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Watershed Roofing > Residential Roofing  > 11 Common Roof Leak Causes

11 Common Roof Leak Causes

What are the most common roof leak causes? There are a few common problems our experts immediately look for. Sometimes, a leaking roof causes only minor damage and other times those repairs are quite costly. Here is our list of common roof leak causes:

1. Shingles Missing

Strong winds can pull shingles off your roof and this leaves a gap for water to get in. You can usually spot these if you look at your roof, or find them on the lawn after a storm. Cap shingles along peaks and ridges are commonly blown off by the wind. It’s also possible that roofing nails weren’t sealed properly and are allowing water in.

2. Chimneys

Any hole in the roof, like a chimney, is vulnerable to leaking. Brick collects and absorbs water, and any cracks in the masonry will cause leaks. The flashing around a chimney is also a common source of roof leaks.

3. Skylights

Newer skylights, when properly installed, shouldn’t leak. Older skylights, or those not installed properly, may leak. More commonly, it’s the flashing around the skylight causing the problem.

4. Ice Dam Damage

Those huge icicles that hang from your roof in winter signal a big problem with heat escaping from your roof. Usually, a roof doesn’t leak from an ice dam until it begins to melt. Water collecting at the roofline can cause a variety of problems.

5. Clogged Eavestroughs or Gutters

When organic material builds up and even begins to decay inside gutters, the flow of water is interrupted or stopped altogether. This causes water to back up and will run down the side of your home or find a crack along the roofline.

6. Flashing

Metal flashing is used to direct water and cover openings in the roof such as around chimneys, skylights, vents, etc. Flashings can crack over time or the caulking or tar used to seal the edges can fail.

7. Age

How old is your roof? Shingles and other roofing materials have a limited life span and over time become less effective. Our Canadian climate brings extreme weather fluctuations, including those harsh freeze/thaw cycles that sometimes happen in winter. It takes a toll.

8. Organic Material

When organic material collects on your roof, the shingles will not last as long. Some common examples include leaves and twigs, but also moss and needles. These all trap water instead of allowing water to run off and in time your shingles will leak.

9. Valleys Aren’t Sealed

A valley is a low point where two roof slopes meet. When valleys are not sealed properly or the seal fails, because a valley directs water down a roof, moisture can get in.

10. Poor Water Flow

On roofs with more than one storey, when eavestroughs or gutters are directed onto a lower roof instead of into another eavestrough, that water will wear away at the life of the shingles.

11. Slope

Shingles are designed to work on roofs with a minimum pitch. If your roof is too flat, additional underlay materials are required and when those are not installed your shingles will lift and rain will get in underneath.

Call our team of experts for a free estimate on repairing a roof leak.