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9 Reasons You Are Having a Roof Leak

In addition to being an inconvenience, a leaky roof can lead to further problems. In the absence of timely repair, roof leaks can lead to mold growth and deterioration of decks and underlays. Eventually, these problems can lead to costly roof repairs or a complete roof replacement.

Depending on the source of the leak, you may need to repair or remodel your roof. Any leak on your roof, no matter how minor, indicates a roofing problem that needs to be addressed. Leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons, and it is always best to have a roofing contractor diagnose the issue sooner rather than later. Here is a list of the most common causes of roofing leaks.

1. Broken Shingles or Tiles

As shingles (or tiles) are located on the outer layer of your roof, this is one of the easier causes to identify. After inclement weather, you may also see some in your yard. The culprit may still be shingles that appear in place, but have lifted or curled. It is common for shingles to disappear after storms and high winds. It could be caused by improper shingle fastening on newer roofs. The seal on older roofing has been broken by repeated weather events. Nevertheless, missing shingles indicate that the area of your roof is no longer adequately protected.

Untrained professionals should avoid navigating a compromised roof. Additionally, leaks do not always occur where the roof is compromised. You should hire a licensed roofing company such as Roof Commander to replace your missing shingles or tiles. By fixing broken shingles or tiles correctly the first time, future issues can be avoided.

2. Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are another common problem, and they are also pretty visible. You may be able to spot leaves, twigs, and other debris protruding from your gutters depending on the severity of the clog. During a rainstorm, you may also notice that your downspout is not flowing. Your roof can suffer from issues caused by water not flowing through the gutter. Rot can occur if water backs up into the eaves. It is possible for rotting wood to compromise the entire structure of your roof and cause it to collapse.

Roof leaks are often caused by clogged gutters, which can be removed by climbing a ladder and getting your hands dirty. We recommend placing a large tarp under the gutters as you clean them. After ensuring your gutters are free of debris, installing gutter screens is a great way to maintain healthy gutters.

3. Improperly Installed Skylights

Skylights can provide your home with beautiful natural light, but if not installed correctly, they can be the source of a leak. You’ve found the culprit if you have to drag drip buckets under your home’s skylight every time there is a storm. A skylight is likely to be the source of water stains on your ceiling.

Examine the exterior of your skylight if you feel comfortable navigating your roof. If not, you can check for cracks inside your home from underneath the skylight. Contact a professional if the problem requires reinstallation of flashing repair.


4. Poorly Sealed Valleys

If you don’t have any roofing experience, this may be more difficult to locate. Your roof’s valley is where two planes meet. A roof is sealed when it is first installed to prevent leaks. As rain drips down the roof, the seal can erode over time, causing leaks. Remember that water “travels” and can appear in your home in a different place than the actual cause of the leak.

As a homeowner, you cannot fix this issue. A professional roofer is needed to install a new leak barrier because of the complexity of this issue. The roof may need to be replaced if the problem is widespread and the roof is quite old.

5. Holes

Do you have a TV antenna or other rooftop installation that was recently removed? 

Did your area recently have a severe weather event that caused a branch to puncture your roof or break a tile? There is a high probability you’ve been left with a hole in your roof. This will, in turn, leave your roof vulnerable to leaks.

How to fix it: The severity of the hole will be a huge factor in how the issue should be addressed. Scheduling an estimate with a professional roofing contractor to inspect the roof. While the issue at hand may be a hole, it could have caused issues not easily spotted by the untrained eye. A roof repair technician will know if the best course of action would be to simply seal the hole or address something more serious.

6. Cracked Chimney

In a way, a chimney creates its own valley. As a result, joints need to be sealed to prevent water from leaking in. Leaks can certainly occur if your chimney’s mortared joints or flashing where the chimney and roof connect are showing signs of deterioration.

Your cracked chimney will need to be repaired by a professional. In order to repair the chimney’s vulnerable areas, you need a professional with the training and materials needed.

7. Condensation Build-up in Your Attic

Check your attic for signs of mold and mildew. Small, out-of-place spots will typically range in color from brown, green, orange, or white. Generally, black mold spreads in a circular pattern and is highly toxic. Mold can only grow on materials that it can feed on, such as mold and newspapers. A musty smell is also likely to be present.

As black mold is extremely toxic, you should have a professional handle any situation involving it. Consider installing an attic ventilation fan after the mold has been treated to increase air circulation and prevent excess moisture.

8. Cracks in Flashing

A flashing creates a waterproof barrier under the shingles. In the event of shingles breaking, flashing can become exposed and crack, or flashing can slide out of place due to missing nails. The cause of damaged flashing may simply be age, depending on how long ago your roof was installed.

DIY repairs may result in more significant damage to your roof since flashing is located under your shingles or tiles. Further, removing major parts of your roof system could void its warranty. Homeowners have been known to attempt to repair flashing themselves, but it is not recommended.

Is it Time to Change Your Pipe Boots?

9. Damaged Vent Booting

The vent boot covers the plastic vent pipe that protrudes from your roof, protecting your home from water and excess moisture. There is always a musty odor associated with cracks in vent booting.

Similarly to flashing, repairing a damaged boot often requires removing other parts of your roof system, such as connecting shingles. Additionally, it requires nailing and sealing, which can easily be done incorrectly. It is really not advised to try such a pair.

What to Remember

In order to address concerns you may have regarding your roof, a high level of expertise is required. You may walk over a compromised area of roofing material. In addition, you may jeopardize your roof’s warranty if you attempt to repair it yourself. Professionals are trained in roof anatomy, know how to navigate around vulnerable areas, and understand how to maintain warranties.

If you decide to fix the roof leak yourself, keep in mind that working on a rooftop can be dangerous. If not done properly, a simple fix will only last a few hours. Further, while you might save some money initially, your “quick fix” will often end up costing you more in the long run.

If you lack the experience, tools, and knowledge to complete the job safely and accurately, you should consult a licensed professional. In addition to diagnosing roof issues properly, licensed professionals have the equipment and experience to safely repair a leaky roof. You want to protect both your investment and your family by protecting your roof.