Understanding what causes roof leaks could help you prevent them or catch them early on.
Every homeowner should understand what can cause roof leaks and how to spot them. Not only is having this knowledge (and putting it to use) the best way to catch leaks before they can get bigger and cause more damage, but it could also help you to prevent leaks from forming in the first place. If you haven’t already, take a moment to read our last blog to learn about the first five causes of roof leaks that we’ve covered. Keep reading to learn about the last five most common causes:
#6. Cracked Brick Chimney
Do you have a brick chimney on your home? If so, it’s important to note that, although a brick chimney may seem indestructible, the reality is that the mortar that holds your chimney together is simply made of a mixture, of cement, sand and water. Over time and with exposure to the elements, your brick chimney will start to crumble and erode. Once this happens, your brick chimney can become the main source of leaks on your roof.
How do you identify chimney damage?
The most obvious signs of damage are typically found on the mud cap — which is where the chimney and the roof connect by mortared joints. Other possible signs of a leak at the chimney include loose shingles or flashing near the chimney.
#7. Clogged Gutters
When people often think of the most important aspects of their roof, the gutters aren’t typically the first thing they think of. However, when it comes to leak prevention, nothing is more important than your gutters. Your gutters help to direct water off of your roof and away from your home. However, they can become clogged if they aren’t properly cleaned out of debris, like leaves, twigs and dead insects, and when this happens, the water on your roof has nowhere to go. This leads to pools of water forming on your roof and, eventually, leaks. This is why it’s so essential to make it a point to clean out your gutters on a regular basis, particularly in the fall, when the leaves fall en masse.
How do you identify clogged gutters?
When you do a visual inspection of your roof, look for any leaves, twigs or other debris sticking out from your gutter. If you spot any debris, your gutters are probably clogged. Another way to assess your gutters is to watch them during a rainstorm. If your gutters are working properly, water should be flowing through them out into your yard. But, if it’s raining and there’s no water coming out of your gutters, you probably have a leak or another problem on your hands.
#8. Cracked Vent Booting
Are there small pipes sticking out from the top of your roof? These pipes are called vents, and it’s their job to expel the moisture that has built up inside your home and attic. These vents are sealed with flashing around the opening, but they are also sealed by slipping a tight boot over the area where the pipe protrudes. This is called the vent boot, and it is commonly made of rubber, metal, plastic or any combination of such. The flashing can crack or break over time, as can the vent boot, leaving your roof susceptible to leaks and other damage.
How do you identify cracked vent booting?
From the ground, do a visual inspection of your roof, paying special attention to the vents sticking out. If the vent booting has cracked, you’ll likely notice dark spots forming around the vents.
A skylight can bring a lot of light into any room, adding beauty and drama that can’t be achieved any other way. However, skylights can also cause leaks, especially if they weren’t fitted or installed properly. Improper installation is probably the most common reason for a leak at a skylight, but damage to the flashing around skylights can also spell trouble. Additionally, the rubber seal around the glass in a skylight can wear out over time, letting in moisture and causing a leak.
How do you identify skylight problems?
Do you find yourself constantly needing a drip bucket in your home underneath your skylight? Are there frequently wet spots on your ceiling near the skylight or under the skylight on the floor? These are both signs of an improperly installed skylight. However, you should also look for wet spots on your roof near your skylight — this indicates damaged roof flashing around the skylight.
#10. Walking on Your Roof
Not all causes of roof leaks have to do with the weather or your roofing materials. Sometimes, when homeowners walk on their roofs, they may accidentally step in the wrong spot and inadvertently damage their roof, leading to leaks. Roofing materials are more fragile than most people think, and if you don’t know exactly where to put your feet, it’s all too easy to end up damaging your roof. It’s for this reason that, if you are tempted to get on your roof for any reason, you’re better off leaving it up to the professionals than attempting to do it on your own.
How do you identify leaks caused by walking on your roof?
A misplaced foot can cause a wide range of problems, so there are many different signs that could indicate damage of this sort. But, knowing the general signs of a roof leak, such as wet spots on the ceiling or walls and a sagging roof, can help you catch the damage and get it repaired.
Do you think you might have a roof leak?
If so, don’t wait to get it repaired. The longer you wait, the more damage a leak can cause, and in our next blog, we’ll be addressing the dangers of an unattended leak. Luckily, the experts at Endeavor Exteriors are here to provide you with the professional and reliable roofing services you need in Denver, including roof leak repair, and we serve both residential and commercial clients alike. Don’t wait, contact us today to get started.