Incorrectly installed or broken flashing– Water can easily enter into your home if the metal flashing surrounding your chimney, skylights, vent pipes, or dormer windows is damaged or improperly installed.
Missing or broken shingles– shingles are particularly prone to becoming damaged during strong storms, where hail can break them or high winds can blow them away. If a shingle is indeed missing it is very easy to identify, however, a broken shingle may require a more thorough inspection to discover.
Incorrectly installed or damaged skylights– The improper installation of a skylight or the decay of its insulation along the edges will freely allow water into your home to cause damage.
Improperly sealed valleys– If the places where the two planes of your roof come together, otherwise known as the valleys, are not sealed correctly then rainwater can easily run into the home as it runs down the roof.
Blocked Gutters- When gutters become blocked it prevents the proper drainage of rainwater, causing the water to pool in one section of the roof, where it will quickly find a way inside.
Incorrect roofing materials– different roofing materials are designed for different types of roofs if a roof is constructed with the wrong kind of materials for its design, leaking can occur.
Ice Dams- An ice dam is when a line of ice forms at the edge of a roof and prevents the water created by melting snow from draining off, causing the water to back up and leak into the home.
Common Signs of a Roofing Leak
Now that you know the causes of a leaking roof, it is important to educate yourself on the signs that your roof is indeed leaking to both identify leaks as soon as they appear and to prevent further damage from occurring.
The most common signs of a leaking roof are:
- Water appearing in the home during heavy rainfall or in spring when the snow melts.
- A darkening of the ceiling.
- Cracked or bubbled plaster.
- Peeling paint around skylights and dormer windows.
- Drywall crumbling.
- Wood decay throughout the home.
- A musty smell in the attic.
- Decreased energy efficiency in your home.
- Curling shingles.
- Water spots on the walls and ceilings.
- Lowering of the air quality within your home.
- The presence of mold within your home.
Though being able to recognize the signs of a leaking roof is an important skill for any homeowner to have, being able to locate the leak is an even more useful, and difficult to acquire, skill. Indeed, since water can essentially enter the home from anywhere, the source of a leak can be a challenge to find, and in many cases requires a professional inspection to locate. While often overlooked an inspection is a service that can save you a lot of money in the long run by locating a leak fast before too much damage has occurred.