When your roof leaks, it’s not only a nuisance, but a potentially dangerous situation. Water damage compromises the air quality, durability, and longevity of your home. It’s important to ask yourself (and the experts), “Why is my roof leaking?” so you can stop it as soon as possible. Here are some reasons we’ve found for leaky roofs, and why a healthy ridge cap is integral to keeping moisture out.
Why Is My Roof Leaking? Here are a few examples…
There are many different reasons for leaks, and these are just a few of them. You might be able to spot these issues just by looking at your roof. Communicating them to your roofing professionals can help in the inspection and repair process.
However, don’t try to walk on your roof to find these things – you may cause further damage. Roofing experts can give your roof a good look and locate problems with more ease. Luckily, many companies, including us at Energy Shield, offer free inspections and estimates. Here are some common causes we see for a leaky roof:
- Improperly sealed valleys
- Improperly installed chimney
- Faulty ridge cap
- Broken shingles
- Ice damming and clogged gutters
Improperly Sealed Valleys
The valleys of a roof are where two (usually sloped) areas meet. These points often leak because of a crack in the ice and water shield, flashing, or shingles. This crack doesn’t have to be damage – it’s often improper installation, where the underlayment is not properly woven together. On top of that, cracks in valleys can trap more water as it travels down because of their sloped shape.
Here’s a roof we worked on that was leaking in this spot. We took off some shingles and noticed that two pieces of rubber were used to meet at the valley. At each valley, there should be one continuous ice and water shield, so water can’t get in and cause roof leaks.
If your chimney looks like this, it’s likely contributing to roof leaks:
A very improperly installed chimney flashing with damage lets lots of water in. For a proper chimney flashing installment, there needs to be step flashing on all sides of the chimney as it is shingled. This prevents any water going through to the underlayment.
Then, to seal the new lead against the chimney, mortar lines should drape over the step flashing. There should be zero gaps and open spaces, ensuring protection against harsh weather.
Faulty Ridge Cap
If your roof is leaking, previous roofers may have improperly installed your ridge cap. If that’s not the case, it may have come loose or blown off completely because of extreme weather conditions.
A ridge cap is integral to a roofing system because it almost always blocks the vented opening that circulates air flow in your attic and home. The ridge cap keeps rain, snow, debris, and even small animals like rodents from entering your home.
You can imagine how bad it is to have ridge cap problems – no one wants to have to call the exterminator in addition to needing a roof repair. It can be hard to see your roof’s ridge cap, so it’s important to have an expert check it out so you can know if you’re protected.
It can be easy to see shingle damage on your roof. It often looks discolored or like irregular texture. Luckily, shingle replacement is an easy process, since it’s so common that shingles get damaged in harsh weather conditions. This is one of the most common causes of roof leaks, so keep an eye out for this on your own home.
Ice Damming and Clogged Gutters
Ice dams happen when the snow on your roof melts and refreezes on the eaves of your house. The buildup of moisture doesn’t just cause leaks and water damage – the weight of the ice also compromises your roof. They can also cause mold growth and electrical problems throughout your home.
One of the best ways to combat ice damming is by installing a cold roof system. A cold roof system keeps your warm attic from melting the snow too quickly.
Your gutters may not just have ice dams. They might also be full of debris, blocking water from moving away from your roof. Regularly cleaning the debris out of your gutter is a great way to prevent roof leaks.
What’s The Best Way to Fix My Roof?
It can be tempting to do a DIY roof job, but when it comes to roof leaks, it’s best to leave it to the professionals so you can get correct installations and prevent further damage. By knowing how to spot what’s wrong with your roof, you can streamline your roof repair or replacement process.
Here at Energy Shield of New Hampshire, we offer free inspections and estimates. If you’re concerned about the integrity of your roof, our professionals can identify any problems and get your roof back to its absolute strongest.