Have you noticed any evidence of roof leaks in your house? These are usually telltale signs of ceiling stains on your sheetrock. Here in Lees Summit, our typical heaviest rain season would be April through September, with each month exceeding four inches of rain. Within this, June is our heaviest rain month with typical rainfall exceeding six inches.
The problem with roof leaks is diagnosing the source of the leak. To do this, you would normally look immediately above the stain that provided the evidence of the roof leak. But the roof leak could be a good distance from the stain as water has surface tension that can be stronger than gravity. Have you ever noticed beads of water on a leaf after a rainstorm? What prevents gravity from pulling that water down to the ground? You are observing the effects of surface tension.
What this means in a small roof leak (all leaks start small) is that the small amounts of water are leaking through the roof and adhering to structural members such as roof joists, roof sheathing material, or plumbing or HVAC vents. Those water droplets will adhere to these materials the same way water droplets adhere to leaves. As these members slope downward, gravity acting on the water droplets coupled with surface tension will cause the water droplets to follow this material as it flows downward. It is only when these droplets get sufficiently large or a dissimilar material “breaks” the surface tension that the force of gravity exceeds the surface tension forces, and this is where your ceiling gets stained.
If you notice a small stain on your ceiling, this may be evidence of a roof leak. It’s always wise to have any ceiling stains or leaks diagnosed early as it is usually much less expensive to fix a small leak. If you can’t find the source of the roof leak, call an experienced local roofing contractor based in Lee’s Summit to find and diagnose the leak for you.
When you look at roofs in your neighborhood, have you ever noticed some that have black roof stains? Have you ever noticed a pattern on those stains? Have you ever wondered why those stains appear or what causes them?
The cause of these black stains is algae. Here in Lees Summit, we have a moisture rich environment that contributes to the growth of this algae. The patterns you see on individual roofs relate to moisture (such as dew) and areas with less sunlight, including north-facing portions of the roof or areas with heavy tree coverage. This algae also travels through the air, so if you notice a neighbor’s roof appears to have this discoloration, it can travel through the air to adjacent houses, and it just might come your way. This algae is mostly an aesthetic nuisance, and should not affect the life of your roof. It can be cleaned with a mixture of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP, available at local hardware stores), bleach, and water. This should be considered annual maintenance as this algae growth will be a recurring problem.
You may also notice a pattern where there are no black stains below skylights, plumbing vents, or other areas that have flashed roof penetrations. This is because zinc in the metal flashing is a natural algae deterrent. As rainwater flows over the flashing, it dissolves minute amounts of zinc from the metal and provides a small portion of your roof that doesn’t support algae growth. When you install a new roof, your roofing contractor can provide methods to prevent this algae growth from ever developing. A roofing contractor familiar with the Lee’s Summit, Missouri area will be the most knowledgeable about how much algae growth is usual for roofs in this area, as well as what some other climate impacts on your roof will be.
We are an experienced Lees Summit roofing company with over 15 years experience in repair, service and installation.