One of the worst feelings is a drip coming from the ceiling and the ominous sign you’re in need of roof leak repairs. Leaky roofs are every homeowner’s nightmare, but if we all make roof inspections a part of our home repair routine, the worst nightmares most likely won’t become a reality.
By inspecting your roof and attic, you can catch any problem before it gets worse and ultimately lessen your roof leak repairs bill. Here are five of the most common reasons for a leaky roof – and what you can do to prevent them.
Shingles are the first line of rooftop protection from the weather and precipitation, making the structure stronger and long-lasting. The overlapping structure of the shingles makes for pretty strong armor, but high winds and inclement weather can make shingles break, and if it’s not fixed in time, your underlay (more on that below!) can also be exposed and tear. Water can then get onto the wood sheathing and rot the roof, causing severe leaks and the need for roof leak repairs.
If it’s a simple fix, like a single shingle, it’s pretty easy to repair, and you can do it with the proper sealant. Missing shingles might require more of your time and money, but regardless of the size of the job, you should never wait to make a shingle repair. Examine the roof after winter and any major weather events to catch shingle breaks before it becomes a leak.
Clean gutters keep both your lowest and highest floors water-free. Gutters prevent water from pooling around your foundation, and if they clog up, the water can’t drain away from your home. But clogged gutters can cause leaks in your roof, too, as the rising water can wear down sealant and get through joints into your upper floors.
This solution doesn’t require our genius: get out your ladder and clean the gunk out of your gutters!
Cracked Flashing And Joints
Flashing is the material used to protect the joints in your roof, usually at the edges, valleys, and junctions between other parts of the roof or between roofing and a chimney or vent pipe. It’s usually made from aluminum or steel, so if it’s old or oxidizing due to weather stress, you might need it replaced. Water can get in through the joints if your flashing is cracked and unable to do its job.
Costs for fixing the flashing depend on how much of it is damaged, but it’s still a simple repair and will save you from potential water damage. If you have a chimney, roof vents, or a skylight, make sure you routinely check the flashing around them.
Improperly Installed Vents and Skylights
Speaking of roof vents and skylights, these elements are often the causes of leaks when they aren’t installed properly. If there was an error in the measuring or fitting of these parts, you can expect water to get in around the edges and damage the materials in your roof and ceiling.
The best way to fix these problems is to ensure that they are properly sealed and that the flashing around them is in the best condition. If you have the money, talk to a contractor about roof leak repairs, like a curb mounted skylight with flashing raised above the roof.
Damaged Or No Underlay
Hidden under all the other roofing materials, the underlay is a waterproof barrier that adds some extra protection to your roofing. It can keep the roof materials protected when shingles fail, so if there isn’t any underlay or it becomes damaged, the wood of your roof is more vulnerable to precipitation and wind.
Fixing the underlay is something you should have done promptly. Underlay and shingles work together to give your roof the best protection, so any damage to either of these has to be taken care of right away. Leaks can be costly, but they’re never as costly as a repair that can prevent them. Call us today if you’re in need of some roof leak repairs!