Roof leaks can cause significant damage to a home if the cause isn’t discovered and repaired promptly and effectively. Finding a leak can be frustrating or relatively simple, depending on location and weather conditions
Check your roof for some of the most common causes of leaks to stop an existing leak or to prevent future problems.
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- Broken or Missing Shingles
If you have an older house this can happen quite easily. Take a look up and give it a once over. Strong winds can rip shingles from the roof, and you may have an exposed area where you can’t see. Climb a ladder to inspect hidden areas and check for missing shingles.
- Cracked Flashings
A metal flashing must be in place to direct water streaming down the wall away from the stopping point of the shingles. Flashing sections may slide out of place if nails are missing and caulk may dry and crack over time.
- Attic Condensation
A leak is most likely coming from your attic if the space shows signs of mold growth or mildew. A strong, musty odor emanating from the attic is also a key that water has gotten inside.
- Valleys not Sealed Properly
A valley is a line where two roof planes intersect. Since, these areas of the roof are usually sloped, if the valleys are not sealed together properly, rainwater can get inside as it runs down the roof. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof.
- Roof Vents
With any vent or pipe protrusion it’s important to make sure it has been sealed tight. For any penetration through the roof to be sealed properly to prevent leaks. Inspect the gaskets around vent pipes for cracks or gaps and check for missing nails. Plastic vents may crack after years of exposure to the weather.
- Clogged Gutters
Gutters clogged with leaves or other debris can slow the water flowing off the roof, giving it time to soak through. Gutter covers can help keep gutters clear of debris to ensure that water flows freely and quickly off the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that water has no where to go. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks.
- Ice Dam Buildup
These leaks can happen even if everything on your roof is just fine! Ice dams block the natural flow of water down a roof. The water begins to back up under flashings, shingles or tar paper. Once water begins to flow into the house, it can drip for days on end until discovered.
- Improper Skylight Installation
Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you find yourself noticing wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, you’ve found the cause.
- Chimney Leaks
If you have a fireplace or a wood stove means you will also have a chimney atop your house. A common problem associated with chimneys is leakage. There are many reasons why leaks occur in a chimney. If your chimney develops a leak, then it can be a major cause of concern because gas hazards, insect and rot problems, as well as corrosion can result.
Roofing materials deteriorate with age and become less effective at keeping water out. Temperature fluctuations and weather conditions may cause roofing materials to become brittle and crack over time. Exposure to direct sunlight can melt the tar that seals shingles together.