What to do about roof leaks?

What to do about roof leaks?

The last thing you want during a rainstorm is water dripping from your ceiling. Your roof is the part of your home responsible for keeping you and your family dry, and when it fails, it can be tough to know what to do. Sure, you can put a bucket or pot under the drip, but that’s just a short-term fix. If you’re looking for the best, most effective way to stop a roof leak in its tracks, or at least until a roofing professional can get to it, here’s what you need to do:


Find the source

If you’ve noticed water stains or drips coming through your ceiling, the first thing you need to do is figure out where the water is coming from. There’s a possibility your roof may not be to blame. Head upstairs and uphill from where you’ve spotted the damage or the leak, to find where the water is coming from. As you make your way up to the attic, check to make sure that none of your plumbing or appliances, like the toilet or washing machine is the culprit.


Take a flashlight

If you’ve noticed water coming through your ceiling, it’ll probably be easy to find the source of the leak because of puddling water, but if you’ve caught the problem in time, it may be a bit more difficult. Take a flashlight with you to shine on the ceiling of the attic to identify any holes in the roof. The flashlight should also help you find any dark spots that indicate water has seeped into the plywood subflooring.


Control damage

Once you know where the water is coming from, you can control it to an extent. Put buckets out on the floor wherever water is dripping, and do your best to dry the areas that have already gotten wet. Consider your job as triage right now. Do what you can to clean up the worst of the mess, and keep your home as dry as possible while you get to stopping the water temporarily.


Stop Flow of Water Temporarily

Since you’re experiencing a leak, there’s probably something wrong with your roof. Whether you’ve got a hole, a crack in the flashing, or missing shingles, it’s likely that you’re going to need some professional help one way or another. You can’t just let your home continue to damage while you’re waiting for your roofer, though, so it’s a good idea to see what you can do to stop the flow of water until an expert can fix the issue permanently.


Roofing cement or tape

The easiest solution is to apply roofing cement or roofing tape to the inside of your roof to plug the leak. This certainly isn’t a long-term solution, but it should save your home and roof until someone can get together the right tools and materials to stop the roof leak.



Another good way to stop the water from coming in is to place a tarp on top of the space where water is coming in. If you’re feeling agile, you’ll want to take your tarp up on the roof with you, and place it over the leak, so the water is blocked from entering. This is typically a more effective temporary solution than roofing cement or roofing tape, because it stops the water from getting in at all, but it is definitely more dangerous. Only put a tarp up if you have worked on the roof before, and are comfortable securing the tarp.


Call your roofing expert

While you probably could go out to the hardware store and purchase a few shingles to patch up the area, it’s a better idea to call your local roofing expert. Water damage can be tricky, and if the water had been trickling in for a while, you may have more extensive damage to the sub-roofing, which will mean a bigger, more complicated job that’s better suited for a professional.


Additionally, there’s no guarantee that the shingles are to blame. It could be the flashing, a roofing nail that didn’t quite hit its mark, or any number of things that a roofing professional will be able to identify and repair quickly. At the very least, you should have a roofer come out to inspect the damage, to make sure it’s not a larger problem than it seems.


Watch for Roof Damage in the Future

Once you get your current roof damage taken care of, don’t let yourself forget about the potential for problems in the future. Roof damage is much easier, and less expensive, to fix when it’s caught early. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant and watch for signs of potential roof damage. The quicker you diagnose a problem, the easier it will be to fix.

If you’ve got a leak in your roof that needs looking at, give Werner Roofing a call! We’re a trusted local roofer with years of experience. We’ll come out, give your roof and leak a look, and provide you with an estimate before we start any work. Request a free quote, or contact our office at 616-844-5382 to set up your inspection today!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Roof

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Roof

It’s March, and the weather is finally starting to look a little warmer. As the snow melts, you’re probably getting ready for that first vigorous spring cleaning, when you clear out the garage, tidy up the basement, clean the windows, and generally just get your home ready for the warmer weather. While interior spring cleaning is important, and something that we all feel better after doing, there’s one part of the home many people forget needs a little bit of spring cleaning attention too: your roof! Harsh winter weather may have left your roof a little worse for wear, and there are a few things you can do to get it all tidied up for the rest of the year. Here’s 5 spring cleaning tips for your roof:

Clear debris

It’s typical for a roof to collect some leaves and pine needles through the fall and winter, but if your roof seems to be housing a lot of debris, it’s time to do some cleaning. The more debris that’s able to pile up on your roof, the easier it is for mold and mildew to grow––both of which are very dangerous to your roof’s health. The easiest way to get extra debris off is to use a leaf blower or rake, but take care not to damage any shingles.


