The average cost to repair water damage to your home ranges from $2,700 to $7,500, and could be more depending on how much damage is done. Your roof is one of your home’s first defenses to protect against this water damage.

Worried your roof is leaking? If so, here are some telltale signs you have a leaky roof so you can get it fixed immediately to limit any water damage.

1. Water Stains on Your Ceiling

Water stains on your ceilings are one of the first signs that you have a leaky roof. A water stain may look like a large puddle with a brown ring around it. 

Some stains are harder to spot if they’re in dark corners. The size of the stain doesn’t matter either, because even the smallest stains can be a sign of a large leak. If you see any discoloration on your walls or ceiling, you need to take a closer look for any other moisture or mold.

Leaks can travel from their source, so your leak may not be directly above this water stain. This is another reason you need someone to check out this leak.

2. Missing Shingles

If you have missing shingles, you could have some trouble with your roof. A patchy roof is prone to leaks over time. You may not see the leaks inside your home but could still have a leak in your crawl space or attic. 

This is why you should check for any missing shingles. When you see any damage like missing shingles, you should contact a professional for an inspection.

3.  Debris in Your Downspouts

Some granules on your roof will get loose over time. However, if you begin to notice more granules and roof debris in your downspouts, you may have a problem with your roof that can compromise its effectiveness.

4. You Have Drips

If you hear or see drips, you may have a leak. Even if the drips stop, you should still get it checked because you could have an ice dam, which happens from the thawing and freezing of melting ice and snow.

The thawed water moves beneath the shingles and will freeze again when temperatures drop. Any moisture issues can cause damage to your home even if the drips stop.

5. Growth on Your Walls

If you have any mold or moss on an exterior wall, this could be a problem with gutters on your roofing system. Your gutters move water away from your roof and into the ground. If your gutter system isn’t working properly, this could easily damage your roof and cause leaks.

If you see any growth on your exterior walls, this means the water isn’t running properly and you have a leak somewhere in the roofing system.

6. Mold on Your Roof

In addition to mold on the walls in your home, mold on your roof is also a sign of a leak. This may not impact the shingles but could be a potential problem, as fungi or algae could be growing on the roof from moist conditions or water leaks.

7. Buckling Shingles

Water absorption can cause your shingles to curl or buckle. If this happens, the roof could leak further. This could also happen if you have hot air trapped in the attic.

Either way, the shingles can allow water to build up underneath, causing your roof to leak.

8. Different Texture

Another sign your roof is leaking is if your shingles feel spongy if you walk on them. This texture means water is weakening your underlying deck. 

If you shingles feel different, go into your attic. Look for any daylight peeking through the boards. If you see light, you have a leak.

9. Missing or Damaged Flashing

If you have any missing flashing, this could be a sign your roof is leaking. Flashing seals vulnerable spots on the roof, so if some are missing or damaged, water can leak through these areas.

10. Bubbling on Your Interior Walls

Interior walls can start to bubble from seeping water. Typically, you’ll see bubbling along with water spots on the ceiling.

These spots can actually take years to show up. This is why it’s important to regularly check your attic or crawl spot.

Dangers of a Leaky Roof

Along with damage to the structure of your home, a leaky roof can cause other problems. Your utility bills could increase with wasted energy because the water can compromise your insulation, forcing your air conditioner and furnace to work harder. 

Mold and mildew pose serious health threats to you and your family, including nasal congestion, asthma, rhinitis, and other respiratory inflammations. Mold spores continue to produce until it’s killed, so this is a growing problem. Mold can begin growing once an area is wet in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

As soon as the roof leaks, it’ll damage the attic area and then the ceiling. This could compromise the structure of your home if it leaks long enough. If it moves to your ceiling, you could face electrical issues with the wires connecting ceiling fans and ceiling lights.

The ceiling joists and wall framing can also deteriorate. This requires additional repairs that are rather expensive.

With moisture in your attic, your electrical wiring could be a fire hazard by causing electrical shorts. Once you discover a leak, you’ll want to turn off electricity to surrounding areas and let an electrician inspect it.

See Any of These Signs? Contact a Roofing Contractor

If you see any of these signs of a leaky roof, it’s important to contact a roofing contractor immediately. Some of these signs may appear after your roof has been leaking for a long time. You’ll also need a professional to examine the cause of the leak to prevent future ones.

Need a professional opinion on your roof repair? If you’re worried about your roof, contact us today for a quote and inspection. We’re a family-owned business serving the Grand Rapids area.

Your roof is very important to the look and character of your home. Roofs, aside from covering your home and looking good, can create more living space, make your home safer and more resilient to adverse weather, and help your family save money by being more energy-efficient.

Down below we have a breakdown of some roof types to help you determine which you need for your own home if you are thinking of renovating.

1. Gable Roof

Gable roofs are also known as pitched or peaked roofs. They are among some of the most coveted roofs in the US.

A gable roof can be recognized by the triangle shape. They shed water quite easily and can easily make space for attics or vaulted ceilings. They also have a simple design which makes building them much easier than the more complex roof types.

However, the way they are put together can make them troublesome in high wind and hurricanes. Constructing them incorrectly can also lead them to collapse. 

2. Hip Roof

Hip roofs are characterized by having slopes on all sides. The sides are equal in length and join at the top to create a ridge. They are more stable than traditional gable roofs, as the slope inward from each side makes them more resistant.

The way they are constructed makes them great for withstanding snow and high winds. Partly because of their slant, snow will slide off easily.

Of course, these benefits do come at a cost, and they prove to be more expensive than building a gable roof. They also have more complicated designs that require more materials to build.

3. Mansard Roof

Mansun roofs, or otherwise known as the French roofs, are four-sided with styling that includes a double slope on every side. They are sloped together in a low pitch.

However, the lower slope has a steeper gradient than the upper slope. The sides of a Mansard roof maybe also be flat or curved, depending on how their construction is wanted.

This roof type can make plenty of extra space at the top of your home. Space can often be used as an attic or alternative living quarters. These quarters are known as a garret and have become very popular among homeowners.

Mansard Roofs provide the flexibility to make alterations to the home in the future.

When creating a home, money can be saved by starting with a Mansard roof and then enacting a conversion at a later date. The problem with the Mansard roof is that the low pitched area is not good for places with a lot of snowfall.

4. Gambrel Roof

Gambrel roofs, otherwise known as the barn roof, has similarities to a Mansard in that it includes two slopes. The difference between the two moving types is that the Gambrel is built with just two sides and the Mansard with four.

The Gambrel’s roof, on the lower side, has a slope that is almost vertical and then another slope that is much lower. Gambrels can be seen on many barns and farmhouses, but other places also.

They are commonplace on Georgian style homes and colonial residences. As you might imagine, the similarities to a Mansard roof makes them great for extra living space in the attic. 

They use but two roof beams and gusset joints to hold them up, meaning the construction is very easy and there is little material needed to build them. They are very good for creating more space for storage but are not a recommended roof type for places that receive a lot of snowfall or heavy wind.

5. Flat Roof

Flat roofs are pitched only slightly, just enough to let the water run off and drain properly.

You can find flat roofs often on commercial or industrial buildings. They may also be built on top of residential homes. Because of their flattened design, they can be used for plenty of living space on roofs, allowing for gardens and patios or even a penthouse room on top of the home.

Flat roofs can also be used to house heating units, which will keep them out of eyeshot. This is seen very much on commercial roofing. The flat design also makes them much quicker to construct with less building materials needed.

However, despite them having slight pitching, they are still very susceptible to water leaking, and thus do not do well in places with a lot of rainfall or snow.

6. Skillion Roof

Skillion roofs are also known as shed roofs. The design is one of a single sloping roof built onto the side of a taller wall. They are known as half-pitched roofs and are utilized mostly for adding to homes, sheds, and porches.

Some of them, however, are being used as part of the entire structure for modern homes. They are simple to put together and do not need a lot of building materials.

Because of the steepness, snow and water are not an issue, which makes them ideal for heavy rain and precipitation. They may also be used just to add flair to roof design and can make homes look exceptionally good.

However, these types of roofs can make the low ceilings if the pitch is too steep. They can also be susceptible to high winds.

7. Jerkinhead Roof

Jerkinhead Roofs combine both Gable and Hip roofs. They may be looked at as hipped roofs with two short sides. They can also be known as English hip roofs.

The hipped ends make them more stable than your standard gable roof. This is because the hipping, otherwise known as turning the point downwards, makes them more sturdy and able to resist wind damage.

However, because of the design, they cost more to build too.

Choosing The Correct Roof Types

When picking out what roof design you want for your home, you need to look at what roofing is good for the area you live in.

