The Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Most of us think that roof leaks only affect older homes. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. While older homes have a greater chance of experiencing leaks if they haven’t been maintained properly, any home’s roof can be subjected to leaks. And once you have a leak, even a minor leak, the damage starts compounding. A little water is all that’s necessary for mold and mildew to thrive in your attic or even in the ceiling itself. Cost repairs are the best-case scenario then.

The first step to defending your home from the possibility of roof leaks is to know the most common causes. This allows you to not only take immediate action if you spot water damage, but to be proactive about roof maintenance and help avoid leaking roof repair completely.

Common Sources

Punctures – One of the most common causes of roof leaks is puncture damage. You’ll see this most often after a storm rolls through, but that’s not always the case. Limbs and other debris can easily punch through the roof and cause serious damage while allowing water into the home. Sometimes, you won’t even realize it’s happened until you inspect the roof.

Step Flashing – You’ll notice this where walls join the roof (think dormer windows). Step flashing can come loose (or not be nailed down in the first place). It can easily slide down the pitch of the roof, leaving an unprotected gap through which water can flow into your ceiling.

Mounting Holes – We mount an awful lot of stuff to our roofs these days. Antennas, satellite dishes and more take up that space, and they all have to be mounted securely to the roof. What happens when you take that dish down, though? If the mounting holes aren’t filled in properly or, better yet, covered over with new shingles, you’ll find that you have a major source of water.

Missing Shingles – This is once again a more common thing to see after storms or high winds. It takes surprisingly little to first lift and then tear a shingle from your roof. If it’s just one shingle, there’s no real need to worry, but several shingles can cause a nightmare in terms of roof leaks.

There are numerous other causes of roof leaks, as well, including missing caulking around dormer windows, damaged flashing around chimneys and more. Regardless, once you’ve spotted the problem, you need to repair roof leaks immediately.

Not handling roof leak repair as soon as possible can create serious problems. Mold and mildew can spread very quickly, and the warm, damp environment between your ceiling and the roof is ideal for just that. You’ll also find that on top of mold and mildew remediation, you need to replace sheetrock, and possibly even roof supports in some severe cases.

The best defense is to know the most common causes of roof leaks, and then to regularly inspect your roof. Repair damage immediately, and keep your roof in good repair.

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