The Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Many of us have been there. We drive home from work in a torrential downpour, exhausted after a hard day at the office and ready to just pop open a beer and enjoy a nice peaceful evening in front of the television.

But Mother Nature has other ideas, battering your home and your roof until leaks form and you’re running around looking for buckets, trying to minimize the damage as much as you can.

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This happens more than any of us would care to admit. But when the weather returns to normal and you can finally exhale, it’s best to investigate the damaged areas immediately so you can repair any problems before the next big storm arrives.

And when it comes to roofs, leaks can develop for a number of different reasons. Some you may already be aware of and others you may never have considered. All of these are considered emergency roofing repairs and before it gets better, it’s going to get worse.

Reasons your roof might begin leaking include, but are not limited to, the following:

You Have Broken Shingles

This is one of the more common causes of roof damage that can result in leakage into your home. But the good news is, it’s also one of the easiest to spot. These are usually due to hail damage from storms, but more often than not the shingles were getting old and needed to be replaced anyway.

You may see loose shingles laying on your roof or in the gutters. Or if the most recent storm came with a good amount of wind, you may see them scattered around your yard.

Shingle damage is generally a result of high winds and heavy rains, so this is the first thing you should suspect after a harsh summer storm. Extreme heat can also take a toll on a roof, so it’s a good idea to get an inspection after summer.

This is obviously an issue you’re going to want to address sooner rather than later, certainly before the next big storm barrels down on your area.

Your Gutters Are Clogged

You may not think about clogged gutters causing your roof to leak, but they certainly can.

Gutters are meant to direct water off the roof, and that process comes to a screeching halt when a blockage forms and your gutters get clogged

Water on your roof will begin collecting in one area, making it much more likely that it can seep through cracks and into your home.

Luckily, this is an easy situation to fix. You just need to climb up a ladder and clean out the gutters with your hands.

But if you spot any additional problems in the process of doing so, you should consider calling in a professional roofing contractor.

Your Flashing Has Cracked

These thin pieces of metal are installed under your shingles and on the joints of your roof, creating a water-resistant barrier. But if cracks appear in your flashing, leakage into your home can and probably will occur.

Cracks in flashing often occur as a result of the underlying tar corroding over time, leaving your flashing exposed to the elements.

If you’ve noticed cracks in your flashing, it’s a good idea to call a handyman or roofing contractor right away to come out and take a look. You never know when that next big rainstorm may becoming.

Your Chimney is Cracked

If the area that’s leaking is located near the chimney, then it’s very possible that a crack in your chimney is the cause of your leakage issue.

Look for signs of wear and tear around your chimney, as well as any holes in the area where the chimney connects with the roof. Loose flashing and shingles near the chimney could also be contributing to the problem.

This is an issue that’s best handled by the professionals, as the materials used for chimney repairs are different from materials used on other parts of the roof.

But as with the rest of the items on our list, this is something you want to take care of at your earliest opportunity.

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