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Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Sep 16

Roof Leaks Warning Signs

When your roof leaks, Texas Metal Roofing Contractors' experts know what to do. If your Houston, Texas, home has a leaking roof, you should be very worried. If a leak isn't repaired, it can ruin your home's interior and cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you want to stop roof leaks before they start, you need to know what causes them and what warning signs to look out for.

Blocked Drains

Water from the roof of your Houston, Texas home should be collected by the gutters and then channeled away from the structure using the downspouts. But when gutters are clogged, rainwater can't be diverted away from your roof and can pool near your home (and sometimes back onto the shingles). Because of this, water may seep in between the shingles. Over time, gutters collect debris like pine needles, leaves, and even asphalt granules. It is recommended that you clean your gutters once a year. It's a simple fix that could prevent a major headache down the road.

Missing or Broken Shingles

It may seem obvious that damaged or missing shingles are the cause of roof leaks, but you may not spend much time inspecting your roof. After a major storm, it is a good idea to take a stroll around your property. It is possible to see the underlayment through any gaps or holes in the shingles. There are subtler ways of doing it. When rainwater enters a home, it is usually because a shingle has been damaged or is missing. Water may also be damaging the remaining shingles, which could lead to even more severe leaks inside your home.

Broken Pipes After Booting Up

Pipes of various sizes protrude from the roofs of every house in Houston, Texas. Vents are installed in your plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to release excess pressure and gases outside of your home. They are waterproofed just like any other roof penetration. Pipe boots can wear out from constant exposure to the elements. Roof boot wraps frequently crack, allowing water to seep into your roof. Also, water can easily enter your roof if these are not installed properly.

Compromised Roof Valleys 

The valley, an intersection of two angles or directions, is not present in all roof designs. The constant flow of water makes valleys susceptible to erosion. This is especially the case if the valley was not fortified against snow and rain (a layer that goes under your shingles). Roof leaks can be avoided with proper flashing and ice/water protection for a roof valley. Leaks at the roof valley are common if the flashing is old, improperly installed, or damaged.

Damage to the Roof

The problem with a roof leak is that it is not always obvious from the ground or even from the inside of your home that there is a problem. When inspecting a roof, holes are commonly discovered. Perhaps the size of a crater comes to mind when you think of a hole in your roof. Although typically there are several smaller holes. Small animals, stray roofing nails, or the remnants of a decommissioned satellite are all possible causes of such damage. A leak can be caused by the 'popping' of a single nail (when a nail head becomes exposed or when a nail is placed incorrectly).

 Roof Windows

The natural light that can be let into your home via a skylight is a major selling point for many homeowners. However, many leaks in roofs begin with skylights that were either installed incorrectly, were not angled properly, or had sealant that had deteriorated over time. Rain will most likely pour into your home around the skylight if it is the source of a leaky roof, which is good news. The leak's impact on the roof's integrity may seem negligible at first glance, but it's actually getting worse and will require professional repair.

Damage to Chimney Mortar

Look closely at your brick chimney; the gray mortar is what holds the bricks together. When mortar deteriorates, water can seep in through the chimney and eventually penetrate the rest of the roof. Over time, mortar deteriorates naturally. Because mortar is made from a combination of water, sand, and cement, it is constantly exposed to the elements. There's nothing you can do to prevent this, but you should check on your chimney regularly to catch any leaks early on.

Flashing Failure

Flashing refers to the metal flashing strips that are installed around the "danger" points of your roof. Flashing is installed in a variety of places, such as the point where the roof and chimney meet. Flashing may be designed to withstand severe weather, but the metal can rust or crack over time, allowing water to seep in. A leak can occur if the flashing isn't installed correctly or if it's worn out.

Your Roof's Age 

Older roofs of Houston are more likely to develop leaks. As time passes, roofing materials lose their effectiveness and can no longer safeguard a building. Houston's fluctuating temperatures put extra strain on roofs because asphalt shingles expand and contract with the weather. Dry and brittle with age, shingles are usually irreparable once they've reached that point. When the roof starts leaking because of its age, it's time to get a new one. Texas Metal Roofing Contractors Offers a Free Roofing Inspection. Whether you suspect leaks, have noticed leaks, or are unsure of your roof's age, an inspection can help alleviate your concerns.