Nothing wreaks havoc to a house than a leaky roof that goes unnoticed for some time. The leaks lead to increased moisture saturation in the attics and even cause rotting on pillars and any furniture in its way. Pinpointing where the leak is coming from can also be a daunting and tiring task. It can be even worse if water has spread all over the attic and the insulation material. Scheduling regular roof inspections and having any roof leaks fixed on time can, however, reduce the risk of water damage from such leaks. Discussed below are some of the most common causes of a leaky roof to watch out for.
1. An Aging Roof
An aging roof is more vulnerable to cracks and leaks as compared to a freshly installed one. In addition to age, factors such as temperature fluctuations and weather conditions can accelerate the rate of aging and even make a leak worse. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight also has a direct impact on the integrity of your roof and its ability to keep water out.
2. Roof Vents
Improperly sealed vents in the roof can be the reason for a leaky roof. That said, any roof penetrations, and especially gaskets should be inspected and sealed to keep water out. You also need to check for missing nails, cracks, and gaps that may require resealing too.
3. A Shallow Roof Pitch
A shallow roof slope can cause water to collect on the roof due to poor drainage. Pooling causes the shingles to loosen with some of the water seeping between the shingle. Strong winds can also cause the shingles to lift a bit leaving a sizeable gap between the joints. You can, however, prevent this by ensuring the roof is professionally installed and the right materials used for the job. Proper roof pitching ensures water drains off the roof properly with no pooling at all.
4. Debris Buildup On The Roof
Leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other materials can collect on your roof, causing water to collect on your roof. While much of the water will drain off, these materials hold water for much longer, which again increases the risk of pooling and possibly a leak. Trimming trees with overhanging branches towards the roof, and sweeping off any debris from the roof can help prevent this from happening.
5. A Gap in the Ridge Cap
Even the smallest gap between two converging slopes can allow water/moisture to find its way into the house. Such gaps mostly occur due if the roof wasn’t installed properly. Calling a certified and experienced roofer might, however, help fix the problem.
6. Cracked Flashing
Cracked flashing around vents, valleys, chimneys, and even between walls can allow water into the house. For this reason, you need to inspect the same regularly to ensure flashing all around the house is intact and free of cracks. It should also provide an unbroken seal leaving no visible gaps.
7. Clogged Gutters
While your roof might be in solid shape, clogged gutters can give you sleepless nights with water flowing back into the roof and inside the house and basement. Having the gutters cleaned out every once in awhile can help prevent this from happening. You might also want to invest in gutter guards/covers to prevent twigs and leaves from finding their way into the gutter channels. Be sure to inspect the gutter downspouts when cleaning your gutters too.
8. Cracked or Missing Shingles
Drastic weather changes and other weather elements can cause shingles to curl and even crack. Other shingles may also break if temperatures change drastically or if there’s too much weight on them. Heavy winds may also blow away some of the cracked and curled up shingles leaving your roof exposed to all elements of weather. Having all the broken, curled, and missing shingles replaced might help stop the leak.
Roof leaks can have a significant impact on the integrity of both the roof and the foundation of the house. Such leaks are also among the most common causes of water damage in many homes today. For this reason, you need to be proactive once you notice a leak, and have it fixed immediately. Just be sure to call a roofing expert to help fix the leak.