6 Reasons Your Roof May Be Leaking (And What To Do About It)

roof damage

A leaking roof is more than just a nuisance; it can put your home at risk. Water that seeps into your ceiling and walls will not only cause unsightly stains, but can also introduce mold and mildew and even cause structural damage. Finding and fixing leaks quickly can mean the difference between dealing with minor cosmetic blemishes and having to replace your entire roof, contact Brinkmann Quality Roofing to help repair your leaky roof.

Unfortunately, it's not easy to identify the causes of roof leaks. Nor is it easy to determine the specific point at which water is getting past your roof. Below, we'll highlight 6 problem areas below that often contribute to leakages. If you've observed water damage on your ceiling or discoloration in your walls, check for the following issues.

#1 - Your Gutters Are Clogged

Your home's gutter system is arguably one of the hardest-working components of your roof. Along with the downspouts, your gutters toil around the clock to funnel water away from your home. But left unchecked, leaves, twigs, and other debris can accumulate to the point that they cause a blockage. Water may become trapped and start to back up.

While gutters protect your home by carrying water away from it, they offer little in the way of first-line defense. With time, backed up water will begin to damage the soffit and fascia boards that line your roof's perimeter.

The fix: immediately remove debris from your gutters. Get into the habit of cleaning them every six months.

#2 - Your Flashing Is Damaged

Flashing is found underneath the shingles near the joints of your roof - for example, around the chimney. Constructed of aluminium or some other type of galvanized metal, its job is to prevent water that manages to get by the shingles from seeping further into your home.

It's durable, but far from impervious. The flashing can suffer from oxidation and become corroded. It can also become loose as your roof expands and contracts due to changing levels of humidity in the air. Both problems can set the stage for water leaks.

The fix: look for signs of corrosion along the edges of the flashing. Apply caulk where needed. Also, look for loose nails that indicate movement. Refasten them as needed.

#3 - Your Shingles Are Broken Or Missing

Given enough time, even the most durable of shingles will crack or break. And given strong enough winds, even those that are tightly fastened to your roof can be ripped away from it. Broken or missing shingles can allow water to leak into your home.

The fix: if you notice that some of your shingles are in poor condition, replace them. If some are missing, buy and install new ones.

#4 - Your Fascia Boards Are Rotting

It's common for the fascias that line a roof to show evidence of decay and rot. The boards are often forgotten since they lie behind the gutters, essentially out of sight. But time and exposure to the elements - not to mention exposure to water if the gutters become clogged - can take a serious toll on them. The boards are made of wood, which can rot. Rotting boards provide an entry point for water.

The fix: inspect the facias for signs of rot. Test the surface of the boards by applying pressure with the pointed end of a screwdriver. If the boards crumble, replace them.

#5 - Your Skylight Is Leaking

Skylights are a common source of leaks. In some cases, the problem is caused by loose or corroded flashing, as explained earlier. Other times, the seal around the framing is the culprit. In still other cases - particularly those involving poor installation - water can get into your home via condensation.

Whatever the underlying cause, water leakages can make you rue the day you decided to install a skylight into your roof.

The fix: because there are a number of possible reasons your skylight might be leaking, it's advisable to contact a roofing contractor and ask them to perform an inspection.

#6 - Your Roof Is Showing Its Age

It's natural to hope that your roof will last throughout the life of your home. Unfortunately, it's also unrealistic. Time is relentless. The materials that make up your roof, from the shingles and flashing to the fascias, will eventually crack, deteriorate, or rot. And if your roof was installed a generation ago, it's even more susceptible to such problems; the roofing materials used back then were less durable than the materials used today.

The fix: depending on the specific problem, you may be able to apply a short-term solution. For example, a cracked shingle can be fixed with a bit of roofing sealant. Corroded flashing can be addressed with caulk. Having said that, if your roof is in serious disrepair, your best option may be to replace it.

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