Common Causes of Roof Leaks

leaking roof

leaking roof

Roof leaks might sound like a minor problem, but it can be a huge undertaking if you let things go too far. A small drop of water that falls on your head while you sit on your couch can be a symptom of a massive hole in your roof that will cost you time, money, and energy to fix. The best way to approach roof leaks is to know how they start and stop them progressing before it’s too late. Here are a few of the most common causes of roof leaks that you may encounter:

Damaged Flashing

Your flashing seals the joints of your roof together so that no water seeps in. They are thin metal pieces installed underneath shingles. Your flashing is a water-resistant barrier and, if exposed, will look like a long run of metal at the joints of your roof. It also could be concealed which will likely have a rubber coating over the top of it. If that barrier is cracked or broken in some way, the next time your home encounters a storm, you will end up with some water damage. Make sure that it is fixed right away if you find damage.

Clogged Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is probably the easiest of all maintenance tasks when taking care of your roof. Gutters are meant to help the water travel off the roof. If you have blockages, the water pools up and wears on the roof which can lead to a leak. Keep your gutters clean and clear for a happy roof.

Broken Shingles

Most roofs typically last for between 20 to 30 years. If you are approaching the end of life for your roof, you may come across rotting, loose, or cracked shingles. Some may even fall off entirely. Shingles act as your first level of protection against the elements. Similar to our skin, it protects the structure or skeleton of the roof to keep it strong. If there is a break in this layer, weather elements can seep in and weaken the integrity of your roof.

Broken shingles are relatively easy to fix as long as you are keeping an eye on it. Age isn’t the only reason for your shingles to break. Do an inspection after every major storm to check the status of your shingles.

Cracked Vent Booting

The small pipes that stick out of your roof are called roof vents. Moisture from inside the house is sent out through these vents. Roof vents are typically sealed by some flashing and then a rubber boot that goes over the area where the pipe sticks out of the top of your roof. Damage to that booting and/or the flashing can lead to leaks. Timely maintenance can prevent and repair this type of leak early.

General Negligence

If you have noticed a theme to the list of common causes of roof leaks, then you already know. While you can’t always prevent damage to parts of your roof, regular maintenance and inspections can stop the bleeding and prevent major damage to occur.