Common Causes of Roof Leaks

February 27, 2023

Roofs are a fundamental part of any property which gives protection from harsh weather conditions, increases energy efficiency as well as the property’s value and aesthetics. Surprisingly, not much attention is paid to the maintenance of roofs, and the causes of roof leaks are not known to most homeowners. Ignoring the roof leaks in your house will only make matters worse which is why immediate actions should be taken.

If you have a roof leak, identifying the cause of it may not always be easy. However, the causes of roof leaks are very similar for all types of roofs, and identifying the cause can help find a solution for your problem. Some of the common causes of roof leaks are discussed below:

1. Roof Shingles Are Too Old or Broken:

Roof shingles consist of overlapping roofing elements that prevent water from entering at the edges. Typically these last between 20 to 30 years. Over time, they crack, peel, or break which gives the water a path to penetrate through. Weak shingles covering the angular peaks of the roof are common causes of leaks. Your roof can leak even if one shingle is missing or broken.

2. Roof Shingles Were Not Installed Properly:

If your roof shingles are not aligned properly, they were not installed properly. This way they may have gaps between them due to the lack of uniformity. If low-quality shingles are used, they may fall off sometimes.

3. Clogged Gutters:

Gutters help direct water away from your home and if they are blocked, they are unable to carry out the task. If water remains on the roof, the roof surface can be damaged as well as the wooden sheet layer beneath it. This may cause it to rot and a leak or stain will be noticeable on your ceiling when the water gets in. If this gets too out of hand, you can have mold grow on your ceiling and this will require an entire roof replacement.

4. Roof Flashing is Damaged:

This thin material helps direct water away from those points where the roof plane meets a vertical area such as chimneys or vents. These are critical points on the roof which are the most prone to water penetration. If your roofer has used tar to seal the edges, it corrodes over time which causes the covering to be damaged or missing resulting in leaks during rainy days.

5. Damaged Skylights:

Skylights have gained popularity and many houses have them now. They can cause roof leaks if they are damaged, not installed properly, or have decayed insulation. Water can enter through the edges which will be visible as wet spots on the ceiling. Rainwater will collect and drip down to the floor, furniture, or whatever is under the skylight.

6. Valleys Are Not Properly Sealed:

When two planes of a roof meet, a valley is formed. These are usually sloped and they must be sealed together properly. If not, the water gets inside and wet spots along the seams of the roof can be seen on the ceiling. They can sometimes crack or erode over time due to harsh weather conditions and when stepped on.

7. Cracked Chimney:

The wear and tear of the top of chimneys, damaged flashings, and chimney caps are some of the common causes of roof leaks. If there are any holes, gaps, or damaged areas on a chimney, water is most likely to enter and cause leaks. Chimney leaks deteriorate the chimney’s structure as well as cause harm to the house’s interior.

8. Poor Ventilation and Condensation in Your Attic:

The attic is the uppermost part of your house, in the middle of the indoor temperature and that of the outside. The difference in temperatures results in condensation. Heat and moisture can get trapped and may result in a leak if there is not enough airflow into the attic. If there is a strong odor coming from your attic, it is most likely to be a roof leak.

It is of utmost importance to maintain your property’s roof, whether it is a new or old one. Wear and tear of roofs are unavoidable, especially when it is because of the weather. Understanding the causes of roof leaks can save you time and money. Attempting to fix the leak yourself may not be a good idea as it is dangerous and you may make the problem worse. Seeking the help of a professional roofer will ensure that your roof is properly fixed and there will be no problems in the future.

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