. With that in mind, it’s a wise idea to be ready. Acting quickly can reduce a leak’s effects on your home, health, and safety.
What Is the Most Common Cause of a Roof Leak in Central Florida?
Roof leaks occur any time water is able to penetrate the three layers of your roof:
- The uppermost layer, which for most Central Florida homeowners is made of shingle
- The secondary layer, consisting of a waterproof membrane referred to as underlayment
- The innermost layer of structural timber that supports the roof and makes up the frame
Naturally, the outer shingle layer is the most vulnerable because it’s exposed to the elements. Most times, a roof doesn’t spring a leak as the result of one bout of storm damage. Instead, there are additional factors that will degrade the exterior enough for water to infiltrate.
That can take many forms:
Hail probably isn’t the #1 weather concern on your mind when you think about natural disasters here in Florida. Still, it is much more common in Central Florida than it is on the coast. Hail stones can be several inches wide. A hard hail strike creates a dented area in a shingle similar to bruised fruit. It is soft and easily penetrated. The affected shingle needs to be replaced as soon as possible to restore integrity to the roof.
If you use your attic for storage, there’s an extra danger of having your shingles “bake” over the summer. A lack of air circulation in the attic causes heat to build up as warm air is trapped and can’t escape. The heat becomes so intense that the underside of the shingles will overheat and soften. This type of damage isn’t visible from the ground level, but it is just as bad as a hail strike. Sometimes, older attics need extra vents to improve airflow.
Even a relatively mild tropical storm can be powerful enough to lift yard debris, rocks, and even lawn furniture. That turns these small, unassuming objects into flying projectiles that can do serious damage. While the sides of your home may be properly protected with storm shutters, your shingles can be literally ripped off when a flying object grazes them. This often happens during a storm and leads to severe leaks right away.
Some roof pests like the Florida roof rat can wreak havoc on your roof in a relatively short time. Other animals, like birds, don’t usually dig deep into the roof itself, but they can clog up gutters and cause other problems. A winning strategy depends on the type of animal you’re dealing with. Some animals can be subtle, so check out your roof with binoculars from ground level to spot signs of habitation.
What to Do About a Roof Leak in Central Florida
When you notice a roof leak, take action immediately:
Put Up a Waterproof Tarp
Most insurance companies require you to cover your damaged roof with a waterproof tarp as soon as you can. This limits further damage to the roof. If you don’t take action, you might find it more difficult to get your roof repair claims taken care of.
Put Down a Bucket
The biggest danger from a leaking roof is the possibility of deep water intrusion that fosters mold and mildew growth. Mold can be hazardous to your health and even render a home uninhabitable. Put down a bucket right away to control the flow of water.
Call Your Insurance Company
An initial call to your insurance company is a good way to accelerate your process. They can let you know about any requirements to document your leak. They may even be able to get an insurance adjuster scheduled to see the damage sooner rather than later.
Call a Central Florida Roofing Contractor
Reputable Central Florida roofing contractors get booked up quickly after a major storm, so be sure you call as soon as you can. Depending on the extent of your leak, you might be able to get an emergency service that will help you get back to normal sooner. Don’t leave your roofing to a “handyman” or anyone going door to door after a storm!
For expert help from a trusted local roofing contractor, call Sheegog Contracting today.