Winter winds and snow are hard on shingles. Ice can freeze under shingles, forcing them to curl and separate from the rest of the roof. Sometimes, you’ll notice entire shingles ripped off by the harsh weather. It’s a good idea to give your roof a good once-over after all of the snow has melted, to see if any shingles are missing, ripped, or curled. If you see any problem areas, make sure to get them fixed or nailed back down as soon as possible. Loose shingles expose your roof to the elements, which can cause bigger problems like mold and water damage down the road if they’re not fixed quickly.

Chimney and Flashing

While you’re checking out the shingles on your roof, you’ll want to give your chimney and the flashing around any conjoining parts of your roof a look. Flashing can easily pull away from the roof or chimney, which creates holes that pests and water can invade. While these are typically easy fixes, you have to know the damage is there before you can fix it. If you’re not sure what flashing or chimney damage looks like, it’s a good idea to call a roofing professional who can give your roof a complete once-over for a reasonable price.

Damaging Tree Branches

If any branches fell on your roof over the winter, make sure to get them off as soon as possible. You’ll probably be able to handle smaller branches by yourself, but you might consider calling a professional to take care of the larger ones. The longer they stay on your roof, the more likely they are to puncture holes through shingles, causing water damage and leaks. It’s also a good idea to go around and trim any overhanging tree branches that could pose a problem in the future. If there are any looming over your roof that look like they might crash in the wind, you’ll want to take care of them now that the weather is nice, and before they actually fall.

Wash off Mold and Mildew

As mentioned before, mold and mildew can be very dangerous if they’re allowed to live on your roof. Make sure to check for signs of them this spring: you’ll see discolored streaks on your roof if there’s anything growing. If you do see something that you think is mold or mildew, you can treat the problem with a variety of solutions made to kill the growth. Generally you can pick these products up at your local hardware or roofing store. Just make sure you don’t use any of these solutions with a power washer. They’re far too strong for asphalt roofs and will damage shingles.


We hope these tips help you work your roof into your spring cleaning routine! The more often you inspect and take care of your roof, the longer it will last, and the less you’ll have to spend on it over time. If you’d like to have someone come out and inspect your roof for you, give the experts at Werner Roofing a call! We’ll let you know how your roof weathered the winter, and we’ll fix any minor issues as soon as possible. For more information, or to request a free repair estimate, give our office a call at 616-844-5382 or get your free quote online today!


Want Your Roof to Last Forever?

Want Your Roof to Last Forever?

Roofs are expensive, there’s no getting around it. Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, are concerned about the lifespan of your current roof, or are looking for a new, durable roof, investing in a roof that will keep your family warm and dry for decades to come is always a top priority. While we can’t promise you a roof that will last forever, we can give you a few tips to keep your roof around for as long as possible – which is at least 20 years with an asphalt roof, and at least 40 with a metal roof. The best way to keep your roof in shape through the decades is to take the time to do some regular upkeep. Here are a few things to think about when working to extend the life of your roof:

Insulate Your Attic

One of the best things you can do to ensure your roof hangs around for a while is to keep your attic well-insulated and leak free. Ice dams cause major roof destruction, especially in Michigan, and happen when an attic is poorly insulated. When heat from inside your home escapes through the roof, ice dams form when the snow on your roof melts, and then freezes at the gutter line. Ice dams can wreak havoc on your roof, and come spring, you might notice you have some serious leaks and need either a big repair or a new roof.

