The Drifter’s aren’t the only ones bummed out about a leaky roof. If your roof is leaking, there’s probably a good reason for it. In case you’re counting, here are 8 very good reasons raindrops keep falling on your head.
1. The Flashing Is Cracked
Inspect your flashing, the thin pieces of aluminum or galvanized steel that are installed where the roof joins a wall or the chimney. If it appears cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged, or if the sealant around the flashing is cracked or missing, then it’s time to have it repaired.
2. Your Shingles Are Down For The Count
In these days of unpredictable weather events, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the wind whipped away a shingle or two or perhaps they’ve been damaged by hail or falling tree limbs. Regardless of the source of the shingle damage, it’s pretty likely that missing shingles are the source of your leak. You may be able to replace individual shingles; however, don’t be too surprised if they don’t match your existing shingles perfectly. If you find yourself repairing shingles on a regular basis, it may be time for a metal roof!
3. There’s No Seal In Your Valleys
If your home has an ornate or complex roofline featuring a variety of planes, the areas where they come together (the valleys) may be susceptible to leaks. Valley repairs are probably best left to the professionals.
4. Your Vent Booting Needs The Boot
If you’ve detected a leak, and you don’t want to brave your roof to check on your vent flashing, take a trip into the attic, being very careful to step on the secure joists. Investigate the area around stack pipes and other venting. If the pipe or the surrounding roof decking is wet, or the insulation below the pipe feels damp, you may have found the culprit! Either the pipe boot has deteriorated or the sealant around the pipe is cracked or missing. In either case, your professional roofing contractor will have the right fix.
5. You Have Ice Dam
If you live in the far south, this may not be much of an issue. But for those living in colder climates, ice dams are something to be concerned about. An ice dam is formed when a ridge of ice builds up on the edge of your roof and prevents the water from melting snow from flowing freely off your roof and into your gutters. The water can back up and leak into your home. Warm air escaping from your attic causes some of the covering snow to melt. However, cold temperatures quickly refreeze the melting snow near the edge of your roofline, creating an ice dam.
Investing in excellent attic insulation is one solution and keeping the edges of your roof clear of snow and ice during the winter will allow for better drainage.
6. Your Skylights Are Letting In More Than Sunshine
It probably seemed like a tidy solution to a dark room. But as you watch rivulets of water run down your walls from your skylight, you’re probably wondering why you didn’t simply spring for brighter light bulbs. You may be able to fix minor leaks with a tube of silicone caulk, but for leaks the size of a small stream, your best bet is to keep your roofing contractor on speed dial.
7. Your Need To Take Better Care Of Your Gutters
If you don’t make it a habit to clean them regularly, your gutters will quickly become clogged with leaves and twigs and other assorted debris. It stands to reason that if your gutters can’t carry water away from your home, pooling water could find its way into the eaves of your roof. Find a tall, sturdy ladder, grab the rubber gloves and start cleaning.
8. Your Chimney Is Cracked
Much like a cracked vent pipe boot, your chimney may also be the source of a leak. Check your chimney’s brickwork and the base of your chimney regularly for cracks and open seams. Over time, mortar can deteriorate and needs to be replaced. Unless you’re an accomplished DIY homeowner, this is a project that may be best left to the professionals.