A leaky roof is almost always an unpleasant - and unexpected - surprise. Once you realize you need to take action, the question that probably comes to mind is “what caused the leak?” Leaks can be caused by many different factors, ranging from missing shingles to clogged gutters.
Here are the 5 most common causes of roof leaks:
You have damaged or missing shingles
One common cause of roof leaks is damaged or missing shingles. Shingles form the barrier between rain and your roof, so when they are damaged, rain has a pathway into your roof. Sometimes this is evident from the ground, but in many cases, a roof inspection is necessary to identify damaged areas.
Your chimney flashing is damaged
Another common cause of a roof leak is damaged chimney flashing or caulk. Flashing is the metal that is wrapped around the intersection of the chimney and the roof to prevent water from entering the roof through that seam. If there is damage in this area, a leak will likely occur. Flashing repairs are usually a simple job for a professional roofing contractor, and extend the life of your roof for years.
In some cases, a water-damaged attic isn’t caused by a leak, but by condensation. Condensation is formed when the cold air in your attic collides with heated air that rises. When this happens, the moisture can cause water damage in the attic.
The easiest way to address this problem is to have a professional check your attic insulation to make sure that there is enough, and that it is installed properly.
Clogged gutters can be a sneaky cause of some roof leaks. When gutters become clogged with leaves and other natural debris it prevents water from draining properly. If the clog is not removed, water will back up and be forced underneath the shingles and cause a leak. Cleaning out your gutters twice a year is typically enough to prevent this from happening.
No matter how well you care for your roof, it won’t last forever. As roofs reach the end of their lifespan, they are less able to guard against leaks and water damage, and become more susceptible to natural wear and tear. If your roof is older than 20 years, it may be time for a professional inspection to assess your roof and look for signs of leaking.
Even if you are able to determine the source of the leak, a professional roof inspection and repair is a good idea. Roofing problems can expand quickly, and a professional residential roofing company is the best way to ensure that your home is safe and protected.