Insurance & Claims

Avoid a Leak on Your Brand New Roof

You just got a brand new roof…

And you couldn’t be happier. Protection from the elements lurking securely above your head in the form of state-of-the-art shingles and craftsmanship. You made the investment and you feel it’s a good one. Sure, it cost thousands of dollars. Sure, it’s not quite as exciting as a new flat screen TV or the Bahama vacation you’ve been eyeing, but it’s a sound and noble investment. It will increase the value of your home. It’ll protect you. It’ll protect your family. You feel good about your purchase. And then, a couple weeks after the roofers have left, a few snow storms have rolled in, and you’re still feeling good about the quality investment over your head. You sit down to catch the latest episode of Mad Men. Reclining in your Lay-Z-Boy chair, you crack open a can of your favorite after-dinner beverage, and it’s then that you hear the sound.

Drip, drip, drip…

It’s a steadier sound than you would’ve hoped for. Rhythmic and loud and frequent. You follow the noise, assuming a leaky faucet, or a child playing, and then you see it – a long, steady drip of water pouring from your ceiling, pooling onto the hardwood floor below, lunging towards your rugs, furniture, and electrical equipment. You’ve got a leak.

Minutes, hours, days later…

And your living-room looks like a battlefield. Rugs rolled up and shoved to the side, furniture overturned and covered in tarps. Wallpaper bubbling and rippling from rust-stained water damage as buckets litter the room like giant chess pieces ready for battle. Unfortunately, you are the chess player and you have no strategy, no next-move planned. Only a steady waterfall of ice water and the lingering question—where did I go wrong?

You finally get your roofer to come out…

Leaky Roof in College Station
Water Pooling | photo by F. D. Richards

And the news isn’t good. Not only do they deny the leak is their fault, but they have no insurance to cover these repairs. You follow the roofer as he slowly makes his way around the carnage that is now your living-room, eyes wide and skeptical. You point to the lump in the ceiling, you try to tell the roofer that the source of the problem is here. “That’s water pooling,” you say to him. Only he shakes his head and says, “That’s not water.” It is, you insist. It definitely is. To make your case, you take the end of a broom handle and, with force, you pierce the drywall at the bottom of the lump. Immediately, water gushes all over your floor. “See?!” you say. You wonder if this man even knows what he’s talking about at all, but you know it doesn’t matter. You are out of luck. You made a big mistake and it’s going to be a long time before coming home doesn’t make you want to rip out your own hair.

So what went wrong?

Roof Leak on Carport in College Station roofing
Roof Leak | photo by Song_sing

In this scenario, the issue was a combination of mistakes. The first one being that you should’ve invested in and Ice and Water Shield on your roof. It’s true, you don’t live in Michigan. Three feet of snow is not a normal occurrence for you. You didn’t know that in some parts of the country, people make a daily chore of shoveling snow off their roofs and you don’t care to know, but you do know it can get cold in Texas. Where there’s cold there’s ice. Where there’s ice there are ice dams, and these ice dams will form on your roof. You know the old story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Well, if you give a roof an ice dam, your roof will surely wreak havoc on your home. Water won’t run off the roof correctly, it’ll get stuck on the dam, it’ll pool in abnormal places, and the weight of that water will cause a leak. A big one. The solution: Always invest in Ice and Water Shields.

College Station roof leak - interior
Entry way roof leak|Photo by F. D. Richards

Secondly, before hiring anyone to touch your roof, you have to do your research. Know who you’re hiring. Seek recommendations. Make sure they’re licensed. Make sure they have insurance. Inquire about any guarantee they may have (like our Bulletproof Roof® Guarantee). Make sure you’re covered. And even when you’re confident you’ve hired the best, don’t stop there. Watch them while they work. Don’t get in the way, but take pictures as they go. Document everything. Cover yourself. Should anything go wrong, you need to be able to go back and say, “This is where you messed up.” It doesn’t have to be a gamble whenever you hire a contractor to do work on your house, but do your homework and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. If something goes wrong, you need to know you’re covered.

Unless, of course, you prefer to play Marco Polo with your family in your new living-room swimming pool. Maybe you do. Who are we to judge? The choice is yours!