Roof leaks are one of those home maintenance issues that most homeowners aren’t prepared for until it’s too late and they are staring down a water spot on the ceiling. It suddenly becomes priority number one and it could lead to a large bill if not handled correctly.

Unfortunately, even a small leak can lead to devastating consequences. The more you know and prepare for now, the better off you will be later.

Leaks in your roofing system can create many health and safety hazards and cause significant damage. Continual water leakage can also distort the structure of your home, and promote mold growth.

Some homeowners try to tackle it alone while others go straight for the lifeline of the professionals. Being educated in the causes of roof leaks could save you some major headaches down the road.

What are the root causes of Roof Leaks?

Roof leaks are due mostly to short-sightedness in critical areas. Most of the roof is actually fine, but there are a few places that can get tricky.

Whether it be due the materials, spotty work, or just plain old time wearing down the house, the following areas are the three main culprits behind roof leaks:

1) Design

Sometimes the architect is too far ahead of a roofer’s ability. Because of this, roofing companies will produce spotty work, leading to mistakes that cause leaks immediately or down the road.

Most roofers do a great job and construct the professional roofs you will find on most homes, but there are a few who will cut corners to finish the job and save a dime. This leads to problems for you later on, even if it might look like money saved up front.

2) Home Additions

An original home design may be fine, but when an addition is added, water drainage issues and leaks could arise. This is because little or no thought has gone into the execution of watertight transitions, weaving the original roof line with the new roofline.

Similar to the problem behind designs, home additions can lead to cutting corners or not doing the work right the first time.

Whether it be too much caulk or skipping proper flashing, home additions end up causing roof leaks in homes where the initial structure was waterproof.

3) Flashing

Probably the number one cause of roof leaks is flashing at roof penetrations. Flashing is a thin piece of metal or any other waterproof material installed to prevent water from getting into the home.

The different types of flashing include:

  • Skylight flashing
  • Chimney flashing
  • Plumbing flashing
  • Transition materials between changes in the roofline – These transitions are often where good flashing makes a world of difference.

Flashing done right takes thought and proper design. Fortunately, there are industry standards that can help guide the roofing practices. Unfortunately, it slows workers down to get it right which sometimes leads to shortcuts and that ends up hurting the homeowner.

When flashing is not properly installed, you end up with leaks.

The are plenty of professional roofers that install flashing correctly. As with anything it takes doing your homework in choosing those who attend to the important details.

If proper flashing installation is substituted with a heavy bead of caulk, you may not have a leak immediately, but over time, the caulk will crack and become less effective. Water starts to get through and eventually you will end up with a leak.

Other causes of roof leaks do exist such as normal wear and tear of shingles and materials. High winds and storms can lead to damage to the roof.

Clogged gutters can also lead to deterioration of the fascia board or wood around the gutter that can create a leak.

The Leak Investigation: Finding the Cause Behind Your Roof Leak

Finding and fixing a leak is not as straightforward as we would like. It often requires a thorough investigation. Roof leaks could be a combination of two or three different areas where water is penetrating through into the home.

Most people don’t want to hear that, but it’s not realistic to assume that leaks always originate from one source.

It’s common that the entry point is difficult to find. Water may enter at a transition point in the roof and flow down a wood beam and end up a few feet away, where it starts to stain the ceiling or cause notable damage.

Leaks will make a rookie out of anybody.

Need to call a Professional?

Repairing leaking vents, broken shingles and stopping water leaks requires more complicated skills than the average DIY homeowner can handle. Make sure to do some research and find a reputable roof repair company and rainwater solutions company to prevent further problems.

At Chimneys Plus we address roof leaks by determining the possible causes and ranking the different areas into an organized solution process. This means that during the leak investigation, we will outline the possible contributors to the leak, and start with the most simple and obvious in hope that we can create a solution that is more affordable for you. We use our extensive training and knowledge to bring evidence to a discussion with the homeowner. We work with you to identify problems and select the best solution for you.

There are different types of solutions depending on the budget of the homeowner. Sometimes a patch provides an immediate solution while other jobs require a more expensive option such as a new roof. We do everything we can to prevent the massive headaches of large projects and huge bills. Chimneys Plus will repair just a small section of the roof if this small area of repair will stop a leak and provide the right solution.

Hiring a team who cares about you and your home means that we work with you to provide you with practical and honest solutions. We respect the trickiness of water and match it with a tenacity and commitment to resolving those leaks.

If you are having any issues with roof leaks then make the right call. Click the button below and fill out our Roof Leak homework.