Of course, taking into account the weather and wind present in the area you live can have a big impact on which roof types you can go for.

After that, it is a choice of looking at whether you need more space or you want a home that is eco-friendly. After this take a look at the style. As long as you remember these factors, you’ll be able to create a home that looks fantastic while being appropriate. 

If you are planning to shingle or re-shingle your roof, there are various issues you should think about. And although you can do these yourself, hiring a professional is very much recommended!

Need expert help? Get in touch with Melvin Belk Roofing Grand Rapids and see what other customers are saying about us!

Roofing repairs can be costly.

Indeed, a 10×10 foot section of asphalt shingle can set you back up to $350 on average. What’s more, the wallet gets hit harder for repairs to complex roofs made from expensive materials.

All told the cost of hiring roofing contractors can be a heavy burden for any homeowner.

Nonetheless, ignoring necessary repairs is a risky game. As you’re well aware, roofs play a rather key role in any home! They provide structural support and essential protection from the elements.

Forgoing repairs for the sake of money can backfire dramatically in the long run. If there’s an issue, then you need to act sooner rather than later.

Wondering if you need to hire a roofing contractor for a home in Grand Rapids?

Read on for 7 tell-tale issues that require vital roofing repairs.

1. Age

Such is life:

The older you get, the more maintenance you need! The same applies to whether you’re talking about people or roofs.

Now, it might look totally fine. But a roof that’s getting long in the tooth can harbor unseen issues lurking beneath the surface.

A standard roof that’s getting on in years might be reaching its limit.

Consider getting an inspection from a verified contractor to take a look. You’ll pay for the service, of course. However, it can save you thousands if you catch an issue early.

2. Shingle Damage

Take a look at the shingle on your roof.

What do you see?

Signs of wear and tear include discoloration, cracks, and missing and misshapen shingles.

All of these issues require attention. However, cracked, misshapen and missing shingles require immediate action. Older shingle starts to alter in form and will often curl up. It’s a sign it’s soon to break!

Missing shingles are even worse. Those gaps on your roof could lead it to leak or even collapse. Both eventualities are far from ideal.

Be sure to call the contractor as soon as possible when your shingles are suffering.

3. Blocked Gutters

Blocked gutters are incredibly common.

All sorts of debris can find their way into the roof gutter systems. Leaves, branches, dirt, and grime are frequent causes of blockages. That’s why it’s so important to clear them out periodically throughout the year.

However, an altogether different source of blocked gutters comes from the shingles themselves.

Certain types of shingle shed granules as they age. Looking a bit like coarse, hardened, black sand, they fall from the shingle and enter the guttering.

Aside from the gutter problem, it also means your shingles are on the verge of wearing out. It’s time to get them looked at by a trusted roofing professional.

Has moss become a problem too? Here’s how to clear moss from your roof.

4. Water’s Coming In

Houses are meant to stay dry.

Roofs are meant to keep the water out. If it’s no longer serving that purpose, well, you know what to do! That’s right: call the contractor.

Thankfully, a leaking roof isn’t the end of the world. It’s vital that you catch the leak early though. Any delay in sorting the problem will inevitably lead to it getting worse.

Get all signs of water damage looked at by a professional sooner than later. Obviously, seeing water coming in is the clearest sign of all! It’s often subtler though.

Look for stains and watermarks on ceilings. Listen out for dripping sounds from above. Go up into the attic space to look for puddles, damp patches, and mold.

Any of these issues is reason enough to call a roofing contractor in Grand Rapids.

5. Unwanted Attic ‘Windows’

Have you recently discovered a new light-source coming through the loft ceiling?

Well, you’ve been given the gift of a brand new natural window!

All joke’s aside, any new sign of sunlight coming from the loft ceiling spells danger. You officially have a hole in the roof, which requires immediate resolution.

A compromised roof means your house is now open to the elements. It’s only a matter of time before additional damage ensues.

Act fast, call a roofing contractor, and get it fixed.

6. The Roofline Is Bowing

Most roofs are designed to have straight edges.

You know there’s a problem when those edges show signs of sagging. That’s right, a bowed roofline means something’s amiss underneath.

It’s likely that the internal structure’s been compromised. An underlying rafter may have broken as a result of its age, pest damage, or natural disaster, and so on.

Whatever the exact cause, you know it isn’t good.

Suddenly, other parts of your roof are put under additional pressure they aren’t designed to withstand. A full collapse is likely if it’s left in this state of disrepair for too long.

