Roof leaks can be frustrating. If moisture invades your home when it rains, you’ve got a roofing issue. The age of your roof, how well it was installed, and how quickly you act on a roof problem can make the difference between a quick roof repair and a full roof replacement.
Here are some common causes of roof leaks and what you can do about them.
Why Is Your Roof Leaking?
If your roof leaks when it rains, have it inspected by a professional roofer to find out the cause, and attend to it promptly to minimize damages and repair needs.
Common issues that cause roofing to leak include:
- Broken or missing shingles—This classic cause of roof leaks happens typically during severe weather with high winds and heavy rain. You may find shingles in your yard after a storm. Or if there are different colored patches on your roof, and moisture evident on the ceiling of the highest floor in your home—you’ve got a roof leak—likely due to missing shingles.
- Roof valleys may not be sealed—When two planes of your roof come together, if they aren’t sealed together properly, moisture can intrude as rain comes down your roof. If there are wet spots on the seams of your roof, your roof valleys aren’t sealed.
- Ice dams—When a ridge of ice forms at the edge of your roof and keeps melting snow from draining off, an ice dam forms. The heaviness of the ice can damage your roof, and the standing water on your roofing’s surface can also cause problems. When your attic is warm and causes snow to melt in spite of cold outdoor temperatures, ice dams form.
The Most Common Problem with Roofing: Your Flashing May Be Cracked
Flashing consists of thin metal pieces under your roof shingles and on the joints of your roof. This material creates a water-resistant barrier to protect your home from roof leaks. Flashing is installed near chimneys, vents, and skylights. When flashing breaks, large cracks may appear and destructive water intrusion results.
Sometimes, pieces of flashing are visible, appearing like long runs of sheet metal. Visible flashing may wear out due to exposure to the elements, and a compromising crack may appear over time. Some flashing is hidden, with a rubberized coating over it, and isn’t as susceptible to the elements or damage.
The tar that seals the flashing together can tend to corrode over the years, and cracks may result. If your flashing is pulling up from your roof itself, then it wasn’t installed correctly and needs to be replaced.
How to Fix Cracked Flashing
Fixing cracked flashing begins with getting up to your roof and securing a safe way to stay there while you make repairs. This can be a major risk, and it’s important to consider if the dangers involved in doing the repair yourself outweigh the benefits.
- Locate the source of the leak. Once you find the leak, pry up the nails that secured the old flashing.
- Repair small holes. If there are corroded spots in your flashing, they can be repaired by filling tiny holes with roofing cement, and patching any holes under an inch in diameter with the same material as your flashing. Roughen up the area around the hole with sandpaper and clean. Cut a patch larger than the hole, and use roofing cement to seal it.
- Remove the cracked segment of flashing. Lift shingles out of your way to get to the cracked flashing and eliminate it.
- Add new flashing. Using roofing nails, fasten your new flashing the same way the old flashing was secured.
- Add sealant. Apply a coat of roofing sealant to the nail heads. Use masonry caulk to seal joints between the flashing and your chimney.
- Inspect routinely. Create a regular routine of checking your flashing (seasonally and after major storms) around your home’s chimney and roof vents. Make sure they aren’t letting in damaging moisture. If you aren’t comfortable with the risks involved with checking your flashing, hire someone to do it.
Bottom line: It’s safest and will give you the best long-term results if you hire a qualified professional roofer to fix your flashing.
Deciding on Roof Repair or Replacement?
If you’re having difficulty deciding whether you should repair or replace roofing, check out this blog for valuable information.
If you need a new roof, take a moment to learn more about the benefits of roof replacement.
Get a Trusted Dayton, Ohio Roofer
We understand how frustrating it can be when your home’s protective layer gets old or damaged and therefore doesn’t perform as it should. When your roof fails, it’s vital that you choose a roofing contractor you can trust—like American Way Exteriors. As a veteran-owned roofing company, we add value to your home with superior materials and expert installation. We treat you as an individual and don’t do high-pressure sales.
With our experienced installation team, you get reliable protection for your home along with great customer service. We’ll inspect your roof and give you viable facts to assist you in deciding whether to repair a damaged roof or replace it. Our precise, state-of-the-art drone roof assessment can help catch and address roof damage before it puts your property at risk.
We provide emergency roof repair, storm damage roof repair, and roof replacements. Popular roofing materials we install include asphalt shingles, metal roofing, synthetic roofing, standing seam metal roofing, shake, slate, and concrete roofing.
Find out more about roofing so you can protect your home with confidence and avoid costly roof leaks.