Roof Leak Causes and Remedies
You’re getting ready for work. It’s a rainy day – the third day in a row. Your morning is already a bummer on the weather front, buy you’re determined to make it a good day anyway. That’s when you glance up and see it. A wet ceiling. Great. The roof is leaking. Goodbye good day.
Before you dial your roofer, keep in mind that leaks that are visible on your walls or ceiling aren’t always roof related.
Other Causes of Leaks
Causes other than roof leaks that are visible on walls and ceilings include window leaks, condensation from air conditioning units, clogged gutters and plumbing leaks. If the leak appears on the ceiling of an upper level room and an attic is accessible, you can enter the attic to see if you can find the source. If the leak appears on a lower level ceiling, the culprit is not likely the roof, but perhaps plumbing or condensation. If the leak appears on a wall, check above the area to see if a source of water entry is visible. If none of these are the case, you may well have a roof leak.
Types of Roof Leaks
Roof leaks come from a variety of sources, but always indicate a compromise in seals. Your roof and its parts – ridge venting, exhaust piping, joints, flashing and shingles – all require seals to prevent water from entering the home. The largest ‘seal’ is your roof’s shingles. Broken or missing shingles can allow water to enter underneath. When this happens, over time the plywood that your shingles are attached to can rot, allowing more and more water to enter your attic.
Another seal that your roof is likely to have is flashing. Flashing is used in the joints of your roof – generally when two different roof lines meet. Flashing is placed under shingles to ensure that the joints are sealed. If flashing becomes loose or cracked, water can enter the joints and into your home.
At the first sign of broken or missing shingles or compromised flashing, your local roofer should be called to inspect the issue and recommend either a roof repair or roof replacement.
Other seals that are compromised can be a bit easier to remedy. Your roof likely contains several exhaust pipes. When the seal between your pipe collars and your roof is loose or broken, water can enter your attic via the exhaust pipe. Such is the case with flashing around your chimney. Often when these are the source of your leak, simply re-sealing them just might do the trick.
There is also one anomaly that happen during heavy rains and windy conditions. The combination of high winds and torrential rain can cause rainwater to be blown through the ridge vent of your roof. When it’s ‘raining sideways’ it is possible for it defy the laws of gravity and come in through your ridge vent. When this is the case, you may not have anything wrong with you roof at all. You can just blame Mother Nature.
If you discover a leak in your home and suspect something on your roof is to blame, give us a call. We’ll send a roofing expert out to inspect and diagnose the issue.