What do you consider to be basic necessities? Food? Water? A roof over your head? If so, it’s greatly beneficial to know what could cause your roof to leak whether you are a first-time homeowner or an empty nester. This way, you can be proactive in taking care of your roof and will know what to look for if you think there might be a problem.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons for a leaky roof. They include broken/blown-off shingles, clogged gutters, valleys that haven’t been properly sealed, debris, flashing that is damaged or slipping, and age.
1) Broken/Blown-Off Shingles
This one can be easy to spot as you are often able to see patches of roof that are a different color than the rest. You might even see some shingles laying around on the ground after a bad storm. This is because they can become broken due to strong winds and heavy rainfall. The fix is usually as simple as replacing the broken shingle. And you definitely don’t want to leave blown-off shingles sitting too long or else you’ll have a much more expensive repair on your hands.
2) Clogged Gutters
Again, this is a pretty straight forward issue. Although no one looks forward to cleaning out the gutters, it can save you in the long run. When your gutters become clogged with debris, water has more trouble making its way to the downspout, and it begins to pool up. The longer it pools, the more time it has to soak into your roof which can lead to a leak. This problem can be solved with regular maintenance or installing gutter or leaf guards to prevent debris buildup.
3) Valleys That Have Not Been Properly Sealed
Valleys are the area on your roof where two planes meet. If not properly sealed, they can be the perfect area for rainwater to seep inside as it rolls down the roof. Possibly it was not properly sealed in the first place, or it could have eroded over time. Check the seams of your roof for wet spots that can indicate a poorly sealed valley. The best fix for this is to have a professional come out and install ice and water shield along the area.
Like a clogged gutter, debris on your roof are culprits of water becoming trapped up there. The longer it sits, the more likely it is to leak into your roof. It is best to have a clear roof that allows water to run off as quickly as possible. Ways to stay proactive are by trimming branches that hang over your roof and by checking your roof for debris several times per year.
5) Damaged or Slipping Flashing
Flashing is another crucial component that keeps your roof safe from leaks. It consists of metal sheets placed in areas that direct excess water away from key parts of your roof such as chimneys, windows, doors, walls, and vent pipes. When flashing becomes damaged or slips out of place, it becomes easier for water to pool in areas that may lead to a major leak. Making a good habit of checking your flashing when you are on the roof can help you catch any underlying issues early on.
As your roof ages, the materials become brittle, crack, or become loose making them less effective at keeping moisture out. Constant exposure to the elements such as fluctuations in temperature, harsh weather, and direct sunlight, all cause deterioration over time.
Although there are ways leaks can happen that are out of your control, staying proactive with regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent the most common sources of leaks. When feeling unsure, you can always count on your local professional roofer to help out when needed.