Why Is Your Roof Leaking?

roof leaking

A roof leaking is a bummer. Nobody wants to see water dripping from the ceiling. Unfortunately, some of us will have to deal with a roof leak at some point. Here’s a list of the most common roof leak causes to help you better understand potential issues with your roof. 

The Age of Your Roof

Your roof wears down with age. It is exposed to several factors every day that compromise its integrity, like wind, snow, ice, and rain. An asphalt shingle roof, the most common residential roof in the market right now, has a lifespan of about 20 years. If you notice a leak and your roof is from the early 2000s, the age of your roof is to blame. This means it is time to consider replacing your roof. 

Broken Flashing

Flashing is the material used to seal any protrusion in your roof where something sticks out from it, such as a chimney, vent, or skylight. These require flashing to seal them watertight to the roof’s roof’s surface to prevent any exposure to moisture. Over time, the flashing can lose its seal and let water into your home. Sometimes the areas can be re-flashed and the leak will stop. Once the flashing is compromised, water will find its way into your home. Typically, these types of repairs are finished quickly and at a minimal cost. If not fixed, the leak will continue to find its way into your home and create interior damage, which can be costly.

Damaged Or Loose Shingles

Damaged or loose shingles are another cause of a leaky roof. Your shingles are the defensive barrier between the weather and the roof of your home. Therefore, any damage to them might result in water leaking through them. Over time, your shingles can loosen, crack, or even curl upward, causing points of exposure in your roof. This one is pretty easy to spot. We can install new shingles in the immediate area of the leak at a minimal cost to the homeowner.

Your Valleys Aren’t Sealed

Your valleys are the area where two planes of roof come together. These areas of the roof have a slope to them, so if they’re not sealed properly, water can get inside. You can detect a problem by searching for wet spots that run along the seams of your roof. If your valleys aren’t sealed, call a professional immediately. They can fix the problem by laying a new leak barrier along the valley.

Your Vent Booting Is Cracked

Roof vents are those things that look like small pipes sticking out of the top of your roof. They’re used to expel excess moisture from the inside of the house. We seal roof vents by placing some flashing around the opening and slipping a tight, rubber boot over the area where the pipe comes out of the roof. Over time, the flashing can break or the roof can decay.

Finding a roof leak caused by a faulty vent boot is easy if you are familiar with the pipe layout in your home’s ceiling. If leak spots appear directly under a vent pipe, it almost always means the vent boot needs resealing or replacement. From outside the home, climbing up on the roof and checking the vent boot up close can help you figure out if the roof vent is still in good shape. Call a professional if you notice issues with your roof vents or booting. 

You Have Ice Dam Buildup

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off. The combined weight of the ice itself can damage the roof, as well as the water just sitting on the roof’s surface. Ice dams happen because the heat from your attic is above freezing, which causes some of the snowfall to melt, despite the cold temperatures outside. The water then runs between the roof’s surface and the snow and refreezes once it hits its exterior edge.

Invest in a roof rake to remove snow from your roof. If you see an ice dam forming, treat it with an ice melt product. 

Your Skylights Were Improperly Installed

Leaks from this kind of problem should be super easy to spot. If you notice wet spots or consistently needing to place drip buckets around the sides of your skylights, you’ve found the cause. However, leaks and wet spots near the top of the skylight may be a flashing issue instead. There are two main causes for this type of leak, improperly measuring and fitting the skylights upon installation or decayed insulation along the edges of the skylights.

To fix it, clear any debris off of the skylight and check for cracks in the window itself. Seal any cracks with a layer of clear silicone along its length. If that is not the cause, check the surrounding flashing and replace it as needed. 

Your Gutters Are Clogged

Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that travel stops. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks, which will eventually cause roof leaking. This problem is pretty easy to diagnose. You may see the leaves sticking out of the gutter when you look up onto your roof. You should also notice the lack of water trickling out of a downspout during a rainstorm. The only solution to this problem is to get in there and clean out your gutters. 

You’re Using It Too Much

Homeowners should be careful with how often they venture out onto their roofs. Roofing material is fragile, and you can easily break flashing with the wrong step. Avoid walking on your roof whenever possible. Hire a professional roofer to do your fixes since they are trained on how to avoid the most easily damaged areas. 

Final Thoughts

Wear and tear to your roof is unavoidable. After all, it is the thing protecting you from the elements outside. With the proper maintenance, your roof should be able to keep you warm and dry for decades to come. If you notice your roof leaking, call us at (636) 699-0449 so we can help.