Signs you have a leaking roof
Discolouration on the ceiling
Generally this shows up as round patch on your ceiling, due to water dripping onto the ceiling and soaking through, making a water stain.
Light shades and light bulbs fill with water when it rains
More common then realised, when water leaks into the ceiling it will often follows and runs along a power lead and in most cases this will be the lights in the ceiling.
You could have a leaking roof and not even realise it
Most roofs will have insulation under the tiles known by Roof Tilers as Sarking. This is to help with heating and cooling of the roof but it also can hide the effect of a leaking roof. Water will leak onto the sarking and flow down into the gutter. This may seem convenient but it prevents you from knowing about the leak. The sarking is not specifically designed to hold out water and after a while the water wears away at the sarking and creates a hole. Then all the water that was flowing on the sarking to the gutter now pours straight into the hole. So where as without sarking you would of had a small leak or stain in your ceiling, now you have a concentrated flow of water going into one spot of your ceiling causing it to flood that area. This sometimes can make it difficult to locate the leak since it is most likely leaking from a different location and flowing down the Sarking and into the hole.
Possible reasons for a leaking roof
Ridge capping cracked and broken
This is the main cause of a leaking roof. A roof will always move gradually over time and due to this the cement that holds the ridge caps to the tiles cracks and gives way, leaving holes for water to seep through.
This is another very common cause of a leaking roof. Even though there are many different designs of tiles there are actually two main types of tiles, Cement and Terracotta. Terracotta tiles are baked in a kiln and are very durable. Cement tiles are made from cement and not quite as durable but over time both these types of tile can crack.
Why are there broken tiles on my roof?
Often times you will discover broken tiles on your roof after you have had some sort of maintenance or installation work done on your roof e.g. Solar heating, Arial instillation or removal, skylight instillation. This is from tradesman walking on your roof without proper knowledge of how or where to walk on tiles and will more often than not crack a tile or two.
The older the roof the more fragile the tiles are and easier to break.
Clogged up gutters
The walls of most gutters are often shorter on the side that are flush with the eaves of the roof. So when gutters are clogged up, water will fill up in the gutters and spill over the shorter side and can leak into your eaves and then pool up or trickle to the rest of the roof.
Clogged up roof valleys are another issue. Leaves can work themselves underneath the tiles that overlap the valley iron. This isn’t an issue in itself but when it rains, these leaves make it easy for water to follow get under the tiles and then leak into the roof.
Often a simple cleaning of the gutters and valleys can help many leaks in your roof.
Also in addition it is very important to keep your gutters clean during the summer time with bush fires and house fires very common, since leaves are an excellent fuel for fire, sitting all around your house.
Fixing a leaking roof
If the cement of the ridge capping is not too damaged then ‘FlexiPoint’ or ‘Selleys Point Works’ is used in repointing the ridge caps. This product is applied on the old cement and bonds to it. It dries extremely hard, cementing the ridge caps to the tiles but unlike cement, it maintains flex so as not to crack with the gradual movement of the roof.
If the cement is too damaged and crumbling then the pointing will not stick to it, so it must be replaced. Ridge caps are then lifted up and all old cement removed and new cement is laid down as foundation for the ridge cap. After the cement has tried the pointing then goes over the top to hold the cement nice and tight to the ridge cap and roof, preventing the cement from cracking over time with the movement of the roof.
Finding a tile that is cracked and leaking and then replacing it. Tiles may look the same but there are many different types and makes of cement and terracotta tiles. A new replacement tile must be the exact same one, not in colour, but in type and make of the tile. Different tiles will not sit correctly with other tiles and will nearly always leak if incorrect tile is used.
Tiles fitted incorrectly will also cause leaking.
Caution: Silicon is popular to use in fixing broken tiles when it comes to the DIY fix up. This is a very temporary fix with the silicon deteriorating quickly on the roof and cracking, leaving you back at square one.
But often this will not even fix the issue because people fail to silicone the part of the broken tile that is covered by the tile above it which makes the silicon on the rest of the tile pointless.
Cleaning of your gutters and roof valleys is a great way of reducing leaking in your roof.
Also with leaves being an excellent fuel for fires it’s just good maintenance for your house to keep your gutters clean, not having fuel just sitting all around your house with risk of fires during the summer times.
If you have any queries or issues about your roof or you would like a free inspection for peace of mind please feel free to ring me or email me and I’ll be glad to help you in any way I can.