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What is Causing Your Roof to Leak?
It doesn’t take an old roof to develop a new leak!
Leaking roofs are not only very inconvenient, but can be a bit expensive, depending on what is causing the leak and how long the leak has gone undetected. If left unattended to, it can grow to be a bigger leak, causing more significant damage and creating more expense.
If your roof has begun leaking, and you’re not sure where to begin to find the cause, (even professionals sometimes have a difficult time locating the damaged area), here is a list of the most common problems and where you can find them.
Where is the source of your roof leak?
(If you are not familiar with all roofing terms, you can go to our blog post: Parts of a Roof.)
- One of the most common causes of roof leaks are old roofs that have outlived their usefulness. If your roof is that old, you are probably aware that it needs to be replaced.
- Another common source of roof leaks are broken or missing shingles. These are fairly easy to spot, even from the ground.
- Missing shingles often occur after a storm, where high winds have blown them off, or blown water underneath.
- Broken or cracked shingles are a little more difficult to see, and are caused by traffic on the roof, either too much traffic or by someone who doesn’t know how to walk properly on the roof, or possibly by something that has fallen on it such as a heavy tree limb.
- The shingles could also be very old and have begun to deteriorate.
- Another very common cause is damaged flashing. Flashing is the thin metal sheeting that you will find surrounding such things as skylights and chimneys, and are intended to surround and seal any protrusions found on your roof. Over time, flashing can wear out and crack, exposing the very parts they are intended to protect.
- Speaking of skylights, these are another high risk area for leaking. Often, they aren’t installed correctly or not sealed properly. It’s pretty obvious where the leak is coming from when your skylight starts allowing water to drip into your home.
- Clogged gutters are leak culprits. Designed to direct storm water away from your home, if they are clogged, and unable to do what they were designed to do, clogged gutters stop the water from exiting properly and will force it to backup under your shingles. The goal is to keep the water on top of the shingles.
- A dirty roof, full of piles of debris can cause an otherwise healthy roof to leak. As the debris stops the water from exiting the roof as it should, it causes the water to flow sideways. As the roof begins to hold the water rather than getting rid of it, mold and mildew and moss begin to grow. These and any other things that hold water will not only cause leaks, but will shorten the life of your roof.
- Tiny holes in your roof are another source of leaks. These hole come from nails or screws from satellite dishes that have been removed and not filled, or they can come from incorrectly installed roofing nails.
- The valleys of a roof has a tendency to hold water and let it pool there. If they haven’t been sealed well or the sealants become loose or broken up, leaks can begin.
- If you have a metal roof that has begun leaking, here are a few places you might begin to look at for the source.
- Screws that were not driven in straight, with good penetration and seated tightly against the surface.
- If the sealants were not installed correctly or if the right type of sealant was not used. Metal roofs require a specific sealant intended for metal roofing. and they must be properly maintained.
- Seams and overlaps that have not been sealed correctly. They can develop a situation called Capillary Draw, meaning the water will actually travel uphill between the 2 pieces of metal.
- Flashings around HVAC units or other pieces of equipment on the roof that hasn’t been installed correctly or the sealant has deteriorated and allowed water to ease in.
MasterCraft Roofing has a reputation for quality roof repairs…here are what a few of our clients have said: