Running to get a drip bucket every time it rains is very annoying, but it’s also a sign that your home is experiencing a larger roofing issue that needs to be assessed as soon as possible. Roof leaks can lead to a sizable investment of both your time and money. To save you from the hassle of finding the source of your roof leak, the roofing contractors at Signature Exteriors have put together a list of the 5 most common causes of roof leaks. We’ll show you what they look like and why they happen.
Roof Leak from Damaged, Cracked, Missing, or Rotting Shingles
This an easy item to identify on your roofing system. Shingles are the exterior layer on top of your roof, you’ll notice if shingles are missing if there are different colored patches or even by finding shingles in your yard. Shingles are very sturdy but can become worn or dislodged by heavy storms, improper installation, or just over time as the shingle ages. Since shingles are the first line of defense against water intrusion, you’ll want to call a roofing expert at the first sign of their deterioration to avoid any other areas of your roofing system from unnecessary stress and roof leaks.
Roof Leak from Improper Seal of Valleys
The valley of your roof is where two planes of your roof come together. These areas are usually sloped but if they’re not sealed together properly it becomes a very high-risk area for leaking roofs. You can often see this by checking for wet or damp spots on the seams of your roof. The pitch of the roof is important to take into consideration here.
The seal of your roof valleys can be compromised by a variety of factors. The most common are that the sealing wasn’t installed properly initially, the sealing has eroded due to age or an excess of rain or ice, or it could have cracked while the roof was being walked on.
Fixing the seal around your roof valleys can be very complex, often involving laying a new barrier and shingling over top, so we recommend reaching out to a local roofing professional to assist you.
Vent Boot Leaks
Roofing vents are an important piece of your homes ventilation system. Roof penetrations like these are seen as the weakest part of the roofing system. The boots around them are prone to drying, cracking, and breaking and need to be regularly inspected to prevent roof leaks. These vents are sealed by placing flashing around the opening and using a rubber or metal boot over the area where the pipe peeks out over the roof, as seen above.
This type of leak often leaves water stains, dark spots, and wet areas on the underside of your roof sheathing. If you’re experiencing a leak that seems to be from one of your roof vents, call an expert to perform an inspection.
Flashing Roof Leaks
Flashing are thin pieces of metal installed under shingles and on joints of your roof to create a leak-resistant barrier. Flashing is a crucial element of your roofing system, often installed where the roof surface meets a wall or different surface (like your chimney), roof protrusions, and along the edges.
Improper initial installation, severe storms, and the age of the sealant used during install are often contributing factors to flashing leaks. If you’re experiencing a roof leak and you think it’s caused by the flashing on your home you can attempt to caulk it yourself or call a local roofing expert to assist.
Leaks from Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters cause a lot of roofing concerns. The entire purpose of your gutter system is to help direct water away from your home. When this system becomes clogged with leaves and other debris, it stops the flow of water which leads to overflow and pooling, an ideal time for water to find its way inside your home.
We recommend installing gutter guards to help avoid larger debris from clogging your gutters (as pictured above) but you still want to make sure you’re regularly brushing out your gutter system so it can direct water away from your roof edge, siding, and foundation.