Leaking Roof: Top 5 Causes, How To Prevent And Deal With Them


Top 5 Causes of Leaking Roof and How to Prevent Them

Roofs are one of those modern luxuries that are hard to appreciate until they’ve been compromised in some way. They are crucial for ensuring homeowners’ security, and yet people rarely take the time to admire their resilience. As you are probably already aware, one of the most common complaints about roofs is leaks.

In this article, we discuss the top 5 causes of a leaking roof, focusing on preventative solutions and immediate results.

Damaged Roof Valley

The roof valley is the section of the roof where two slopes intersect. It is often covered in durable materials to help facilitate runoff water from accumulating on the roof. However, due to an accumulation of debris or insufficient installation, the roof valley can deteriorate over time and allow water into your home.

To fix this, you must locate which roof valley has been compromised. Then you must remove the adjacent shingles, install a new sheet-metal flashing, and reattach new shingles depending on the quality of the old shingles.

One way to prevent this from occurring is to regularly check your roof valleys for accumulations. You could do this once a season, or if it’s a particularly stormy season, then every week or so. It shouldn’t take much more than 10-15 minutes. Just buy a ladder, prop it against the side of your house, and do some observing.

Deteriorating Chimney

While chimneys are cute features that might be used during the winter, they usually cause more problems than they solve. Specifically, the material they are made of is prone to deterioration, as it is usually composed of water and cement. When this material degrades, it can accumulate on the roof and cause holes and further damage.

To prevent the chimney from causing problems, inspect the joints where it comes into contact with the roof. Ensure that these are not eroded in some way, and if they are, make sure you repair them immediately.

Termite Infestation

Termites are especially common on wooden roofs because they live and feed inside the wood, especially when it is wet.

But termites do not confine themselves to just wood. Anything containing cellulose or dead plant material is a fertile breeding ground for these pesky insects. When an infestation has occurred, the roof is prone to holes and leaks. One solution is to treat or paint any wood on your roof with chemicals that repel termites.

Termites also love mulch, so try to keep mulch far away from wooden structures on your house. Alternatively, you can just call a termite control company like Terminix and have them do a proper inspection. Finally, educate yourself about termite warning signs and take action immediately if you spot some.

Inferior Skylight Installation

Skylights date back to Ancient Roman architecture and are a great way to allow more sunlight into your home. Yet, they are also a common cause of a leaking roof. Many people choose to have these transparent features installed after their home has been built. Yet, the surrounding flashing is often incorrectly installed, and this is the culprit when it comes to leaks near skylights.

In order to prevent this, you should inspect all the skylights in your home and make sure the exterior flashing and rubber seal are not degraded in some way. If they are, then be proactive and update them by investing the money and time. It could save you a lot of stress down the line.

Improper Usage of Roof

One underrated cause of a leaking roof is using it improperly. Many people spend thousands of dollars attaching all kinds of preventive materials to their roof, only to find that leaks still occur. This is often because these preventive materials are not built to withstand certain human activities.

If you have a balcony, then this could be especially problematic. Often, it isn’t even the force of your weight that causes degradation to roof shingles or gutters. For example, if you have parties on the roof, your guests might spill their beer or food. Over time, this food material could accumulate and become a breeding zone for all kinds of molds and other organisms. Or even worse, a discarded cigarette could result in a fire and necessitate replacing the entire roof.

If you decide to frequent the roof for gatherings or some alone time, make sure you have the area inspected by a professional. Also, impose rules like “no cigarettes” or “no food” to ensure that your roof is protected.

Most importantly, make sure you construct proper railings for security. Worse than a leaking roof would be someone falling off the roof.


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