Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

There's never a good time for a leak to appear, but during a storm or by the roof simply reaching the end of it’s life span, they can find their way in. When you see signs of water intrusion, it's key to get the roof assessed and repaired right away.

Once the leak appears, you'll surely ask, "why is my roof leaking"? Below are 10 of the most likely reasons:

Age
Years of exposure to the elements takes a toll on your roof. The Suns UV rays will eventually break down the roofing materials and their ability to efficiently protect the interior of your home or office. Over time there will be physical signs that your roof is reaching or has reached the end of it's useful lifespan. If you're not sure how old your roof is and wonder whether it's in need of replacement, there are a few obvious signs you can look for, like: cupping, curling or cracking shingles; granules in your gutters; dark spots (called balding); algae, moss or mold growth; rusted flashings, chimney cap & vents and fluctuations in your energy bills. If you see any of these warning signs, a roof inspection should be done to determine whether there is still life left in your roof. 

Flashings
This is one of the most common causes of leaks. Flashings are thin metal strips installed at points where the roof transitions and water will run down. These areas require a little ezgif.com resize 52 4extra protection to ensure water cannot find it's way in. Flashings need to be properly nailed and sealed in place to work effectively, otherwise water will seep in and create major issues. Time and exposure will cause flashings to break down, so it is critical that they are inspected yearly and replaced or repaired when necessary. 

Gutters 
Clogged gutters = roof problems, it’s just that simple. If your drainage system cannot effectively whisk water away from your roof, it has no other choice than to back up and pond on top of the roofing materials. This ponding will inevitably create leaks no matter what type of roof you have, so it's crucial to clear your gutters and downspouts yearly.

Missing or Broken Shingles, Tiles & Slates
This one is easy to spot and important to fix. If there is no shingle, tile or slate on the roof, then there is one less layer of protection keeping water out. Exposed underlayment is bad news and will not keep water out long term, so it is crucial to contact a roofer and get the broken or blown off area repaired ASAP.     

Vent Boots
Like flashings, vent boots help water-proof the areas between the roof and the vents that protrude from it. They can be made out of rubber, plastic or metal and will gradually break down like the rest of the roof as the years go by. This is another area that will be checked during your annual roof inspection and should be replaced immediately if found to be in failing condition.  

Valleys
Roof valleys are areas where two roof planes meet. These sloped areas aide in whisking water away from the roof, but if the valleys of your roof were improperly sealed, damaged by an inexperienced roofer or have been exposed to water longterm,   this will surely become an area that leaks. It is imparative that the valleys of your roof remain clear of debris as well, where debris sits, water collects. 

Holes
Holes can come from misplaced nails, T.V satellite dishes, animal activity, trees and storms. They are often not immediately noticeable and can go unaddressed for years, ezgif.com resize 53 5causing serious damage. These holes allow in water, insects and critters, all which create serious health and safety hazards. If you are hearing any noises in the walls or see water stains appearing on the ceiling, call a roofer ASAP to perform and inspection and seal any holes or areas of entry. 

Debris 
Built up debris like leaves, twigs and pine needles can trap water against the roof, allowing water to seep in. Keeping your roof clear of tree debris will ensure that water runs off the roof quickly and ensures the roof will dry completely after rainfall. Be sure to trim back trees and low hanging branches to ensure debris doesn't build up on your roof. 

Skylights
Most home and business owners love the look of skylights, but poor installation, improperly fitted units and natural wear can spell disaster and create a real headache. It is important to have a reputable roofer or contractor install your new or replacement skylight and for you to keep up on maintenance once they’re in place. Keep them free of debris and address issues immediately to ensure you enjoy your skylight opposed to finding it a burden.  

Chimney
When a chimney is in good working order, you can simply enjoy the warmth and ambiance they create inside your home. If your chimney is in failing condition, you’re sure to experience some unfortunate obstacles. Failed flashings are the leading cause of chimney leaks, this is going to be the first place a roofer will look if you're seeing water on the ceiling near your fireplace. Other causes could be cracks in the mortar or failing, rusted chimney caps. If your chimney sits atop a peak of your roof, the it should have a “cricket” installed on the high side where the stack meets the roof, this will help alleviate pooling water which will inevitably lead to leaks.

If you're seeing the tell tale signs of a roof leak, be sure to call in the professionals at C & J Roofing Co., Inc. With 35+ years of roofing experience under our belts, we're sure to find the cause and solution to any of your roofing needs. Give us a call @ (650) 583-5998 or request a quote above, and we'll get your roof back in water-tight condition.