9 Potential Sources of a Leaky Roof

leaky roof

Have you been noticing damp stains on your ceilings, but don’t know where they are coming from? Don’t ignore it, hoping it will go away. That is a recipe for disaster because the problem will only get larger and more expensive. It is best to identify the source of the problem as soon as possible

Here are 9 potential sources of a leaky roof:

1. Plumbing Vent Boot

To find out if the source of the leak is a plumbing vent boot, check the base for cracks or broken seams. Bases of plumbing vent boots are commonly made of plastic, metal or a combination of the two. If the base seems solid, then next check the rubber boot surrounding the pipe to see if it is cracked or torn. If you see any cracks or damage to the plumbing vent boot, then you should replace it as soon as possible.

2. Roof Vent

A damaged or old roof vent may also be the culprit of a leaky roof. Check the roof vent for cracks and broken seams. Caulking around the vent is a good stop gap, but as soon as you are able, you will want to replace the vent.

3. Wear and Tear on Old Roof

Roofs take a lot of beating, especially in climates with a lot of damaging winds and precipitation. If you don’t remember how old your roof is and you are spotting water stains and leaks then it is probably time to either replace the whole roof or to do a partial replacement.

4. Ice Dam on Roof

If you live in a colder climate, ice dams on the roof may also cause a leaky roof. Ice dams are chunks of ice that form along the side of the roof. Once the weather gets warmer, they melt into pools of water on the roof that eventually seep under the shingles and into the walls and ceilings. The best way to keep ice dams from forming in the first place is to keep your attic and roof cold.

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5. Poor flashing

Poor flashing may also be contributing to roof leaks. Flashing is what keeps water out between the joints in the roof. You can replace the flashing yourself or have a professional do it for you.

6. Valleys Not Properly Sealed

The valleys of your roof are the areas where the two planes of the roof meet. Typically they are sloped so if not sealed properly, leaking can happen. If this is indeed the culprit, you will see damps spots along the seams of your roof.

7. Cracked Chimney

Don’t discount the impact a cracked chimney can have on your roof either. Check for signs of wear and tear around the mud cap at the top of the chimney. Check the joints also for holes. You will most likely need to replace any missing mortar that has eroded over the years.

8. Broken Shingles

Broken shingles on the roof can also be the cause of a leaky roof. You can easily replace them yourself if you are comfortable getting up on a ladder. Or you can get a professional roofer do it for you.

9. Gutters

Probably the most common reasons gutters leak and the one easiest to fix is clogged gutters. When you keep avoiding the dreaded chore of cleaning out your rain gutters, they will just fill up with debris making them unable to do their job, routing the runoff after rainstorms from your roof so it drains away from the house so there is no water damage.

Clogged gutters can damage the roof and cause water damage and mold inside the walls of your home. Clogged gutters will also start to sag and pull away from the fascia. To prevent all this damage, you need to regularly clean out the gutters once or twice a year and after any big storms. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then you can always hire a gutter cleaning company to do it for you.

Sometimes it is damage to the gutters themselves that is causing the leaking. Gutter systems endure a lot of wear and tear over the years so it is inevitable that leaks and holes will happen.  And other times the problem is that your gutter system wasn’t built properly in the first place. Whether you are trying to save money by installing a gutter system yourself or hiring a cheap company, you could be causing yourself more problems down the line.

Identifying the Leak

Of course the first thing you need to do is identify the source of the leak. The easiest way to do that is to look at the roof uphill from the stain looking for any roof penetrations like plumbing that penetrates the roof or roof vents, chimneys or dormers. Typically they are a few feet above or to the right or left of it. If you have an attic that you can access, you can also check in there. Look for water stains, black marks or mold.

If  you have somebody to help you, pick sections to the roof to check one at a time and run your water hose over that area while somebody else is inside checking for the leaking. They can call you or yell out to you when they see the leaking start.

Then remove the shingles just in the suspected area. It will be stained and rotting underneath if that is where the leak is originating.

If you identify that the leak is coming from the gutters, then we at Storm Master can help. We do gutter cleaning, gutter installation, gutter repair and maintenance and gutter protection. Anything you need for your gutters, we will can provide, both quality products and quality service.

We install both aluminum and copper gutters as well as seamless half-round gutters and custom gutters. For gutter protections, we offer LeaFree and Leaf Relief by PlyGem. Get a free estimate online for a new gutter installation or call us at 888-795-6780.

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