Five Reasons Your Roof Might Be Leaking

Ceiling damage from leaking roof

If you own a home or know anyone who has ever owned a home, you know which disasters cost the most money to fix: cracked foundations, termites, and roof leaks. Even the most inexperienced homeowners can tell that when your ceiling is leaking – even a small leak if left untreated – you may be in for a major expense.

Who wouldn’t dread the mess and inconvenience of having your roof replaced at an unexpected time?

This is the reason I always stress that your roof is the most important part of keeping your house safe and that you need to maintain it. If you do, it will last for decades, depending on what kind of materials you have. It’s good idea to know the most common causes of a leaking roof so you can be prepared and beat a problem before it becomes a major headache.

Common Causes Your Roof Might Be Leaking

#1: Damaged or Old Materials

It’s a great idea to have a yearly roof inspection and maintenance done by pros. Even the best materials may deteriorate over time and some of them faster than others. It’s the most common cause of roof leakage: damage or deterioration of shingles, shakes or tiles (which can last for many decades) and of flashing used to seal points of ingress (chimneys, vents, and skylights).

Your flashing may be durable, but it gets sealed in place with tar or another kind of sealant that is more susceptible to wear and tear. A yearly check with some quick sealant work may prevent a fortune from being spent down the road.

#2: Worn or Improperly Installed Sealant

Unless you live in a converted office building, your roof is most likely made up of peaks and valleys. In the valleys, the slopes of your roof join together: at the base of a dormer window or where the garage meets the main house.

Roofers seal these joints to make sure the water – which tends to gather in those areas – doesn’t get in.

However, if they were improperly sealed or if the sealant is old or has weathered some fierce weather recently, there could be a leak.

Regular inspections can keep you on top of this kind of problem, but if you are facing it, you need to hire a professional roofer to fix it right away.

#3: Clogged Gutters

We talk a lot about gutters at Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. Gutters are the most important protection you can have for your roof. They carry water that will destroy a roof and a home away so it can’t damage either your roof or your foundation.

It’s so important to keep tabs on your gutters and regularly unclog them. This is especially true if you have tall trees in your yard. When your gutters are clogged, water backs up at the edges of your roof and seeps through the cracks. It pools around your home’s foundation after spilling over the edge.

Have your inspector tell you if you have a problem with your gutters. This is by far the cheapest way to ensure a long-lasting roof. What do clogged gutters lead to?

Everyone say it with me:

#4: Ice Dams

In Michigan, we get a lot of snow at times. If you have water and melting snow backing up on your roof, it will form an ice dam, which is a big sheet of ice forming all around the perimeter of your roof.

It can result in all kinds of nasty things like a weakened or collapsed roof. It can also be formed because of heat escaping from your attic and melting the snow near the top of the roof, causing water to run down underneath the layer of snow lower down and get caught there to freeze.

In addition, an ice dam gets larger and heavier the longer it stays. If your roof gets subjected to this year in and year out, get ready for some hefty roofing and remodeling bills.

For more on ice dams, please see: How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof

#5: Insulation in Your Attic

Actually, it’s not just insulation. However, I will say first that if you don’t have enough insulation in your attic, you will get ice dams guaranteed. That is if you can see the floor joists through the layer of insulation resting on your attic floor.

Look at the house when it’s covered in snow. Is the peak of your roof bare? That means heat is escaping through the top. The same thing goes for ventilation. If you have improper ventilation, you will also get heat build-up up there.

While you’re having the attic checked for any of those problems, make sure you have no animal nests while you’re at it. Animals can and will get in and eventually cause leaks.

Takeaway

Do you live in Southeast Michigan? If you’re having leaks and don’t know where to start, contact us regarding our low-cost inspection services. We’re here whenever you need us.

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