So, to keep your roof in tip-top shape, it’s important that your attic has the insulation needed to keep the heat in your house and the cold outside where it belongs. While you’re up there, you’ll also want to check for any leaks or holes in the roof as well. If you find any, be sure to get them repaired immediately. Otherwise, you’re leaving your roof vulnerable to water damage that will destroy the structural integrity of your roof and can lead to serious mold problems.

Inspect Weak Points

While it’s likely that you’re already checking for minor noticeable roof damage on a regular basis, have you also been checking the weak points of your roof? Chimney flashings, skylights, and valleys are the most vulnerable parts of any roof and should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re not leaking. When roofs are hit with alternately hot and freezing temperatures, sometimes this flashing can expand and contract, eventually pulling away from the edges, thus creating leaks and holes that can be detrimental later. These are all issues that are easily fixed with new strips of flashing––if you’re handy you can probably even do it yourself! But if they’re not caught early, they can cause serious problems that shorten the life expectancy of your roof.

Check for Critter Infestations

While you’re completing regular inspections in the attic and on the roof, it’s important to make sure you’re also looking for signs of insect and pest infestations. Since most roof support systems are made of wood, they’re extremely attractive, secluded hiding places for little critters. And if you’re not checking the area regularly, these infestations can get out of hand quicker than you’d like. A lot of insects and animals – like carpenter bees, termites, and even squirrels – can cause major damage by gnawing through the supports in your roof or chewing through electrical wires.

Get a Regular Roofing Professional

If you’re really looking to get the most out of your roof, it’s a good idea to consider signing up with a roofing professional long-term. Many roofing companies offer regular inspection programs––you simply sign up, and they agree to come out and inspect your roof once or twice a year on a regular schedule. This way, you know your roof is always getting the attention it needs, and your roofing professional can let you know as soon as they see something that could be an issue. This means you get small repairs taken care of before they become major issues, saving you money and keeping your roof looking great for many years to come!

Invest in a Metal Roof

Finally, if you’re here because you’re looking for a roof that will last the lifetime of your home, you might consider investing in a metal roof. The average metal roof can last anywhere from 40 to 60 years, and many of them can last much longer than that with proper upkeep. The benefits of a metal roof are many, the only drawback being the slightly higher upfront cost. But if roof durability is your biggest concern, then a metal roof is probably worth the cost for you. Requiring even less maintenance than an asphalt roof, a metal roof is guaranteed to last the lifetime you’re looking for.

Whether you’ve decided to stick with your trusty asphalt roof or switch to a heavier-duty metal roof, we hope these suggestions help your roof last as long as possible. Be sure to check out this blog post for more tips on extending the life of your roof. And if you have any questions about the state of your roof, or would like to request an inspection, be sure to get in touch with the experts at Werner Roofing! We’re a local, West Michigan roofing company, and we’d love to answer any roofing questions you’ve got. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382 or request a free roofing estimate online today!

The Right Roof For Your Michigan Home

The Right Roof For Your Michigan Home

Finding the right roof for your West Michigan home isn’t always easy. A new roof is a major investment and a major decision. It’s likely to last you at least the next few decades, so it’s probably important to you that you choose a roof that you like, and that looks great on your home. If you’ve finally decided it’s time for a new roof, you won’t want to rush into your decision. In case you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of making that purchase, we’ve put together this blog to help you narrow down your choices and make that final decision a little easier. First, let’s start with what type of roof you want to buy:


In Michigan, you have two main options for roofing materials – asphalt and metal. They’re both great choices, but each has its benefits and its downfalls:


Asphalt roofs are one of the most popular choices on the market because of their durability and low cost. When you choose an asphalt roof, you’ll have a great variety of options available to you, as asphalt comes in all kinds of colors and textures to best suit your home. It’s also excellent at keeping in heat in the winter and muffling sound, providing you with a well-insulated, quiet home. The best part: since asphalt roofs are one of the easiest to install, and are made from affordable materials, they’re one of the cheapest roofing options on the market.

While asphalt is an excellent roofing option, it’s important to note that there are a few downfalls. An asphalt roof will last you about 12-20 years, which is good, but not the same as a 50-year metal roof. Additionally, asphalt roofs are more prone to lost and broken shingles in the event of high winds.


