What Are the Top 5 Reasons My Shingle Roof May Be Leaking?

If you have a leaking roof, it can result in a lot of expensive damage to your home if it isn’t promptly repaired. But it’s not always easy to find the source of a leak, since water can often appear inside your home well away from the actual leak. Below are five problem areas to look at when trying to locate a leak in your roof.

Wear and Tear
Environmental factors, as well as the passage of time, eventually cause roof shingles to deteriorate and become ineffective at keeping water out. This is particularly the case in locations where roofs face very high temperatures for heavy snows and ice.

Slope of the Roof
If a roof has a shallow slope, rain can be driven underneath the shingles and inside the home. Also, it’s easier for the wind to lift the shingles and blow them off. The slope of a roof is the ratio of its rise over its distance in inches. A roof with asphalt shingles should have a roof slope of 2:12 for better. Even if the slope is higher than this, it will often still need an underlayment material to ensure it’s waterproof. Make sure that the materials used on your roof are appropriate to your roof slope.

Roofing Vents
Penetrations through your roof provide an access point through which water can leak. This is why it’s a good idea to frequently inspect any vents on your roof to ensure that the gaskets around them are not cracked or loose, that there are no missing nails and that the plastic vent itself isn’t damaged.

Roof Flashing
The transitions between sections of a shingle roof are sealed with metal roof flashing. For instance, flashing is frequently positioned around chimneys, the edges of skylights and where a dormer meets the roof. Over time, the caulking under flashing can dry out and crack and the nails can loosen, resulting in leaks. Make repairs when necessary.

Clogged Gutters
It’s easy for the gutters around your roof to get clogged with leaves, branches or other debris that can prevent the water from flowing off the roof. This results in standing water that has time to soak down through the shingles and into your home. Gutter covers are one solution, while trimming back branches on surrounding trees is another.