My roof is leaking and I don’t know why!: A leaking roof can cause all sorts of issues in your home and is often an indicator of much larger problems. Mold rotted frames, and damaged insulation can all appear fast and cause health and safety hazards. Even small leaks need to be taken care of as soon as they’re first spotted — otherwise, they can spiral out of control, making a small problem even worse.
Adding to the headache, it’s not always clear how water made its way into your home. The water stain on your ceiling is noticeable enough, but trying to locate its source can be tricky. Additionally, adding even more stress to your leak problem. The best way to identify leaks in your home is to start where the damage is and work backward, as water often enters through your roof, flows along rafters, then drips down — causing problems far away from where the leak is.
More often than not, the general reason for leaks is due to the age of your roof. Over time, even the best roofing materials can deteriorate and become less effective at keeping water out of your home. Also, lack of maintenance.
Many leaks start from the wear and tear that shows up around protrusions in your roofs, such as dormers, plumbing vents, and chimneys. Cracks split, and other deterioration can loosen the seal where the roof and these objects come together, allowing water to slip through.
Flashing is a thin layer of metal placed along the joints of your roof to provide a watertight seal against the elements. However, harsh weather and deteriorated sealant can wear at the flashing, causing it to pull away from your roof or crack, allowing water to find its way in through the seams. Tar is also often used to seal flashing together, but direct sun rays can melt the tar, exposing small seams cracks in the metal.
Fireplaces are beautiful features to have in your home, but if the flashing around your chimney comes loose, rusts through, or mortar starts chipping away, that lovely feature can become a big problem. Harsh weather conditions chip away at the connection points between your chimney and roof, making it easy for water to slip through.
Plumbing and vents that protrude from your roof have plastic or metal boots that seal the seams and prevent water from slipping through. But, they don’t last forever. Rubber boots can rot or tear while metal boots can rust and lose their screws. A leaky vent can trap the moisture that should be leaving your house, causing leaks and water damage. Damaged boots can allow water easy access into your home.
Like plumbing and vents, dormer walls are a prime location for leaks. Caulking can wear down, crack, or fall off along window edges and siding. Meanwhile, flashing can pull away from your house and crack on its own. With cracks and openings around your dormers, water can get behind the flashing and into your home where. There it will slide down and wind up doing damage far away from its point of entry.
My Roof is leaking and I don’t know why. Blog for PCS Roofing, June 2019.