Why Is My Roof Leaking?

by | Dec 20, 2021 | Roofing, Storm Damage | 0 comments

December 20, 2021

Why Is My Roof Leaking?

Woman Looking up in her living room wondering why her roof leaking.

Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in a puddle of cold water leaking from your roof. You’ll have to move the bed or sleep with a bucket over your head. To avoid this nightmarish experience, understand the root causes of leaky roofs. So, why is your roof leaking? And how do you check the roof for leaks?

1. Missing or broken shingles

Shingles on your roof protect your property from the elements. This exterior layer is your roof’s first line of defense against snow, torrential rains, and powerful winds. Anyone can identify broken and missing shingles from the ground. However, most homeowners don’t take the necessary steps to fix this common roof problem.

One damaged shingle can initiate a chain of events with costly consequences. It undermines your roof’s protective exterior layer, increasing the risk of leaks. To replace leaking roof shingles, hire a professional roofing company like American Choice Exteriors.

2. Compromised sealing on the valleys

Your roof’s valleys are vulnerable to leaking. Two sloping roof planes meet in the valley, which collects and channels rainwater to the gutter. Roof valleys require water-tight sealing to eliminate the risk of leaking.

Roof valley repair tips? First, search for wet spots along the valley. Then, lay a new barrier along leaky roof sections. But DIY roof inspections can lead to accidental damage. Hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect and fix leaking roof valleys.

3. Clogged gutters

Gutters drain rainwater from your roof as quickly as possible. Rainwater and snow wash down leaves, dust, and branches on your rooftop. All this debris will accumulate in the gutter and create a pool like a beaver dam. Rainwater will seep through cracks, creating a leak where the roof meets the wall.

Clean your gutters in the fall to avoid leaks in winter. But there’s no easy way to unblock the clog. Wear rubber gloves, get up on a ladder, and remove all the debris with your hands.

4. Cracked flashing

Flashing does more than enhance your home’s aesthetics. Roofers install these thin metal sheets on roof joints and under shingles using tar to create a water-resistant barrier. The tar that holds the flashing together can corrode and expose your flashing to rain, wind, and other elements. Exposed roof flashings are prone to cracking and leaking.

5. Damaged roof vents

Roof vents stick out of the rooftop and expel excess moisture from the building. Skilled roofers use flashing, gaskets, and rubber boots to create a water-tight seal around roof vents. Prolonged exposure to the elements can weaken your vent’s sealing.

Check your vents for wear and tear around the gaskets and booting. Then, remove and replace damaged rubber boots. If you own an apartment complex, seek commercial roof leak repair for damaged vents.

6. Poor ventilation

Efficient ventilation systems enhance airflow to reduce moisture and heat buildup. Poor ventilation in tight spaces increases the risk of leaking. For example, an ice dam can form at the edge of a roof if the heat from your attic is above freezing. Accumulated water behind the ice barrier can lead to roof nail leaks.

Ice dams also put immense weight on overhanging roof sections, increasing the damage. To protect your residential or commercial property, improve ventilation in all rooms and tight spaces. You can also reduce accumulated ice by shoveling with a roof rake or using an ice melt product.

7. Weather-related damage

Extreme weather incidents witnessed in the recent past posed significant risks to your roof’s health and lifespan. Hailstorms and winds with debris can damage or rip off your roof’s shingles, vents, gutters, and other roof structures. These events undermine your roof’s health, leading to leaking. Although weather incidents are beyond your control, reduce their impact by fixing the damage as soon as possible. Seek professional leaking roof repairs.

8. Improper installation and materials

Poor workmanship is one of the leading causes of leaky roofs. If you hired unqualified roofers, don’t be surprised when you find improper installations and substandard materials.

Improper installations can lead to leaks and reduce your roof’s lifespan. Unscrupulous roofing contractors use substandard materials to build and repair roofs. If your roof is still leaking after repair, hire an experienced roofing company to conduct an independent roof inspection.

9. Your roof is too old

Like any other asset, roofs depreciate over time. Roofing materials don’t last forever. Age-related roof problems include leaking. Roof leaks increase as the materials in your roof age beyond their life expectancy. For example, shingles have a lifespan of about 20-25 years. To improve your roof’s health, consider replacing aging materials.

10. Counterproductive DIY inspections

Roofing materials are fragile and prone to cracking. Walking all over your roof can do more damage than good. Don’t venture onto your roof for no reason.

If you don’t know how to spot and repair a roof leak, hire a professional. Your roofer can find and fix roof leaks from inside or outside your house.

Bottom Line

The threat of a leaking roof looms over all property owners. A leaky roof doesn’t occur overnight. It is usually a cumulation of several roof problems neglected for weeks, months, or years. Regular roof inspections can help discover and address these issues.

At American Choice Exteriors, we use state-of-the-art roofing technologies to inspect roofs and determine the root causes of leaks. If you own residential or commercial property in Maryland, we can help you fix roof problems and avoid leaking in the future. Whether you live in Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll,or Harford County, you can rely on our expertise to protect your investment. Call us today at 301.687.2345 or schedule online to set up your free roof inspection for your roof repair.