Moisture may be the greatest threat to any home and your roof is the front line of defense. When water seeps through, it can weaken beams, cause ceiling stains and even spur on mold growth. Roof leaks are a far greater concern than just a few drops of rainwater. Homeowners that want to prevent damage before it occurs should consider these common roof leak causes and lock them down.
Flashing are thin pieces of sheet metal or lead (in older homes) that have been inserted under shingles to protect joints. They may have a rubberized coating over the top and that’s where you can check for deterioration and cracking.
High winds tend to be the main culprit for torn or missing shingles. They’re easy to identify without needing to climb up on the roof. If you have vacancies or partial shingles, you have a problem.
Whether a roof is 20 years or 20 minutes old, the seam where two planes meet must be thoroughly sealed. Improper construction or aging can allow rainwater to get under the shingles and soften the support lumber. Look in your attic for wet spots. Allowing this issue to persist may require major roof repairs if unchecked.
One of the common issues that homeowners encounter is leaky skylights. This problem tends to be more prevalent when they are installed later in a home’s life. Proper flashing and sealing require an experienced contractor. You’ll know there’s an issue when you put a bucket under a skylight during a storm.
Most homeowners are not learned about the physics of home construction. Building regulations require that attics are properly vented because extreme heat can build up. Some homes even include vent fans. When a home doesn’t allow air to escape, the roof shingles are basically being baked from the sun above and scorching air below. You’ll see them start to curl up.
At the end of the day, a sound roof protects your investment from water damage. Take the time to assess your roof on a regular basis and after extreme weather.