Top 10 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks: Your Flashing Has Cracked. Roof leaks can cause significant damage to a home if the underlying cause is not discovered or repaired promptly. Because water can travel outward from the point where the leak occurs, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause. Check your roof for some of the most common causes of leaks, to stop an existing leak, or to avoid future problems.
Roofing materials deteriorate over time and become less effective at keeping water out. Temperature fluctuations and weather conditions can cause roofing materials to become brittle and crack. Exposure to direct sunlight can melt the tar that seals the teas. Leaky Roofs Matter Because Problems Flow From The Top Of Your House.
If the roof of your house is not in shape, you can count on other problems to develop. The biggest problem of all of them? Water Damage. Since your roof is the main defense against external elements, it must be an impenetrable roof. Once a hole develops, they only get bigger.
This allows more water to enter your home and more and more damage cascading. So what about water damage? Not only does it ruin your property inside your home, but it actually attacks the physical structure of your home, causing rotting and needing a complete remodel of any part of the house you find. In addition, mold develops and creates hazardous air quality in your home. Probably one of the main causes of roof leaks is that they have simply reached the end of their useful life.
As a roof ages, it does what it was born to protect your home from the elements. Even perfectly maintained roofs will suffer a beating by design. Another big cause of roof leaks is that wildlife seeks refuge when the weather changes. When animals such as mice, rats, raccoons or possums have an idea in their heads to go through the roof, there's not much to stop them.
An even bigger problem with wildlife is that once there is a small hole, they find it and use it as a starting point to develop an even larger entrance. The best way to make sure this doesn't happen is to make sure no debris builds up on the roof. Creatures are attracted to fallen branches and leaves, and accumulated debris will eventually cause holes in the roof. The best way to prevent this from happening is to inspect the trees on your property a short distance from the roof of your home and make sure they are healthy.
If they aren't, call an arborist and see what they can do to revive or bring down the tree. Ask any roofing expert and they'll tell you that standing water is bad news for your roof. While roofs are designed to be leak proof when water falls on them and runs off, they are not designed to retain accumulated water for too long. This is not because they are not waterproof, but because the heavy weight of the water will cause damage to your roof structure and cause a leak.
If there are not enough ventilation holes, the accumulation of moisture in the attic will cause mold and mildew to grow, since you will have nowhere to go but to stay in the attic. This reduces the integrity of your roof and will eventually cause leaks, in addition to existing water damage due to condensation buildup. Some of the most common causes of roof leaks include an aging roof, broken or missing tiles, clogged gutters, and chimney damage. If these issues are neglected, it can be disastrous for your home structure.
While you may want to save money or avoid spending time fixing the problem, keep in mind that not addressing the leak could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. A roof leak is a problem that can quickly cost homeowners a lot of time and hard-earned money, so it's vital to spot warning signs quickly and understand why roof leaks occur. While the first thing you see may be a small drip coming from the roof, it's possible that unwanted water ingress has already caused significant damage to your property, which means you need to act quickly to prevent problems from spreading further. We know that discovering a roof leak can be a nightmare for homeowners, as they can be incredibly difficult to diagnose without consulting a professional.
The roof is your home's first line of defense against the elements, so it's vital to keep it in top condition. To help you save time and money, we've compiled a list of the 19 most common causes of roof leaks, including how to identify them, why they occur, and how to fix them. Roof leaks can be caused by many things, but broadly speaking they can be classified into age-related wear, acute damage, and poor installation. Any of these three factors can cause roof leaks, whether they occur immediately, or decades after the roof's lifespan.
Lead flashing is a vital feature of a well-protected roof. Flashes are installed along the joints of your roof to seal and protect these weak spots from water ingress or unwanted pests. However, if the flashing cracks or becomes damaged, it could quickly become the perfect place for a roof leak to start and cause serious problems. Flashing can be damaged by age-related wear and tear, exposure to fluctuating temperatures, direct impacts, or even fixings or putties that fall out of place.
If you take a close look at your flashing, any cracks or other damage should be evident immediately. Due to the critical location of flashings around areas such as skylights, chimneys, or simply where two sections of the roof meet, it is imperative to repair the lead flashing as soon as possible. To repair broken lead flashings, first remove the damaged section by removing the fixings and placing a new row of flashing in place. Next, it needs to be securely fixed with roofing nails, which can further protect with roofing sealant on the nail heads.
We recommend that you inspect your roof flashings several times a year, even if you don't suspect there is a problem. Often, the cause of a roof leak can be caused by shingles becoming damaged or slipping. As the primary mode of protection for most of your roof surface, any source of damage, such as falling debris, will likely impact the roof shingles. While many roofing materials are designed to be quite tough, they can only withstand a limited amount before giving way.
Spotting cracked or missing shingles on your roof is quite simple, and you may notice chips or entire shingles scattered around your back garden after strong winds. As noted above, while shingles or slates act as the first line of defense, there is always the possibility that they will be damaged and could expose the membranes underneath. While roofing underlayers, such as ventilation membranes, are designed to cope with small levels of moisture and transport it to gutters, if they are forced to withstand too much water from the pool, this can lead to problems such as the base layer rotting or breaking and causing a persistent leak every time is it raining. Condensation is a serious problem that can cause a multitude of problems for homeowners, including roof leaks.
