The 10 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Leaking roof after damage

It’s a unique kind of fear that runs through the veins of a homeowner who notices water damage on their ceiling and/or walls. The signs are clear – some component of the roofing system has failed. Despite the knowing the exact location of the damage on the walls or ceiling, the actual affected area of the roof can be difficult to ascertain, which is why it’s important to have a trusted professional assist you.

The following are the 10 most common areas where roof leaks occur.

1) Shingles

Unfortunately, as sturdy as they might seem or as good as they might look, your shingles won’t last forever. In regions where severe weather is an issue season to season, shingles take a major hit, providing one of the most common areas for moisture to enter the home.

2) Chimney

Water tends to pool around chimneys, and pooling water is never a good thing on a roof. A slow trickle can easily turn into a stream into your home.

3) Ice dams

Chicagoland residents are no stranger to severe winter weather. The continual freezing and thawing leads to water running down the roof, then freezing in specific areas forming dams that can open up gaps in your roofing.

4) Flashing

This is the thin metal sheet that is laid down in valleys and between your shingles and gutters. Once corroded, flashing doesn’t do it’s job as well and can lead to leaks.

5) Skylights

While an attractive feature in most homes, skylights, especially when incorrectly installed, can be a huge problem for homeowners once the rains come. Even those that are correctly installed have seams that can fail over time.

6) Vent boots

After years of steaming hot summers and bitter cold winters, the protective rubber boots around vents can become brittle and crack, leading to water damage in your home, which can go unnoticed for a quite a while.

7) Gutter

If you’re not diligent about having your gutters cleaned out, the flow of water becomes blocked, allowing pools to collect in specific areas.

8) Ridge cap

This is the part of the roof that covers gaps at the peaks of your roof where two opposing slopes connect. There are various reasons why this area fails, including age and many seasons of severe weather.

9) Slope

If your roof is sloped too shallow, the wind get lift under your shingles, allowing moisture to get in places it’s not supposed to be. There are ways to prevent an improperly sloped roof from being negatively effected and it usually involves an added underlayment material for extra protection.

10) Age

This is a big one – your roof’s age is a major influence on how dry your interiors will remain. The older it becomes, the more at risk it is for advanced deterioration, from shingles to flashing and everything around it. If you roof is getting up there in age, it’s time for a thorough inspection from a professional.

Small leaks can turn into big ones, which is why it’s important to have your roofing system inspected annually, especially if it’s 10-plus years old. Minor repairs can help your roof last a long time, but there will come a day when the entire roof will need to be replaced, which means you need to have a trusted professional in mind to assist you.

Is your roof leaking? Don’t wait until it’s too late

At VIS Exterior, we’re the roofing experts. We have years of experience identifying exactly where our clients’ roof leaks are coming from, and we can make fast and efficient repairs that will protect your home and everything in it. Get more information about how we can assist you with the life of your roof by calling us today.

Val Slajus
Owner / Author
Val Slajus

I founded VIS Exterior because I believed that my knowledge of the home improvement craft could help others transform their houses into the beautiful homes they deserve, and I work hard every day to make it happen. In this blog I want to share some of my knowledge with you, so that you could make informed decisions when planning your next exterior renovation.

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