Here’s some basic insight into roofing construction that might be of use.

7. Rising Energy Bills

Here’s a more subtle sign of a roofing issue:

Have you noticed your energy bills increasing out of nowhere recently?

Well, it might be explained by issues up above. No, we’re not talking about divine provenance this time. We’re more worried about attic problems.

All that hot or cold air could be leaking out through a faulty roof.

Your bid to correct the temperature via your HVAC drives energy consumption, and your energy bills with it. Sort both problems by calling a roofing contractor to take a look.

The issue could lay elsewhere. Nonetheless, an inspection of your roof could solve the problem and/or reveal others in the process.

Time to Hire Roofing Contractors

There you have it: 7 obvious signs that your roof needs to be seen by roofing contractors in Grand Rapids.

It doesn’t matter where you live in the country, roofing repairs in the United States don’t come cheap. Paying top dollar for essential maintenance is never fun.

It is, however, crucial for preserving the functionality of your home.

For serious problems, forgoing the expense and waiting too long can cause even greater issues. Of course, the price increases as a result.

Acting quickly to resolve your roofing problems is key. Hopefully, this post has highlighted the key warning signs to look for and will save you future roofing trouble in the process.

Got a roof issue and need a contractor in Grand Rapids? Call us today.

Is your roof in need of repairs? Looking to install a new roof altogether? If so, you have two options: tend to your roof yourself or bring in a local roofing specialist.

For most individuals, the latter is the best choice. Why? Because bringing in a Grand Rapids roofing specialist is beneficial in ways that DIY roof repair is not. 

Curious as to the benefits of using professional roofing services? Here are seven of them. 

1. Receive the Best of Materials

There are all sorts of roofing materials on the market, some of which are of high quality, and others of which possess the bare minimum. Therefore, if you’ve never purchased roofing materials before, you could very well end up with a low-quality brand. 

This is why it’s important to utilize the services of a professional roofing specialist. A roofing specialist will know which brands are the best and which ones best accommodate your home or business. 

In fact, many roofing specialists work with designated suppliers, receiving high-end materials at a budgeted price. In essence, if you want a material that will provide max protection over a long period of time, you need to call up your local roofing installer. 

2. Take Advantage of Warrantied Work 

Installing a roof is far from easy. If you’ve never done it before, you could very easily mess it up. Unfortunately, each mess up will cost you—not only time but money as well. 

This is one of the big advantages of utilizing a professional roofing specialist. Roofing specialists are not only capable of getting the installation right the first time, but they’re also likely to provide warrantied work. So, in other words, on the rare occasion that they do fumble an installation, they’ll work for free until it’s done right. 

In short, the services of a professional roofing specialist are guaranteed. Because they’re guaranteed, they come with almost no risk. 

3. Maintain Your Safety

If you’ve never been up on a roof before, you might not know roofs are dangerous places to be. Whether it’s 12 feet off the ground or 25 feet off the ground, if you fall off a roof, you could become seriously injured. Unfortunately, some individuals have even died after falling from roofs. 

This is why it’s wise to bring in a roofing specialist. A roofing specialist will do all of the work for you, removing you entirely from the dangerous situation. 

And you won’t have to worry about the safety of your roofing specialist. These days, roofers use a variety of different safety equipment to prevent injury while on the job. While a fall is still a possibility, it’s an exceedingly low possibility. 

4. Save Money

The primary reason that homeowners try their hand at installing their own roofing is that they want to save money. After all, if you can cut out labor costs, you can save quite a bit, right? 

Sure you can… as long as you get the installation right on the first try. If you don’t, you’ll spend more money on materials than you would have on labor. 

And let’s be honest; if you’ve never installed a roof before, the odds of you getting it right the first time are slim to none. Roofing isn’t just a matter of hammering shingles down. It’s about making precise measurements, properly installing sheathing, and completing a variety of other tasks. 

Plus, there’s the issue of resources. Ladders, work equipment, and safety implements cost money. If you install your roof on your own, you’ll be responsible for paying for these resources.

5. Abide By the Law 

Depending on where you live, there could be regulations dictating how you can install your roof. Failure to abide by these regulations could result in you having penalties levied against you. Not to mention, you could be put in a position where you’re forced to tear down your roof and start anew. 

Fortunately, when using a professional roofer, this won’t happen. Professional roofers are familiar with local codes and ordinances and know exactly how to install roofs that abide by them. 

