Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
Whether or not homeowners insurance covers leaks in your roof, and any resulting damage, depends on what caused the leak. If, for instance, a windstorm or hail damaged your roof, your insurance would likely cover repairs or replacement. But if a maintenance issue like wear and tear is the cause, then you’d likely be responsible for the costs.
Being a homeowner means being mindful of repairs, especially when it comes to your home’s first line of defense — the roof. If a tree falls in a brutal storm and careens through your shingles, it’s good to know someone’s got your back to help cover leaks and resulting repairs. That’s why it’s important to read over your homeowners policy and consult your insurer so that you know what’s covered by your homeowners insurance.
How to spot roof leaks? Spotting a roof leak early on could prevent more extensive repairs like water damage to your ceiling and mold growth in your insulation. However, finding the roof leak’s point of origin may prove difficult, sometimes even more so than fixing the leak itself. That’s because water will often infiltrate the roof in one location but trickle down to another location, where it starts to dampen the ceiling and walls.
But don’t worry just yet ! We’ll offer some useful tips that could help you track even the most crafty leaks.
1) Look for roof penetrations
To begin your investigation, start by trailing the stains on your roof upward. The most noticeable signs of roof leaks are penetrations, such as an errant nail, and are actually the most common cause of roof leaks. It’s rare for a leak to spring up when shingles are intact, regardless of how old they are.
In addition to isolating penetrations, be sure to check roof vents, chimneys, plumbing, or any other points of entry around the roof. They may be within several feet of the roof leak.
2) Check the attic
With a flashlight in tow, venture up to the attic (if you have access) and search for damp spots and mold growth, which should stand out from the surrounding sheathing. Because it thrives on moisture, mold likely indicates a weak spot in your roof.
3) Investigate insulation
Remember, when handling insulation it’s important to wear the appropriate protective gear — such as gardening gloves, goggles, head coverings, pants, and long sleeves.
After you’ve found the Leak:
Even the most minor leak can cause extensive damage if it goes unnoticed. Luckily, modest repairs suffice in many cases — like replacing a shingle, for example. But if you don’t feel comfortable on your roof, or if the leak seems too substantial, it may be wise to reach out to a professional.