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August 16, 2022

5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks and How To Spot Them

A failing roof hurts a home's structural integrity and curbs appeal more than many other types of damage. A leaking roof leads to mold, rot, animal infestation, and other problems that take their toll on frustration and repair costs. 

Rock House Roofing, one of the most trusted roofing contractors in Woodstock, GA, has years of experience tracking down the sources of roof leaks and eliminating them. Our technicians have seen and dealt with just about every type of roof leak. Here, they've compiled a list of five common causes of roof leaks and how to spot them.

Cause #1: Storm Damage

Like other states along the eastern seaboard, Georgia is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. High winds strip away shingles and expose the roof bed to the elements. Unless you make roof repairs promptly after a storm, water damage and debris weaken roof structures further, compromising their ability to withstand future storms.

Cause #2: Insufficient Drainage

Pools of stagnant from insufficient drainage water can devastate roofs. Over time they seep into roof structures. In the winter, they can freeze and expand, causing cracks in your roofing, one of the leading causes of roof leaks. 

Two common problems interfere with drainage: blocked or clogged gutters and the shape of the roof itself.

If branches, leaves, and other debris clog the gutters, water will not be able to leave them quickly. Instead, water will pool in the gutters and overflow onto the adjacent roofing. Water that overflows the gutters and collects on the roof can cause damage to the roof edge. Be sure to clean your gutters to keep them clear.

Cause #3 A Broken Chimney 

Chimneys allow air to escape the home when you light a fire in your wood-burning stove or fireplace. However, if the chimney has cracks or the mortar is crumbing, it may also let water into the home. When considering this, look for holes where the chimney connects to the roof or signs of damage along the top of the chimney.

Cause #4: Damaged or Improperly Sealed Roof Vents

Roof vents and vent pipes, crucial to releasing moisture and heat from the attic, can also be a source of a roof leak if not in top condition. Builders seal these vents to prevent this, but that seal can weaken over time, allowing water in. To spot this, look for dark spots around the vents and a musty odor in the air near them.

Cause #5: A Broken or Aging Skylight

Skylights and other lighting technologies that require installation technicians to cut into the roof can leave a gap between the fixture and the rest of the roof. Over time, these gaps can widen, allowing water, roots, and other material to pass through. Look for cracks in the skylight itself or broken flashing around its edges.

Cause #6: Damage to Roof Flashing

Flashing is a material that a roofer will put on your roof to cover where the roof intersects with another roof feature, such as the chimney. If flashing breaks down or falls from the roof, the shingles might not fully cover the intersection. As a recent article in the Washington Post illustrates, damaged flashing is one of the leading causes of roof leaks.

To check your flashing, look to your roof's joints, which will feature either long strips of sheet metal (exposed flashing) or a rubber coating (unexposed flashing). If you see cracks along these joints, your flashing is damaged and requires repair. In that case, you need a qualified technician to perform the proper service.

 Why You Need an Expert Roofer To Check for Leaks

Unfortunately, inadequate repair jobs are another common cause of roof leaks. Inexperienced contractors sometimes misdiagnose roofing problems, take shortcuts when fixing them, or inadvertently cause a new problem in an effort to fix an old one. Before you choose a contractor, check if they have a license in the state of Georgia.

Keep Your Roof in Good Repair With Rock House Roofing

Rock House Roofing has the know-how to determine why your roof is leaking and stop the leak for good. We offer long-lasting solutions for the most common causes of roof leaks in various roofing systems. To discover more summer roof maintenance tips or to schedule service, call us today at 770-655-8234.

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