A leaky roof is something that every homeowner hopes to avoid. Leaks can go undetected for a long time, and once they are discovered, roof repair is expensive. Yet many homeowners will experience a roof leak or two during the service life of their roof, so they must always be aware of this possibility. Therefore, it is important for homeowners to understand where and how a leak in their roof is most likely to develop so they can take preventive measures to help avoid these leaks and the necessary roofing repair services that comes along with them.
Broken, Decaying, or Loose Shingles
Leaks happen when water gets past the roofing material. There are many ways this can happen with a shingled roof. Many leaks are attributed to the condition and water tightness of a shingled roof, so everything from shingle quality to how shingles are applied can affect their function. Poor quality shingles, shingles that are not properly applied, or roofs that are not well-cared for often lead to leaks caused by curling, cracking, and broken shingles. When homeowners do not keep their roofs clear of fallen debris, keep gutters clean, or prevent problems like ice damming, shingles may prematurely decay or loosen. Avoiding these conditions starts with high quality roofing materials, and things such as metal flashing, that are applied by professional roofing installation and repair services. Regular maintenance must then be performed on all parts of the roof, once it has been properly installed.
Damaged, Corroding, and Missing Flashing
Flashing is metal edging that is applied around vents and pipes that pass through a roof, in roof corners, and anywhere there is more likelihood to be a leak due to difficulty in sealing that area. The purpose of flashing is to provide a watertight seal, so when it is not properly affixed, or is corroded or missing, the roof underneath is unprotected. Therefore, the most common places for leaks to start is around these structures, and in the corners. These are also one of the first places to check for leaks. Avoiding leaks in these places requires the skillful sealing of good quality flashing, and regular inspections to ensure that flashing is holding up.
Poorly Sealed Chimneys and Skylights
Not all houses have chimneys, but those that do must have them periodically checked for cracks and other damage, as this a prime area for roof leaks. As a chimney deteriorates, water is able to get in through the cracks in the brick and other materials, saturating the edges of the roof that the chimney passes through. The same thing happens with skylights, which essentially are holes cut through the roof, then sealed around the edges with caulking. After a while this caulking deteriorates. If the skylight is not resealed periodically, roof damage is inevitable.
There are many causes of roof leaks and homeowners must always be observant, and check their roofs regularly. The causes of the leaks referenced above are the ones that many residential roofing repair contractors find to be the most common. Making sure these specific areas are well-constructed and well-maintained can prevent many leaks, and the resulting roof repairs that are required. For the best prevention of leaks, periodic inspection of these areas to check for damage before there is an actual leak is highly recommended!