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10 Common Problems That Lead to Roof Leaks

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Leaky Roof! These two words are a nightmare for homeowners. Water is one of the insidious enemies that always want to enter your house. Once it enters, the damage can be far more than your expectations. Sometimes, it even becomes difficult to identify the initial sources of the roof leak. In this guide, we will highlight all major problems that lead to roof leaks.

Regular inspection of your roof, followed by instant repairs, is essential to avoid this problem. Even if you got a new roof, and you see a small leak, you should get it fixed without wasting any time. This small problem gets bigger and costs you a fortune later.

Note that the roof leaks can damage your insulation and it will become a breeding ground for black mold. Furthermore, you may face problems like damaged walls, cracked interior ceiling, and rotten wooden framing.

One may wonder; what are the most common causes of roof leaks? Here are the ten most common problems that lead to roof leaks how you can fix these issues:

1- Brick Chimneys

The brick chimney might seem indestructible, but the mortar that holds the brick is just a mixture of sand, water, and cement. When it is exposed to harsh weather conditions, it may erode over time.

Brick Chimneys

What to do: It is best to check the mud cap for deterioration and inspect the joints where the chimney enters the roof. If patches are needed, it will be easy to fix them and it won’t cost a lot.

2- Broken Flashings

A broken flashing is one of the common problems that lead to roof leakage. Flashings are thin strips of metal that are installed at sensitive points around a roof. For a chimney, they bend at a 90-degree angle to attach the roofing material with a brick chimney. Flashing needs a proper seal for protection against water penetration. It needs to be nailed down properly. Even if it stays in its place, there is a chance that metal can rust or crack.

Broken Flashings
Source: Runyon and Sons Roofing

What to do: The cost of replacing the old flashing can be a few hundred dollars depending on the size of the roof and desired material. You might use caulking and roof cement to resolve the issue of faulty flashing. However, it will be a temporary solution.

3- Missing Shingles

Did you find a shingle in your garden? If the answer is yes; there is a solid chance that the next rainstorm will bring water into your house. Thankfully, replacing a shingle is very easy.

What to do: You just have to pry off the nails from the course below and slide the new shingle into place. Nail down the new shingles properly and don’t forget to re-nail the neighboring shingle. If you have a cracked shingle, follow the same procedure to replace it. You could call in professional help to do the job for you.

4- Vent Boot

Vent boots are the close relatives of flashing. They are made from rubber. It slides over the plastic vent pipes that stick out from a roof to work with flashing, in order to waterproof your roof. These can be made from metal, rubber, plastic, or any other combination.

What to do: When the gaskets stop working, it should be pulled off with the help of a knife. After this, install a new one. Just like the shingle work, you can call a roofing contractor for assistance.

5- Age is a Factor

The material used in the construction of your roof comes with an expiry date. Especially the asphalt shingles that get old with the passage of time. The expansion and contraction due to the temperature differences trigger aging that might lead to cracks in the roof. The harmful rays from direct sunlight also melt the tar that is holding the composition shingles together.

problems that lead to roof leaks
cracks in the roof
Source: Pinterest

What to do: Once the lifespan of the material is complete, it’s time to replace your roof when you see the signs of a roof leak.

6- Holes on Roof (one of the biggest problems that lead to roof leaks)

Holes can appear due to storm damage or damage by animals such as raccoons and squirrels. Roof holes can be sneakier and may go unnoticed for years until you find them during an inspection. These tiny holes can occur due to misplaced roofing nails or from a previous antenna mounting bracket.

What to do: This issue can be fixed with a small piece of flashing under the shingle instead of just using a dab of caulk. You can get a complete inspection done by an expert roofer for identifying and repairing roof leakages.

7- Complex Roof Architecture

You may be proud of your appealing roofline that looks great from the street. However, all those slopes and valleys can create problems if they are not sealed properly. Installing a leak barrier that will keep the water flowing off the roof should be done by an expert. The cost will be according to the complexity of your roofline.

Remember that a complex roof can cause problems even if they are well-maintained. If you are living in a snowy area, the roof configuration will not help the snow slide off the top. The problem of ice dams can’t be ignored, and it increases weight stress on a roof. Due to this, the corrosive water remains in contact with the roof surface for a longer period and will seep under the shingles.

Complex Roof Architecture
Source: Wikimedia

What to do: If you are not able to keep your roof edges clear with a roof rake or ice melting products, another alternative is installing edge heating cables. This will cost you a couple of hundreds of dollars along with an increase in electricity bills during winters. Furthermore, the metal roof or metal ice belts are great options for preventing issues related to snow build-up.

8- Clogged Gutters

Gutters are present on the roof to move water away from your roof. If your gutters get clogged due to any reason, it causes problems.

What to do: Cleaning your gutters is not a fun job to do, but it needs to be done. You can use various tools to clean your gutters easily. A hose can do you a lot of good by washing the leaves and other things out of your gutter. The cost of professional gutter cleaning will be $100 to $300, according to the size of your property, and the amount of debris that needs to be removed.

9- Shiners

Shiners are roofing nails that are visible over the roof deck, which happens when roofers use extremely long nails. They are also a common cause of leaks on a shingle roof that is installed with a nail gun. One cold night in an unheated attic will lead to the frosting of the exposed metal nail. Once the weather becomes warm, it will defrost and it will start dripping. You might not be able to see until you see a brown spot in your bedroom ceiling.

functional attic vs dysfunctional attic
Source: Sunshine Contracting

What to do: The short-term solution to this problem will be to purchase side-splitting pliers. The moisture that causes shiners in your attic area indicates that your attic space is not insulated or ventilated properly. This should be fixed if you want to increase the lifespan of your roof deck and this eliminates the chance of ice dams on your roof. Remember that fixing the issues of your attic insulation and ventilation will improve the overall energy efficiency of your house. It will also increase the overall performance and lifespan of your roof.

10- Skylights

Most homeowners love to have a skylight. Skylights have the ability to enhance the beauty of any room or interior space. Leaks can appear on the sides of poorly fitted skylights and the rubber seal around the glass can dry out or wear out. Due to this, roof leaks repair becomes essential. It is important to check for the cracks in the flashing, along with the top and sides of the skylight. Don’t forget to check the missing or cracked shingles around it as well. It is important to ensure that the skylight was installed with a proper pitch. A majority of issues related to skylights occur due to flashing or improper installation.  

What to do: If you have found cracks in the flashing around the skylight or any missing or cracked shingle, you need to call professionals for skylight repairing or replacement. Furthermore, if the rubber seal present around the skylight is dried, you should get it replaced.

A temporary repair will involve applying high-quality caulking. The cost can range from $60 to $350. The cost for a professional repair job will be around $280 to $1050. Moreover, replacing a leaking skylight will cost you near $1200 to $2600.

Get Rid of Problems That Lead to Roof Leaks

These were the ten most common roof leakage problems that need proper attention. There should be no delay in fixing these problems, as it will cost you more later on.

Is a leaking roof an emergency? Yes, it is. You have to call a professional roofing company like Corey & Corey to fix the problem associated with your roof. Our experts will analyze your roof thoroughly and provide effective solutions for your roofing problems.

Do you want to know more about our services? Send us your queries in the comments section, or you can call us at 508-775-8240.

At Corey & Corey The Roofers Our Goal Is To Provide The Highest Level Of Customer Satisfaction