Even a small roof leakage issue can cause significant damage if the underlying cause of the leakage is not detected and addressed quickly. Identifying the exact cause of roof leakage is often not an easy task. It may sound cheaper to consider temporary solutions for fixing the root cause of the issue, but not addressing the problem can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Most Common Cases of Roof Leakage
In this post, we will walk you through the 10 most common causes of roof leakage you should know about. Let’s take a look:
- Broken and Missing Shingles
- Clogged Gutters
- Cracked or Damaged Chimney
- A Problem in Your Roof Vents
- Holes in Your Roof
- Craked Flashing
- Valleys are not Sealed
- Too Much Inspection
Constant exposure to the sunlight can melt the material that holds shingles together. That’s why people consider roof inspection every few years to ensure their roof is in good condition. With age, the ability of your roof to keep water out is decreased.
At this point, the roofing material becomes brittle and extremely prone to damage due to weather and temperature fluctuations. The shingles crack, break, and lose their granules. All these factors affect their ability to direct water to the drain. Your asphalt shingles are highly likely to experience aging within a few years of installation. Any damage to the shingles can cause water to penetrate the roof.
2. Broken and Missing Shingles
This problem doesn’t need an inspection. You can easily spot a missing shingle by checking the color patches on your roof. The shingles could break or shift from their position due to sudden fluctuations in the temperature. If there’s a heavy storm in your area, the shingles might move or go missing. If the shingle breaks or falls off the roof, your roof will become vulnerable to snow, storm, and heavy rainfall. You should always inspect the roof for broken or missing shingles.
3. Clogged Gutters
A clogged gutter is another common cause of a leaky roof. Gutters are designed to direct water away from your roof. However, they can get clogged with leaves and environmental debris. As a result, the water pools in one spot. The water will then seep through the smallest crack easily. Clogged gutters slow down the process of water flowing into the drainage. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is by getting up on a ladder, inspecting your gutters, and cleaning the clogged gutters through your hands. The more water collects on your roof, the higher the chances of a leak.
4. Cracked or Damaged Chimney
Chimney damage can lead to the water pooling on your roof and seeping through the small holes. Not only does it cause a roof leakage, but major chimney damage can affect the structure of your house. Check the area that connects the chimney to the roof to see any visible sign of damage. Watch out for the loose flashing or broken shingles in the surrounding area to detect the main problem. Fixing chimneys is easy in most cases. Just identify the source of the leakage and replace the damaged or missing mortar. Chimney is made of different materials than the standard roofing, which is why it’s best to leave the task to a professional.
5. A Problem in Your Roof Vents
Roof vents are designed for insulation. They carry the moisture and excess heat out of your attic. If the vents are not sealed properly or if there’s any crack around the vents, it can lead to the water seeping through the roof. The vents are sealed with flashing, which is placed around your roof opening. With age, the flashing can get cracked or the roof might decay, causing a leaky roof.
6. Holes in Your Roof
Water and structural damage occur when there’s a small or big hole on your roof. It happens when your roof is exposed to extreme temperatures and unfavorable weather. If you live in an area that’s prone to storm and heavy rainfall, inspect your roof every few months. These holes are easy to detect during a thorough roof inspection. The larger the hole or damage on your roofing, the more water will get inside. That’s why it’s important to detect roof holes and patch them quickly.
7. Cracked Flashing
Flashing creates water-proof barriers that direct water away from your roof and into the drainage. These are thin metal pieces installed beneath the shingles. The flashing is sealed using tar, a material that is highly likely to get melt from sun exposure. The flashing can corrode over time, or it can break if it is exposed to wind, heavy rainfall, snowfall, and extreme temperature fluctuations. Cracked flashing will lead to large holes in the roof, causing water leakage.
8. Valleys aren’t Sealed
The valley is the point where two sloped roofs meet. It helps water travel from the roof to the drainage smoothly. If the valleys are not sealed properly, it could be a common cause of the water getting inside. The valleys can get cracked or damaged for many reasons. You may have simply stepped on the valley while inspecting the roof. Or, the builders must have not sealed the valleys properly when building your roof.
Do you have skylights? The skylights allow the natural light in your home easily, but they can also be the cause of a leaky roof. Check your skylights to see if they are installed properly. You must also check the roof surrounding the skylights to ensure they are in good condition, especially the shingles connected to the skylights.
10. Too Much Inspection
There’s no way to know if too much inspection or frequent use of the roof is the cause of a leaky roof. However, if you step on an essential element of the roofing, it might crack. Inspection should be done by professionals who have experience in this industry. You should also avoid walking on the roof, as the roofing is a bit fragile. Any damage to the shingles or flashing can cause a hole, which may lead to the water seeping through the roof.