Common causes of roof leaks

There is almost nothing more stressful than seeing a water stain on your ceiling or hearing the “drip drip” alerting you to the fact that you have roof leaks. Depending upon the severity of your roof leak, you may also want to take into consideration some additional ideas for how to deal with roof leaks. It happens to everyone at some point and the roof leaks seem to come from out of the blue. Some common causes can include:

Compromised Shingles:  As a roof age the materials can deteriorate and become less effective at keeping water out. If your roof is more than 20 years old, you may start to see signs of decline such as: loose, cracking or rotting shingles. These can compromise your roof system and can cause roof leaks to form. If you notice any signs of ageing, have your roof inspected by a professional.  You might only need repairs, which will definitely cost less, and, if done properly could extend your roof’s life, giving you enough time to prepare for a scheduled roof replacement.

Debris & Gutter Backup: Buildup of debris such as: twigs, leaves, and pine needles can trap water against the roof allowing it to seep under the shingles. Gutters that are clogged with similar debris can slow the water running off the roof giving it time to soak through. It is important to keep the roof and gutters clear to permit water to run off quickly, preventing roof leaks. Be especially cautious during the cold winter months as clogged gutters may be full of debris or water that freezes in place. As snow on the roof melts, this water can easily backup under your roof shingles due to the clogged gutters.

Damaged Flashing & Vents: Metal flashing protects your roof’s valleys and any spot where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as walls and dormers. If damaged or dislodged, this could leave the breaks in the roof exposed, making it easy for rainwater to get in and cause roof leaks. Similarly, it’s important to inspect the gaskets around vent pipes for cracks or gaps. Plastic vents can crack over time and we’ve even seen damage caused by birds and raccoons.  Timely repairs can help alleviate roof leaks caused by flashing or venting issues.

Holes: Holes in the roof can be caused by falling tree branches, items installed on the roof (ie satellite dish) or roofing nails backing out. These little holes are usually unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but catching this issue early can help prevent bigger repairs down the road due to roof leaks.

Chimneys: Chimneys can be a challenge at the point where two materials meet – concrete and wood. Flashing is intended to join and seal these materials together, but due to the porous concrete (especially if deterioration exists due to age) water can find the tiniest holes to flow through. Having this area inspected by a roofing company or mason may be required depending on how the water is penetrating into your home to identify the roof leaks.

Any type of leak can damage your attic insulation and roof deck and lead to mold and mildew growth and reduced energy efficiency that you may not be able to see. If you’re seeing any roof leaks inside your home, make sure to contact a professional as soon as possible. That’s where we come in, we’re happy to do a visual inspection and provide you with a free estimate on how best to proceed and rectify your roof leaks.

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