Roof leaks whether big or small can start major issues when left unattended without repairs. That’s why focusing early on repairs saves time, money, and headaches.
What can start as a leak that a drip bucket can handle can turn into a costly remodeling. But because leaks often start small, you won’t even notice the damage done over time.
So, before things go from bad to worse, here are the typical causes of roof leaks.
5 Most Common Causes Of Roof Leaks
Our roofs protect us from the weather and the elements. As a result, they are susceptible to wear and tear and a variety of external forces that can cause leaks.
That said, leaks can happen due to several reasons with the main ones being the following:
Gutters are essential as they guide rainwater away from your roof. However, when these are clogged, it causes the flow to stop with the water pooling in one area. When this happens, water is more likely to seep through cracks and cause leaking.
You can identify clogged gutters if leaves are sticking out or if water flowing out of a downspout isn’t as strong during rains.
Snow and cold rains can also cause gutter clogs. As such, it’s best to have a checklist of what to do to prepare your roof during winter.
Worn-out mortar around mud caps can lead to chimney holes. Mortar is made from cement, water, and sand which erodes under strong rains and harsh weather.
You can easily spot cracks in the chimney if you can find the following:
- Holes in the mortared joints connecting the chimney to the roof.
- Loose flashing and shingles around the chimney.
To repair a cracked chimney, find the source of the leak and replace the missing masonry. Since chimney repair materials are different from roofing materials, it’s best to engage a contractor.
Our attics are exposed to both indoor and outdoor temperatures resulting in condensation which leads to moisture. If you can spot mold or mildew in your attic, that indicates a leak around the area.
The strongest indication of this is the presence of an overpowering musty odor in the attic.
Flashing is laid under shingles and at roof junctions to create a water-resistant barrier. It can be hidden or exposed.
Roofers typically seal flashing with tar, which corrodes over time. Wind and rain can also crack flashing if it’s left exposed. When this happens it’s time to decide whether to recover, replace, or repair your roof.
Shingles are found on the exterior layer of a roof making them the easiest to spot. After a heavy storm, you may find shingles lying in your yard.
According to Forbes, homeowners can pay between $8000 – $9000 if they want to install new shingles. With that big of a price tag, professionals should look into this before it gets more expensive.
Can You Do Your Own Roof Leak Repair?
Figuring out the cause of roof leaks can be a grueling task. Because of that, it’s best to hire a professional to handle the workload.
But, there are minor leaks you can fix yourself with ease as long as you follow these steps:
- Find The Leak: The first thing we need to do is identify where the leak is coming from. You don’t need to find the exact spot, just the general area of where the roof leak is coming from.
- Remove Damaged Materials: If the leaks aren’t that serious, then you can start removing damaged materials on your own. Start by removing damaged shingles if your roof has them.
- Seal Cracks And Holes: After removing the shingles, seal the water-leaking gaps or holes. Use a caulking gun or sealant to seal troublesome areas.
- Replace Damaged Roofing Material: After sealing cracks and holes, replace the damaged materials. To avoid problems, make sure everything is secure and installed properly.
Roof Leak Repair: When To Hire A Pro
Some homeowners are looking for cheaper roofing repairs due to rising rates and contractual costs. But, hiring a professional roofer to repair roof leaks ensures future-proofing.
DIY Repairs are an option for minor leaks, however, hiring a professional gives you access to the following:
Inspections: Regular maintenance ensures a long-lasting roof. A professional roofer can quickly spot potential issues and get them fixed during inspections.
Vent Problems: Professionals should always handle leaking chimney repairs. This is further emphasized if you’re dealing with gas vent repairs as you’d be susceptible to harmful gases like carbon monoxide.
Large Repairs: As a rule of thumb, you should always fix a roof leak ASAP no matter how minor the issue might be. However, if you’re not that confident or haven’t done any repairs yourself, it’s better to hire a pro.
This ensures the problem is fixed properly using the best roofing materials and prevents greater, more expensive repairs later.
Reroofing: Reroofing is a cheaper, less time-intensive alternative to roof replacement that gives the same benefits. You get to install a new roof on top of your old shingles, saving you time, money, and work when done correctly.
For this reason, it’s always better to let the professionals handle roof replacements or reroofing.
Repairing roof leaks can be simple and inexpensive if done early. But, because of how small a leak can be, it’s easy to push it aside and grab a bucket.
Unfortunately, leaks can become a compounding problem when left unchecked. That’s why it’s better to let professionals handle the leak repairs for you.
With that said, hire a professional when the following occurs:
- Manual repair becomes too difficult
- You lack the required tools and materials to do repairs
- When you can’t find the source of the leak
- When leaks continue after DIY repairs
- You want to ensure everything is covered and done correctly.