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What Causes Roof Leaks & How To Fix Them

Monday, June 14th by Shannon Brelsford


Bad Roof

Roof leaks can be stressful, especially when it's unclear what caused it. Here's a list of the most common causes of roof leaks!

The roof of your home shelters you from debris, beating sun and driving wind and rain, but it is sadly not invulnerable.When a roof leak occurs, it can be a stressful event. Depending on how long the leak has gone on without attention, where the leak is located, and what caused it, there could be subsequent damage. Short of an entire replacement, finding the origin of the issue is essential to a proper roof leak repair

How Weather, Age, and Roofing Material Play a Role

Older Roof

An older roof is more vulnerable, and susceptible to leaks and damage.

There are many factors that can contribute to a leaking roof. Weather patterns in the area, the age of the roofing material itself, and the material that’s been chosen, can all play a role in the likelihood of a leak. 

Depending on the area that you live in, you could experience harsh weather with some regularity. Driving rain, hail, and even the constant baking of the sun can all have adverse affects on roofing materials. When looking into roofing materials, it’s recommended that you also research their durability against common weather patterns in your region. If the roof is older, it will naturally be weaker and less able to resist the damage of the elements, increasing the risk of a potential leak. 

Common Causes Of Roof Leaks & How They Can Be Fixed

Cracked Flashing

Flashing is the thin metal plating that can be seen around chimneys, roof vents. When installed, these pieces of flashing are sealed to create a waterproof barrier around the more vulnerable areas of roofing, such as vents and chimneys. Over time, this seal can deteriorate, and harsh weather conditions can wear down the flashing, allowing it to weaken over time, resulting in pesky roof leaks. 

The solution: A professional should be called out to replace the flashing. The old shingles and flashing will have to be pried up and removed, the roof decking should be checked thoroughly for any water damage, including mold and mildew growth, weakness and rot. The old flashing and shingles will be tossed out, replaced with new, updated materials. 

Broken Shingles

Shingles, be they Asphalt, Composite or Tile are constantly exposed to the elements. Harsh rain, wind, and storm debris can all play a part in the deterioration of the shingles. 

The solution: If there are loose, cracking, peeling or broken shingles causing one or multiple roof leaks, a professional should be called out for a proper roof inspection and roof leak repair. Sections of broken down shingles will be removed, the decking and surrounding areas inspected for water damage, rot, and potential pests before new shingles are installed. 

Cracked Vent Booting

Similar to flashing, vent boots are thick rubber fittings that are placed around roof vents to aid in the sealing process. Over time, with exposure to the elements and constant sun, the boot may become weak and crack over time. 

The solution: When this happens, a roof repair contractor should be called to inspect and replace the damaged boot and affected shingles, flashing and the old boot. The shingles, flashing and boot will be removed, the area inspected, and once cleared of damage or risk, a new boot will be installed before new flashing is added, and the new shingles are laid overtop. 

Clogged Gutters

Perhaps the easiest issue to fix, clogged gutters can have a profoundly nasty effect on your roof. When the gutters become blocked and water backs up, it tends to pool on the low areas of the roof when the gutter system is no longer available. Sitting pools of water have all the more potential to work their way through the roofing material and cause a seriously costly roof leak repair. 

The solution: The gutters can be cleaned by hand, but, as there’s likely been significant pooling on the roof, a professional is needed to survey and repair the damage. There are options that your gutter and roofing contractor can discuss with you at this time, such as gutter guards, or adjusting the slope of the gutter system, or even the roof itself. 

Improperly Installed Skylights

Skylights are a wonderful idea in theory, and when done well, they can give you several years of lovely natural light--but seals don’t hold forever, and eventually, leaks are almost inevitable. 

The solution: With the help of a roof repair contractor, you can decide whether it’s better to repair the seal, replace the window, or remove it all together. Skylights are a very attractive feature, but can become a bit of a nuisance with failing seals and the difficulty of keeping them clean. 

Of course, there are many other potential causes of roof leaks, such as excessive condensation, ice dam build-ups, improperly sealed roof valleys and more, but the above roof leaks are the most common to look out for.  No matter the issue, a roof repair contractor will be able to perform a proper roof inspection and find the right solution for the problem. 

Finding A Local Roofing Contractor You Can Trust

Roofing Experts

Klaus Roofing Systems is here for you! Reach out today!

The Klaus Roofing Systems network believes that our customers deserve the best in service, material and workmanship. With highly trained roof repair specialists across the United States, we’re here to help with all your roof and roof leak repair related needs. 

Contact your local Klaus Roofing Systems contractor today for your free, no-obligation estimate!