A Guide To Hidden Moisture Damage On Your Roof
Moisture damage on the roof isn't always immediately noticeable. If the damp is seeping in slowly, you may not notice a leak or even the resulting interior water damage right away. Being aware of the signs of hidden moisture damage can help you catch issues early before major damage occur.
Signs of Damage
There are a few hints that water damage is occurring, but you may need to go into the attic to find them. The most noticeable signs will be mold or mildew growing on attic insulation, usually in combination with the musty odor of mildew in the attic. You may also notice wet or dark spots on the underside of the roof, which is the attic ceiling. Attics should be relatively warm and dry, so feeling any type of humidity is a warning sign of damage.
Outside, the shingles may hint at hidden damage. You may see curling along the edges of some shingles, which is caused by damp trapped beneath them. Heavy moss growth on the roof or badly clogged gutters don't indicate damage, but they are a cause, so affected roofs should be inspected for hidden damage.
Repair depends on the type of damage. If caught early, the failed shingles that lead to the leak must be replaced, but the decking can be dried out and saved. If the plywood decking has suffered water damage, the affected decking boards must also be replaced. This will require a full roof tear down instead of just a simple repair and patch.
The damage inside the attic must also be addressed. First, any remaining moisture is dried out, usually with the help of heavy-duty fans. Moldy insulation is torn out and replaced. Joists and wood roof trusses are treated to kill mold, then sealed to prevent further water damage.
You can prevent hidden moisture damage with some proper roof maintenance. Begin by keeping gutters clean so water doesn't backflow under shingles. Moss and other debris must regularly be cleared from the roof so it doesn't hide damage or trap moisture. Further, keep trees trimmed back so they don't scrape against the roof.
It's also a good idea to schedule an annual roof inspection. This low-cost service ensures professional eyes are on your roof once a year, which means any minor issues will be caught before a major roof leak develops.
Contact a roofing company if you suspect hidden moisture damage on your roof.