3 Causes of Roof Leaks & How to Prevent Them

Written by Acoma Roofing on . Posted in Roofing

No homeowner wants to deal with rainwater leaking through their roof and into their attic or home. Roof leaks can lead to water damage inside of a home as well as many home structural components, including wall framing, can also develop water damage if rainwater seeps through the roof and into the walls. In addition, water that seeps into an attic filled with electrical wiring can cause breakers to trip and loss of electricity.

Thankfully, most roof problems that could eventually cause a roof leak can be detected and repaired before water begins flowing through a roof and into the home. Read on to learn about three common causes of roof leaks, so you can have these roof problems repaired before they worsen and a roof leak develops. 

1. Missing Shingles or Broken Tiles

If you notice that one of your home’s roof shingles is missing or several roof tiles are broken, you may think that this is simply an aesthetic problem that decreases your home’s curb appeal, not a serious problem that needs to be immediately repaired.

However, you should always have roof shingles and tiles replaced as soon as you notice they are missing or broken, because every shingle or tile on your roof serves the very important purpose of protecting your roof decking and your home from water damage. 

Your roof shingles or tiles act as your roof’s outer protective layer against rainwater infiltration. Typically, these shingles or tiles lie over a water-resistant roof underlayment and your wooden roof decking and frame.

When roof tiles or shingles are missing, rainwater can seep through these gaps in this protective layer and saturate your roof’s underlayment, then seep into the wooden decking underneath it. Over time, this water can cause the wooden decking to rot or decay. 

Once your roof’s wooden decking develops water damage in the form of rot or decay, water can begin to seep through the decking and into your home. 

To prevent a roof leak, have all missing or broken roof shingles or tiles replaced as soon as you spot them. 

2. Damaged or Loose Flashing

Your roof flashing consists of thin sheets of metal that are placed on strategic locations of your roof that water could leak through during a rainstorm. Just a few of these areas include your roof valleys, the point where your roof meets the exterior walls of your home, and around roof features such as skylights and chimneys. 

If one or more roof flashings become damaged or break loose from your roof, then a roof leak could easily occur. In fact, roofing experts estimate that about 90 percent of roof leaks occur at or around faulty flashings. 

When some roof flashings, such as those in roof valleys, develop damage, water can seep underneath the shingles under or around the flashing and damage the roof decking over time, eventually leading to a roof leak. However, some flashings, such as those around skylights, are so important that water can immediately begin seeping through the roof if they become too damaged or loose. 

To prevent roof leaks caused by damaged or loose flashing, have your roof flashings inspected on an annual basis and after any natural disaster, such as a hurricane. Flashings that are developing corrosion or are at risk of breaking loose from your roof can then be replaced or repaired before roof leaks develop. 

3. Clogged Gutters

A surprisingly common cause of roof leaks is simple clogged home gutters. Your home gutters serve the important purpose of collecting rainwater that flows down your roof and directing it away from your home’s foundation. When gutters become clogged, rainwater is not directed away from your home and instead simply remains in the gutters. Once gutters are full, they begin to backup, leading to water pooling on your roof. 

Water that pools on the edges of your roof can seep under the edges of your roof shingles or tiles and into your roof underlayment and decking. Over time, your roof decking can develop rot or decay due to frequent exposure to water that leads to a roof leak. 

To keep clogged gutters from damaging your roof, clean out your gutters at least twice a year. If your roof is surrounded by trees or any other source of falling debris, then you may need to clean your gutters more often according to the amount of debris that accumulates.

If you own a home, then you have likely heard that roofs can develop leaks and wonder just what you can do to keep your roof from leaking. While you should have your roof inspected by a roofing professional who will look for all signs of roof damage at least every three years, keep these three common causes of roof leaks in mind and be sure to maintain your roof and gutters properly to avoid them.

Contact the roofing professionals at Acoma Roofing Inc. to discuss all your roofing needs today.

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Acoma Roofing, Inc.

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