It’s a homeowner’s nightmare: you’ve just finished a project to replace your home’s roof with brand-new roofing. The roof looks fantastic, and even though it was a little expensive, that money was money well spent. But when the first storm comes, you hear it: drip, drip, drip. Somewhere in your home, your new roof is leaking, even though you spent all that money on it. You start to panic. What can you do? If you want to know what you should do about your new roof leaking, read on.
Your New Roof is Leaking: Dos and Don’ts
When you need to deal with a leaky new roof, there are things you should do, and there are things you absolutely shouldn’t do. Let’s look at both the good things that make sense to do and the bad things you should avoid.
This is a key thing to keep in mind when your new roof is leaking. Right now, you’re probably envisioning your no-doubt crooked roofer halfway to Casablanca with suitcases full of your hard-earned money. Stay calm, take a breath. Don’t panic.
The odds that you’ve been the victim of a terrible roofing scam are very slim. More likely, there was an error in the installation (often around complex features like skylights) or the flashing has failed. Less commonly, but still far more likely than a con job, is that some of the materials were of faulty manufacturer.
Either way, your new roof is likely under warranty (if your roofer is worth their license at any rate) and will be professionally obligated to inspect and fix what went wrong.
Calling your roofing company up and accusing them of being crooks might make you feel better in the moment, but it’s not going to get your roof fixed any faster.
Do Hire a Licensed Roofing Contractor
This is one of those things where if you’ve made this mistake, it may already be too late, but it still bears repeating. The one potential exception to worries about being scammed is if you decided to cut corners and hire a “roofing contractor” who didn’t have the proper licenses or training.
Sure, getting your friend’s uncle and his buddies to install your roof for the cost of a couple of pizzas and cases of beer might sound appealing, but the odds of a shoddy job go way up. Plus, if the leak does turn out to be a problem with the material, the manufacturer might decline to provide replacement parts on the grounds that the installation was not done by licensed roofers.
To save yourself this problem, always hire a licensed roofer for initial installation as well as any follow-up fixes.
Don’t Exaggerate the Problem
You want this new roof leak to be fixed ASAP, understandably. But telling tall tales about how bad the leaking problem is in the hopes that it’ll get the roofers to your place on the double won’t help. Not only will they get to your place and see that there obviously aren’t buckets of water pouring onto the floor, but inaccurate information will make it harder to identify and fix the problem.
On that note:
Do Accurately Describe Everything About the Leak
How did you find the leak? Is it an obvious drip-drip-drip from the ceiling? Did you discover water discoloration or puffy wallpaper? The more you can tell your roofers, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to identify the problem and fix it rapidly.
In fact, with accurate information, your roofers might be able to identify that the leak doesn’t come from the roof at all and can direct you to call someone who can help instead. Imagine that the leak was actually the result of a ruptured water pipe in the walls and you didn’t discover this until the roofers came to check it out.
Don’t Put Off Repairing the Leak
While some homeowners may be frantic to get their leak repaired, others may have the opposite problem. “It’s just in the attic,” they say, “we’ll put some buckets down and save ourselves the money and worry.”
This is a terrible idea. If you are thinking about putting off repairing a roof leak, that’s a huge mistake. Water is very persistent, and the constant flow of water can erode flashing, warp wood and shingles, and even wear holes in stone or concrete. To put it simply: if not fixed ASAP, a little leak can turn into a big leak and serious damage before you know it.
Leaks also have other dangers too. They can cause things like algae and mold to grow within the walls, where they won’t be easily spotted. Water can also cause electric shocks, which in turn, can be a fire hazard. Even on the low end of the risk scale, water where it shouldn’t be can cause issues such as affecting your insulation and reducing the effectiveness of your heating and cooling.
Do Set a Fair Timetable
While you shouldn’t let a leak sit and get worse for weeks and weeks, it’s important to set a realistic timetable for the repair. Worthwhile roofing contractors will make time to fix the issue ASAP, but they may also have prior commitments they are obligated to handle first.
As a general rule of thumb, you should expect a veteran roofing contractor to be on your property to assess the issue within a week of being contacted. If your contractor can’t commit to being there within that time, you should start making calls and finding a different contractor who can.
A new roof is something that you’re understandably proud of, and as a result, you can be understandably frustrated when it doesn’t work how it’s supposed to. If you’re looking for a roofing contractor who will do the job of installing your new roof right the first time—and will commit to making it right if anything goes wrong—then you need a high-quality company such as Interstate Roofing. Contact our professional staff for a consultation.