We have had so much rainfall lately that now is a great time to look for any weaknesses in your property and ensure that rainwater does not track its way in. But how do you tell if your property is vulnerable to rain? The first thing you might notice is a damp spot on a ceiling or mould on the walls. We take a look at the signs you might have a leak and the steps you can take to prevent them occurring in the future.
Signs you have a leak
First of all let’s take a look at the signs you might have a leak whether it be obvious or hidden:
We don’t spend our time walking around looking up at the ceiling but the most obvious signs of a leak are damp spots or water marks on the ceiling or walls. In the early stages they present as stains. As they develop and the water keeps tracking in, they get darker, more pronounced and may even start to bubble. At this point there is water pooling and it may not be long before the water comes through. It’s important to get a leak seen to as soon as possible and if it is tracking near your lights, be sure to turn off the electricity and ensure that everything is safe.
A damp smell
If you can smell damp, the chances are you have a leak. If it hasn’t made its way through your walls or ceiling but you can definitely smell it, then it’s worth exploring to find out where the smell is originating. Don’t ignore it. It may be coming from somewhere different from the place you can actually smell it and tracking to a certain location. Water will always find the easiest path.
Unexplained mould in your property could be a sign of a leak somewhere. Sometimes, especially on the lower walls, it can be a sign of damp and not a specific leak – that does need addressing though. In isolated areas, it could be a sign of a leak. You shouldn’t ignore mould, it can cause issues in those vulnerable to respiratory problems and should be addressed as soon as possible.
These mainly occur outside the property and can be directly below guttering. If you see unexplained puddles on the ground with no evidence of water running off anywhere, it could be a sign you might have a leak in your gutters. Look up and see if you can see anything dripping.
Where is the leak coming from?
Those are the signs of a potential leak. Next, you need to establish where the leak is coming from. It is always best to check for leaks and their access points when it is raining as you are more likely to be able to follow the path of the water. We urge you to exercise caution when looking for leaks though, especially if you are climbing up on a roof or inspecting guttering.
The roof of a property is the first line of defence – without an effective, structurally sound roof, water will find its way into the property. Pitched roofs are perhaps more difficult to spot the exact issue than with a flat roof. With a flat roof you need to look for signs of water pooling, any obvious cracks or tears, curled up edges, damaged roof material etc. If you are unsure as to what you are looking for, it is best to call in the experts who are used to dealing with these issues.
Blocked, cracked and broken gutters can all cause damage to property. Gutter serves to draw water away from your property, protecting it from water damage. If they aren’t working as they should, the water will look for an alternative route. This could be detrimental to your property. Inspecting gutters, especially during heavy rainfall, is really important. You really want to inspect them before the heavy rain sets in but it is a good time to see what the water is doing.
Damage to external walls
Most houses are pretty solid but water will find any weakness. If you have exposed brickwork, cracks in exterior walls or any kind of exposure that could be vulnerable to water damage, it is important to get it fixed. Don’t wait for the problems to occur – prevent them. An inspection of the entire property including the roof, gutters and walls, will highlight any issues.
Any kind of pooling water near, or on, your property is a sign that something is not right and could cause you problems including damp, flooding, subsidence and cracks. If you don’t have adequate, effective drainage to take water away from your property then you risk all kinds of issues. There are a few things you can to do avoid this occurring and to divert water away from your house including:
- Clean the gutters or check for issues
- Extend your downspouts
- Install a rain barrel
- Install a sump pump
- Seal the driveway
If it is on your flat roof, this will lead to problems so you need to get this looked at immediately.
Fixing the leak
Any suspected leak should be fully investigated and then fixed. You may need some damp remedial work done, you may have to have your gutters repaired or replaced. It may be that you require a new flat roof for your property. The key is not to ignore these issues as they will only get worse and could end up costing you more.
If you do have an issue with a flat roof or gutter then call the experts at Thermal Roof on 01934 824005. We will be only too happy to help.