With all of the potential causes of roof leaks, you tend to panic at the first sign. It may not be as bad as you think.
Most leaks just need minor repairs and aren’t indicative of your roof failing or needing to be replaced. Most of them are easily rectified, and expensive repairs or even replacements are unnecessary.
You should remedy roof leaks as soon as you find them though because it will keep your roof from the further deterioration that could lead to mold, mildew, and interior damage, as well as possibly needing to replace. There are several different ways to repair or patch a leak, such as using roofing tar on flat roofs.
If you do find a leak, you can use this list of the 7 most common causes of roof leaks in the Valley to figure out the issue and fix it before it gets worse. We also have a list of the Common Roof Problems.
If you don’t vent your attic properly, warm, moist air from below can gather and in time, condensation can build up and leak back down through your ceiling.
The number one cause of roof leaks is flashing, the thin metal sheeting around openings in your roof, that is either faulty or cracking.
Flashing doesn’t last forever and it will split or crack before you need a new roof, which is why leaks here are so common.
To fix it, you just pull up the shingles that are covering the edges of flashing, and then remove the faulty piece.
Your roofer will place a new flashing around the opening by nailing it down. Cover the nail heads with sealant and the repair is made. Then they’ll seal the nail heads and area around the opening and replace the shingles. A simple repair.
Cracked, broken, and missing shingles can cause problems. You can spot them easily and they’re not difficult to replace.
They can be cracked by hail or flying debris, or just simply wear out and start to crack. If the rest of the roof is in good shape, you can usually just replace the faulty ones.
Your roofer will lift up the shingles that cover the edges of the broken ones and remove it. Then, they place a new shingle in, nail it down and replace the shingles that were lifted up to expose it.
Vents, for gas as an example, are pipes that stick out around 2 feet over your roof. There’s a boot around the base that keeps water from getting through around the vent.
This boot, over time, will crack or split and allow moisture to get through. The roofing company will pry up the old boot and remove any nails and the adhesive holding it down. Then they slide a new boot over the vent and use caulk to seal it to the shingles.
Your gutters are there to direct water away from your roof and foundations. If they get clogged with debris they will cause water to back up and get beneath your shingles and roof underlayment.
If you have a leak that's close to a gutter, it could be caused by water backing up out of it due to debris.
To fix it, just remove whatever debris or leaves are causing the backup and get the water flowing through them smoothly again.
Your problem could be in your attic and not your roof. If you see indications of mold or mildew, you’ve probably got a condensation problem in your attic. The solution is getting attic ventilators installed that will circulate the air and keep it dry to prevent moisture and mold from getting a foothold.
The shingles on your roof could lose their protective granules over time and normal wear and tear, causing leaks. You could cause this issue yourself by doing things like retrieving items from your roof, fixing or installing things like satellite dishes, or just casually removing debris. You might need a new roof at this point.
Don’t go up on your roof any more than you absolutely have to, because these types of leaks are the kind that most often lead to replacement. You’ll need a roofing contractor to come out and inspect your roof to determine if this is your problem.
When you have a leak, the tendency is to sometimes put it off because you might think it will cost too much. Unfortunately with roof leaks, this is the worst thing you can do, because the issue will just get worse over time, making it even more expensive.
So, the most cost-effective and cheapest option is usually getting your leaks fixed as soon as you find them. Keep in mind that a leak can have several causes, so don’t automatically think it's a worst-case scenario. Every time you find a leak, make sure to have a professional inspect it to pinpoint the cause.