Since the loft space is the highest part of your home, it is especially prone to condensation due to the way the air rises and, of course, it is placed directly between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Condensation occurs when hot air meets a cold surface, so you can see that it can be a catalyst. If condensation is a serious problem in your home, this moisture can build up and eventually drip onto your loft floor, causing water damage over time. It's vital to cut through condensation in the bud, as it can pose a serious risk to the structural integrity of your roof, especially if rafters have been damaged by water over a long period of time.
On a positive note, a leak from one of the roof windows is probably the easiest to detect and diagnose, as it should be quite obvious. However, keep in mind that if there are leaks from closer to the top of the roof window or skylight, this may indicate that the flashing surrounding it is damaged, rather than the window itself. In addition to serious damage, such as impacts from falling debris or age-related wear and tear, a leaking roof window is usually due to improper installation. To repair a leaking roof window, first clean the area of any debris, especially moss or mud.
Then, closely inspect each part of the window to identify any cracks or other forms of damage. Once you're satisfied you've found everything you're going to find, seal these cracks with resin or silicone. Even if you don't suspect it's the problem, this is also a good time to take a closer look at your window flickering, as some telltale signs may be present that it will cause problems in the future. Our fireplaces suffer shocks throughout their lives and, after repeated exposure to inclement weather, the mortar that holds everything together can wear out and offer an entrance to water.
The most common place where a chimney may be causing a roof leak is in the mud lid or the part with mortar at the top of the chimney. Aside from that, you should also inspect the mortar and flashings around the base of the chimney, to make sure they haven't been damaged. Ice buildup occurs when ice covers the edges of the roof, forming a dam that prevents snow or rainwater from escaping. This can cause incredibly serious problems, as the weight of accumulated water or trapped snow will exert significant pressure on the roof structure, as well as damage caused by water leakage into the roof space through cracks or weak spots.
An ice dam occurs when snow on the roof melts due to the heat of the house below, and water rushes to the colder edge of your property, where it freezes again, forming an ice dam. Roof vents are a vital part of a healthy roof as they allow warm air to escape and remove excess moisture from the loft space. Without proper roof ventilation, you would quickly encounter problems such as moisture, condensation and more. However, roof vents can cause leaks in a number of ways, either due to cracks in the vents themselves or damage to the flashing used to seal around where they protrude from your roof.
You can identify if a ceiling vent is leaking by looking for dark spots below where they sit, indicating moisture ingress. Ceiling and ceiling panels protect the ceiling space by preventing water or unwanted pests from entering the bottom or front. However, they can be damaged over time, especially if your home has traditional wooden ceiling and ceiling tiles. Along with problems such as gutter leaks that can spill over the facade of your house, wood can soften and eventually cause holes and rot.
These areas then become an attractive home for pests such as rodents or birds, as well as for water ingress. We recommend replacing ceiling and ceiling tiles with modern UPVC, as this material is virtually immune to all problems affecting traditional wood and is much less likely to cause ceiling leaks. As a point where two roof sections meet, valleys are a common weak point, more susceptible to roof leaks. If the flashing installed along the roof valley has been damaged or not properly installed, it is only a matter of time before water enters and causes a leak.
The easiest way to detect if your roof valley is leaking is to look for moisture spots along the joints of your roof or, alternatively, check that the flashing is still in good condition. To fix a leaking roof valley, it may be necessary to replace the lead flashing, as it is the most common cause of problems. While trees are undoubtedly beautiful and stately, if your garden tree hangs above your roof, you risk damaging your roof shingles from falling branches, debris, bird droppings and more, all of which can lead to roof leaks. Especially in autumn and winter, if branches and leaves have been falling to the roof, the roof tiles may be cracking or chipping, and if the leaves find their way into the gutters, you will soon run into a blockage.
The best way to deal with protruding trees to prevent roof leaks is to prune their branches or even remove the tree completely. If your home has a garage or extension with a pitched roof, it's vital to inspect it regularly. This is especially important if the shed is below, where the main roof often sheds rainwater. The repeated impact of this water, along with the increase in humidity levels, will compromise this roof over time, eventually leading to a leak through the roofing material or its underlayer.
If you have a flat roof leak, the most common causes are acute damage, such as tears or punctures caused by impacts, or water buildup due to improper installation. Both can quickly lead to roof leaks, as voids in the roof membrane or felt present an easy opportunity for water to enter, and water buildup increases pressure on the material and structure underneath. This is one of the most common causes of roof leaks and definitely the one that people think about first. Shingles, being immediately visible, are easier for an ordinary person to diagnose; it is especially recommended that whenever a major storm occurs in high winds, the tiles be checked for integrity.
Performing roof repairs and replacements in Houston, Dallas, Pearland, San Antonio & New Braunfels, Austin, Lake Charles and more. This is what it will now be like to enter the roof space, overload the underlying layer and seep into the structural beams, where it can cause problems such as moisture, condensation and rot. Whatever the reason your chimney is leaking, you won't know the extent of the damage until a roofer comes up and does an inspection. If you know your roof is aging or you haven't maintained it, the leak could be due to a normal breakdown due to old age.
When this debris accumulates, rainwater and melted snow will not be able to drain freely or fall out of the house, and could cause roof leaks. You can avoid this risk with proper maintenance, such as removing moss from shingles, but nothing lasts forever. To repair this leak, the roofer will need to break the seal of the tile, lift it up, pull out the nail and move it. .