Another popular roofing option, metal is one of the most durable materials on the market. It stands up against virtually every weather condition and will last you anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Metal is also very energy efficient. It’s one of the best materials out there for keeping your home cool in the summer, and it also works to keep in heat during the winter. An added bonus? Metal is ultra-lightweight compared to other materials, which means that if you need to reroof, you can place a new metal roof right over an old asphalt roof. The light construction means that the additional roof won’t damage your home’s structure, and you’ll save money by not having to strip the old one.

Like asphalt roofing, metal roofing also has some drawbacks. The biggest is the cost of a metal roof. You’re likely to pay a hefty upfront cost when you opt for a metal roof. In the end, the cost is almost always worth it, since metal roofs are so durable, but it can be a steep price when you’re putting it on. Additionally, metal roofs don’t always have the same style options as asphalt. When you choose a metal roof, you’ll likely be able to choose from just solid colors, instead of the varieties offered by asphalt options.

Energy Efficient Roofing?

When you install a new roof, you also have the option to choose one that’s energy efficient. Both asphalt and metal roofing come in energy efficient options, usually called “cool roofs.” This type of roof works to keep heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer. While most standard roofing options – metal and asphalt – are pretty good at keeping your home toasty in the winter, the issue comes during the summer. Standard roofs are more apt to absorb heat from the sun’s rays, transferring that into your home, and forcing your air conditioning unit to work harder. This costs energy, and it can be inconvenient as your home continues to heat up, rather than cool down.

Cool roofs, alternatively, feature a special coating that works to reflect the sun’s rays, bouncing that heat off rather than absorbing it. While cool roofs do tend to cost more upfront, you’ll typically save money in the long run by increasing your energy efficiency and potentially extending the life of your roof.

Choosing A Color

Finally, we’ve come to the last, and perhaps most important decision of choosing a new roof. The color. You’ll want a color that’s beautiful and that goes with your home, but doesn’t stand out too much either. Here are a few tips to consider when you’re trying to figure out the right roof color:

  • Consider the style of your home
    The last thing you want to do is mess up the architectural integrity of your home’s design. For instance, if you have a classic white farmhouse, it will probably make sense for you to go with a darker roof color. If you designed your home with a specific style in mind, you’ll want to stick with that when you choose your roof color.
  • Think about unchangeable elements of your home
    If your home has some bold design elements, like a chimney, stone façade, or even a brick exterior, these colors are the ones that will dictate the color of your roof. You’ll want to choose a roof that complements these, so they stand out the way you originally intended. By contrasting with some of those major elements, you’ll end up with a lot of competing colors, ruining your overall design. In this situation, it’s best to go with a complementary color.
  • Consider the illusion
    Remember that darker colors tend to make your home seem smaller, while lighter colors will do the opposite.
  • Don’t forget your neighbors
    If you live in a subdivision, or if your neighbors are close by, you’ll want to ensure that your new roof doesn’t clash with their homes. If you have a neighborhood association, they may have stipulations on which colors you can choose from, which will affect your end choice. Even if you don’t have any rules to follow, you don’t want your home to look just like your neighbors, but you don’t want it to clash either. The way your home looks next to your neighbor’s can have a major effect on the overall aesthetic of your community.
  • If no other rules apply, remember the color wheel
    Your best bet is to choose a color that either contrasts, complements, or matches the overall color of your home. Contrast a light home with a dark roof for an eye-popping combination. For a more subtle look, complement a sage green house with a warm brown roof. And if neither of those options seem right, you can always match the color of your roof to the color of your home for a unified look.

In the end, the right roof for your West Michigan home is the roof you think will look the best and stand up to the elements for years to come. If you’re still struggling with all of the options out there, or if you just have a few questions before you make your final decision, make sure to give the experts at Werner Roofing a call. We’re one of West Michigan’s foremost roofers, installing both asphalt and standing seam metal roofs, and we’re here to answer any questions you might have. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382, or request your free roofing estimate online today!