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5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

A leaking roof is a precursor to significant damage to a home. It’s essential that the underlying causes of leaks are discovered quickly and fixed. Finding the exact point where leakage first began can be difficult since water can travel out from it and spread to other areas. We recommend that you quickly call in expert help with any leaks in the roof of your home.

Let’s discuss some of the common causes of roof leaks so that you can keep an eye out should they occur.

Old Age

Locating a leak becomes even more important when you live under an aging roof. Roofing materials deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements. You can’t always count on their efficacy in keeping water out.

Moreover, as the temperatures fluctuate naturally, roofing materials undergo continuous expansion and contraction. This can cause roofing elements to become brittle. They will eventually crack, resulting in a leak.

Additionally, your roof gets maximum exposure to direct sunlight over time. This can cause the tar holding shingles together to melt, allowing water to seep in.

Broken Seams

Storm damage is quite common in Frederick, MD. It’s important to take stock of the condition of your roof after an intense storm. The most vulnerable parts of your roof are the seams and knowing where they are can pay off.

Some roofs have large membrane-like rolls of material spread over them. These materials must either be adhered or mechanically fastened to the insulation or deck below. Roofers have to use multiple sheets to cover the whole roof. They use adhesives or hot-air welding to bring those pieces together, creating seams between the pieces.

The membrane at the edge of a roof may rupture and lead to a roof leak. The areas around the flashing or pipes are especially vulnerable to rain damage. Inexpert delamination (i.e., covering up of an old patch can also become a source for a leak.

Heavy Foot Traffic

An unexpected cause of roof damage is foot traffic. Sure, you can walk on your roof every now and then. However, if a certain part of your roof sees heavy traffic, it can lead to problems. This is especially true for roof membranes without walk pads for protection. You’ll find some parts of your roof unprotected, such as where the HVAC system is installed.

Cracked Flashing

The thin pieces of metal found under the shingles or on the joints of your roof are called flashing. A roofer installs them to create a water-resistant barrier. However, if they seal it with tar, the material can undergo corrosion after exposure to rain and wind.

If you want to check for yourself whether cracked flashing is responsible for a leak, go up to the roof. Do you see any long-running sheets of metal? Are they uncovered or without a rubberized coating? That’s the flashing. Check for cracks and if you find any, call in a professional to fix it for you.

A roof contractor will begin by locating the source of the leak. They will pry up the nails and remove the old flashing. Any cracked shingles or segments will need to go as well. The new flashing will be put in and fastened in a pattern similar to the old piece. Finally, they will seal the new run properly.

Clogged Gutters

Storm roof damage doesn’t just come in the form of fallen trees and billboards swept away with the force of the wind. It can also result in clogged gutters. The easiest way to check for clogs is to see if water is trickling down through the downspout when it is raining. Clogged gutters won’t let water drain this way, so a weak stream of water from the downspout is a dead giveaway.

When rain can’t drain properly, water may build up on the roof and cause a leak. Unchecked, the leak will seep into the foundation and crack walls and beams. To prevent clogging, clean the debris from the gutters regularly.

Anyone who has stayed under a leaking roof will know that it isn’t a fun experience. Fixing it right away will waste less of your time and money. Our experts at DC Generals urge you to call us soon as you find any leakage in your roof. Use our guide to ensure the safety of your roof and prevent future leaks. For more information, talk to us at (240) 629-8464 or visit our website.

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