Leaking roofs is every homeowner’s nightmare. A drip from your roof is a precursor to a much bigger problem on your roof. A problem of such a scale is, more often than not, quite costly to correct. You will spend a lot of money and time handling roofing issues. Consequently, you’d rather know the reasons why your roof is leaking and viable solutions to the problem. In this article titled ‘Why is my roof leaking? Reasons and viable solutions’, we explore the anatomy of roof leaks.
Here are 5 common reasons for roof leaks:
Broken or cracked flashing
Flashing are pieces of metals installed under shingles and joints on roofs in order to act as a water-resistant barrier.
This means that when the shingles are either cracked or broken, water is bound to intrude into the roof. Flashings crack because the tar used to seal them are corroded as time goes by. Eventually, the tar wears out, leaving the flashing vulnerable to rainwater which will then seep into the roof and into the interior.
Shingles are the outermost layers of a roof.
Given that shingles are arranged and colored similarly, spotting a broken or missing shingle should be easy because the mismatch in color will be quite conspicuous. Another reliable way of spotting broken shingles is by looking at your yard, where broken shingles will have littered. Pieces of shingles at the foot of your gutter could also be a reliable clue.
Valleys are points on a roof in which two planes merge.
Valleys slope, and at the point of merging, they may be open to water intrusion. This happens especially when they are not sealed properly. Moreover, sealants wear out with time, or may have cracked. Leakages resulting from valleys are quite significant because the amount of water they could let in is massive. You can notice problems with the valleys once you spot wet areas on the seams of your home’s roof.
Formation of ice dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that build up on a roof’s edge, forming an obstruction to snow or water from draining off.
Ice dams form when heat within the attic melt snow on the roof. Once the meltwater reaches the edge of the roof, a change in pressure and the freezing temperatures cause them to refreeze right on the roof’s edge.
The danger from ice dams is twofold. To begin with, the weight of the ice itself could be high to the extent that it threatens the roof and the house’s structural integrity. Secondly, the pools of water formed on the roof as a result will gradually intrude through the shingles into the attic.
Wet spots around your skylights means their soundness must have been compromised.
However, this may indicate problems with the flashing instead. Compromised skylights are majorly caused by improper installation. If the roofer fails to find the right measurements or fails to get the fitting right, leakages may result. Also, the insulation along the skylights must have already decayed.
Viable solutions to a leaking roof:
Replace broken or missing shingles. Once you notice your roof leak results from a broken or missing shingle, look for a matching shingle and have it replaced. Removing a broken shingle is simple; lift the edge of the shingle using a pry bar, and a hammer to remove the nails. Once you have slid it out, you can then scrape the place underneath to remove the remaining cement.
Secure the flashings. When you have spotted the point on which the roof leaks, remove the nails used to fasten the old flashing. Also remove shingles obstructing the area, and remove the section that is cracked. Apply a fresh run of flashing in its place. The fresh flashing has to be of the same configuration as the one in the past. Finish the job by applying a roof sealant on the nail heads.
Repair leaking valleys. Conducting repairs on leaking valleys is a little complicated. You are advised to leave it to the professionals as you may not do it as well on your own. The problem is solved by applying a new leak-proof barrier along the valley and on top of the shingles.
Remove ice dams. They are best removed using a roof rake. Use it to remove snow off the roof, especially on the area close to the edge of the roof. If you notice ice dams already formed, you can use an approved ice melt product in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
Ensure the attic is well ventilated. Roof insulation and ventilation is equally important. In fact, a poorly ventilated roof can cause ice dams and other complications.
When should you hire a professional to fix a roof leak?
Would DIY roofing be a good idea? In most cases, it’s recommended to call a roofing contractor right away. A DIY approach to roof repair may not guarantee a successful repair and may end up causing more damage. Reputable roofing companies will warranty the labor and extra repair costs if something goes wrong with the installation.
If you are uncomfortable going on the roof, it’s best to call a professional. Roof repairs require that you are on the roof and usually, that requires special equipment to ensure a safe roof installation. Getting hurt may ending end up costing more to be in the hospital than hiring a roofing professional.
Looking for a reliable roofing company to spot and repair your leaking roof?
For over 25 years, we have provided excellent home improvement solutions to residents of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
We conduct professional roof installations, inspections, repairs and replacements. Thanks to our vast experience, you can trust the quality of our workmanship. Contact us today to join thousands of satisfied clients.