Common Causes of Roof Leaks

The spring rainy season is a ripe opportunity for roof problems, especially leaks. There are few homeowner moments quite so frustrating as waking up in the middle of the night to find water slowly dripping through your ceiling, but long before that slow leaks can cause serious issues for your home. Your goal as a homeowner is to find those leaks as quickly as possible before they can cause long term damage to your roof decking, insulation, and the rest of the home construction with rot or mold damage. The trick to finding leaks is understanding what causes them, and using that to guide your search. Unfortunately, there are multitudes of possible leak causes, but we’ll focus on a few common ones here.



Of course, one of the most common causes of roof leakage is also one of the easiest to spot. Something penetrating your roof. An ill placed nail or mounting screw will quickly lead to water seeping through. The problem is, there are a number of things that are supposed to penetrate your roof, and the construction should be compensating for it. Things like roof venting or chimneys will go through your roof, but should be protected by flashing, which is typically aluminum or steel that’s placed along these points, as well as joints of your roof. This flashing layer is meant to protect against the leaks these spots would normally be susceptible to. If your flashing becomes loose or cracked, it can lead to leaks.


Water Pooling

Another cause of roof leaks is one that can be spotted under the right conditions. If you have water pooling on your roof, that water could eventually seep through your roof and cause leaks and long term water damage, particularly to your decking. Your roof is designed to hold up against water exposure in the way of rain or snow, but it’s not meant for portions of your roof to remain submerged for a significant length of time. There are a number of reasons why water pooling might happen on your roof. If your gutters aren’t kept in good repair and clean, they can quickly lead to water pools on your roof in the spring. In colder weather, ice dams form on your roof and leave water sitting on your roof. Most of these issues are addressed with regular maintenance. When you see water pooling, you need to ensure the cause is rectified before long term damage begins.


Roof Condition

As different parts of your roof age or are worn down, small leaks can result. Items like loose or missing shingles, or damaged decking are the most serious causes of roof leaks because they can be the most expensive to fix. What’s more, you’ll need to determine what caused the roof component in question to fail If you have an older roof, 20 or 30 years old, it’s not surprising to have these kinds of issues. If you have a newer roof, though, these kinds of issues likely indicate some other problem going on. Either the roof was not installed properly or some external factor is causing the roof to be under more stress than it is designed to take. This could be anything from an improperly pitched roof to damage caused by vermin infestations. You’ll want to make sure you address not only the roof leak, but whatever was causing the issue in the first place.

Whether you’ve found a roof leak and aren’t sure what to do to fix it, or if you’re just not sure how to check your roof for issues, we can help. We offer a full roof inspection and repair process, or we can replace your roof entirely if it’s needed. Call us today for more information!

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