A leak that has you running to get a drip bucket every time it rains may not seem like a big deal. Well, at least until the “small” leak turns into a big one, creates extensive water damage, ruins your ceiling, stains your walls, and compromises the integrity of your roof.
Leaks are caused by a variety of different roof issues. Here are some of the most common:
Your gutters are clogged
Gutters are supposed to drain water efficiently off your roof. If they are blocked by leaves, twigs, and other debris, the flow of water stops. When it rains, water pools in certain spots on your roof and eventually finds its way in through cracks.
Water can also collect on the edges of the roof. When moisture accumulates, it can ruin the soffit and the fascia.
You have broken or missing shingles.
High winds and strong downpours can damage shingles and send them flying. Aside from having your roof inspected, you will know that you are missing shingles if you find them around your yard or if you notice shingle granules in the gutters or around the perimeter of your house.
Missing or broken shingles can let rainwater in and lead to leaks and rot within the roof.
It’s a good practice to check for missing or damaged shingles from a second-story window after heavy storms.
Your chimney is cracked.
The brick and mortar that make up your chimney erode over time, causing cracks that become entry points for water. Have your chimney regularly inspected for signs of wear and make sure that the point at which it connects to your roof is sealed tight.
Your roof valleys are improperly sealed.
If your roof valleys are not properly sealed, water can find its way inside and run down the inside of the roof. Wet spots along the seams of your roof are indicators that your roof valleys are improperly sealed.
Your skylight was not installed properly.
Skylights cause leaks when they are not fitted and installed properly and when the seal around the edges has broken down. Pay particular attention to the state of your skylight. Unlike other roof issues, this one can cause not just leaks but gushes of water.
If you see wet spots near your skylight, have it inspected immediately.
Your flashing is damaged.
Roof flashings are metal, plastic, or steel strips that seal roof transitions and create watertight barriers. Sometimes, heavy winds and downpours can cause flashings to slip out of place. The caulking used to connect them can dry up and corrode over time.
Again, you should ask your roofer to inspect your flashings regularly to avoid leaks.
Your vent booting is cracked.
Roof vents help your roof “breathe.” Unfortunately, they often become entry points for rainwater. The plastic booting that covers roof vents cracks over time. The gaskets around the vents can also corrode and create holes.
A leaky roof can cause significant damage to your property. At the first sign of a leak, call in professional roofers to fix the problem.