In essence, if you don’t want to face legal troubles, you would be wise to utilize the services of a professional. 

6. Complete the Task in a Timely Manner

Simply put, installing a roof takes time. The less experience you have with roofing and the fewer roofers you have involved in the installation, the longer it’s going to take. For some DIYers, it can take months to successfully install a roof. 

A professional roofing specialist would never take this long. Professionals and their teams can complete roofing jobs within a day or two, providing almost instant coverage to homes and ensuring that they aren’t affected by the elements. 

In short, if you want to get your roofing project out of the way as quickly as possible, you have to utilize the services of a professional. 

7. Avoid Lawsuits

One of the things that DIYers tend to forget about when working on DIY projects is that they would be held legally liable for any damages that are done to strangers during their projects. For instance, if a hammer were to fall off the roof and hit the neighbor’s son on the head, the DIYer could be sued. 

When utilizing the services of a licensed professional, this is an impossibility. When a professional works on your roof, he or she is held liable for damages, leaving you free of legal repercussions. 

In Need of a Grand Rapids Roofing Specialist? 

Is your roof on the mend? In need of a Grand Rapids roofing specialist? If so, we here at Melvin Belk Roofing are the people to see. 

We’ve installed and repaired roofs on countless homes throughout the Grand Rapids area. Regardless of your needs, our team can accommodate them. 

Contact us now to schedule an appointment! 

Not only can moss and algae buildup on your roof and become unattractive, but it also causes roof and shingle damage. This article was written to help inform homeowners about this issue and how to prevent this reoccurring problem.

The degrading process of moss or algae may be more prevalent in some types of roofs than others.  It can affect asphalt, metal, clay, and concrete roofing materials. Essentially all materials are at risk of moss and algae growth. When moss or algae grow between shingles, more moisture and water seepage is allowed between them. In turn, this can create rotting, leaking and other roof-related issues.

Fortunately, getting rid of this harmful substance is rather easy and can be done on your own, without professional help. There are a few essential steps in the removal process and several other preventative steps you can take to ensure no further reoccurrence of mold or algae.

How to Spot Algae & Moss Buildup On Your Roof

Typically, the algae or moss growth begins as small spots located on the roof and eventually convert into longer streaks running down the infrastructure.

The first and most important step in eliminating the growth of these types of bacteria is to reduce the amount of moisture and shading. Believe it or not, sunlight is actually beneficial to controlling this kind of growth and therefore to your roof’s lifespan.

Other Essential Steps Include:

  • Trim tree branches to reduce the amount of shaded area over your home’s roof
  • Do not allow debris to accumulate on your roof
  • Use a leaf blower regularly in a downslope direction to avoid getting debris in the cracks of the shingles
  • Keep up with gutter maintenance and if needed replace with new gutters

Cleaning Your New Roof in Grand RapidsRemoving Algae and Moss From Your Roof

There are several ways to get rid of moss or algae once they have occurred.  You can purchase a cleaner at your local store, or you can save a little bit of money with a DIY-cleaner. First, be sure that other areas of your home and landscaping are guarded with plastic sheeting to prevent any unforeseen damage due to overspray. Additionally, it important to spray the roof with water before applying the DIY cleaning mixture. Once applied, let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then lightly scrub the scum off.  Be careful to remove as little of the shingle grit as possible.  Complete the job with a thorough rinse with clean water.  Make sure to give a good long rinse to any plants below your roof’s edge.

DIY Cleaning Ingredients:

  • 2 gallons of water and 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of white distilled vinegar
  • 2 gallons of water and 1 ½ to 3 ½ cups of chlorine bleach
  • 2 gallons of water and 1 pound of powdered oxygen bleach
  • 2 gallons of water and 8 oz or Dawn Ultra dish soap


Prevent Algae From Growing On Your Roof

There are further preventatives such as installing roofs with zinc or copper strips. These strips work by creating toxic environments that make it difficult for algae to thrive. However, it is important to be careful (or use a professional) when installing these strips as they can often create further damage if nails are used to position them.

What To Do If The Shingles Are Too Damaged Already

Sometimes you will find that moss has been allowed to remain on the roof for too long and the damage has already been done.  If this is a concern, contact us for an honest estimate.  We may be able to save the roof and simply repair the damaged roof; however, if you do need a new roof installation we will give you the very best price available.

If you have any questions or concerns about this article or your roof, please feel free to contact us.