10 Most Common Roof Leaks

Winter Roof Inspection

No one thinks about leaking roofs until they start seeing water damage stains on their walls and ceiling. That small water stain signals quite a big problem up there. Besides expensive repair costs, a leaking roof can cause untenable damage to your property. What are the common types of roof leaks? Read on to find out 10 prevalent roof leaks.

1.    Cracked Flashing

The tar that seals your flashing may corrode over time and lose its cohesive properties, leaving the flashing exposed. Harsh weather conditions that may enhance tar corrosion include strong winds and heavy rainfalls. Cracked flashing resembles sheet metal. When properly covered, it will feature a top rubber coating.

2.    Poorly Sealed Valleys

Improper installation of roof valleys can be a genesis of roof leaks. That is why you should always work with an experienced contractor who knows the right measurements and good sealing materials. However, heavy rainfall and built-up ice dams can also corrode the sealing material of your roof valley. You can notice this problem by checking for water spots along the seams. 

3.    Old Roofing with Outlived Lifespan

An old roof can be problematic due to the weakening structure. Missing parts like shingles can also present entry points for rainwater. Water leaks from old roofs are easy to notice as they are prevalent everywhere in the house. Watch out for dark spots or ringed patterns in the ceilings and the walls.

4.    Poorly Installed Skylights

Poor skylight installation can result in a leaking roof. In that case, the contractor either got the measurements wrong or used flimsy sealing materials. Sometimes, the materials used to seal skylights can also decay or wear out due to heavy rainfall and strong winds. You will often notice dripping water around the skylights, especially during heavy rain.

5.    Cracked Chimney

Most chimneys have mortar construction. The material corrodes naturally with time, and harsh weather conditions like heavy rainfall can reduce its lifespan. This type of leak is always prevalent along the chimney walls. However, it can be hard to notice, especially if your chimney walls are sooty.

6.    Accumulated Ice Dam

An accumulated ice dam on your roof can cause it to leak in two main ways. The ice water can dissipate through the roofing structure due to excess heat in the attic. The heavy ridge of ice can also deform some parts of the roof, causing them to crack. Remember, the dam forms after ice prevents melting snow from flowing down the roof.

7.    Poor Maintenance 

Poor maintenance and neglect can result in a leaking roof. For instance, failing to scrap off heavy ice and snow blocks can crack the roof due to the heaviness. Unhealthy habits like walking on tiles can also result in leakages. Poor maintenance is noticeable through missing asphalt shingles too. 

8.    Excess Moisture in the Attic

The attic is the top-most part of your roof and will often experience varying temperatures, depending on weather conditions and energy consumption. If high and low temperatures clash, the moisture in the attic condenses to form flowing waters. This type of roof leak manifests in stained ceilings and a musty ambiance. A roof with outlived lifespan can also have excess moisture in the attic. 

9.    Clogged Gutters

Gutters channel rainwater that flows from the roof to external drainage. Gutters can block due to accumulated dust and debris deposits. If they clog, pools of water can form and create cracks on the roof. The collected water then dissipates through the roof.

10.    Cracked Vent Booting 

Lastly, the genesis of your leaking roof can also be a cracked vent booting. A cracked vent booting can be a result of a decaying roof or missing flashing. Roof contractors often use flashing to seal vent booting around the openings. You can notice a cracked vent booting by checking for dark spots around the walls. The leaking area can also feel musty.

Take Care of Your Roof

From the blog, these are the common types of roof leaks that you are dealing with if you experience any signs of a leaking roof. In the real sense, the causes of roof leaks are countless and depend on several factors like roofing quality. Talk to an experienced roof contractor for preventive maintenance. This can shield you from expensive water damages emanating from these leaks.