8 Common Causes of Roof Leaks and How to Prevent Them

8 Common Causes of Roof Leaks and How to Prevent Them

A leaky roof is one of the worst nightmares homeowners have. Not only does it cause immediate damage to your property, but it can also cause long-term issues such as mold growth and structural deterioration, which will cost you hundreds if not thousands to repair. Understanding the common causes of roof leaks and taking proactive measures to prevent them can save considerable time, money, and stress. While you may not know what to look for or how to prevent them, we do. So keep reading to discover the common causes of roof leaks and how to prevent them.

1. Missing or Damaged Shingles

Your shingles are one of your roof’s first lines of defense against the elements. As residents of Chicagoland, you are no stranger to the harsh weather conditions you can experience throughout the year. Through high UV sun rays during the summer, flash flood rains during the fall and spring, and crazy snow storms during winter, your roof and its shingles go through a lot. If you see any missing, cracked, or curling, they can potentially lead to water penetrating the structure of your roof. To prevent this from happening, schedule an inspection of your roof to see where any repairs or replacements need to be made.

2. Faulty Flashing

Flashing is a material designed to seal joins and transitions in your roof, such as around vents, chimneys, and skylights. Your flashing is essential, so if it becomes damaged or is installed improperly, it will eventually allow water to enter your home. Regularly inspect the flashing and ensure it is sealed properly to prevent any possible leaks in the future.

3. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged downspouts and gutters will prevent proper water drainage from your roof; while cleaning your gutters and downspouts may not be at the top of your radar, it should be because without water being diverted off your roof or away from your home, it can seep under shingles and cause unwanted leaks. Regularly perform gutter and downspout maintenance and clean them to ensure that water flows freely away from your roof.

4. Poor Ventilation

If your roof is experiencing inadequate ventilation, it will lead to the buildup of moisture in your attic. This will then lead to moisture seeping into your living spaces. Proper ventilation helps regulate temperature and humidity levels, preventing condensation and moisture-related damage. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated to prevent roof leaks.

5. Ice Dams

Every winter, Illinois residents experience extreme snow storms, heavy snowfalls, and the buildup of ice. Ice dams form on the edges of your roofs, preventing melting snow from draining properly off your roof. This trapped water will eventually seep under the shingles and cause leaks. Proper insulation, ventilation, and the use of heat cables can help prevent the formation of ice dams.

6. Tree Debris

Overhanging tree branches and debris can damage your roof’s surface and block drainage pathways. Falling branches or leaves can cause shingle damage and create areas for water to pool. Trim tree branches away from your roof and keep the roof clean from debris.

7. Aging roof

Even though your roof is built to last, it gets older like every other structure. Therefore, as it ages, it becomes more exposed to leaks due to the wear and tear it has faced over the years. Regular maintenance and repairs can help extend the lifespan of your roof and, in turn, prevent it from springing leaks. We recommend that you contact professional roof specialists to inspect your roof every couple of years, especially when it is getting significantly older so that they can catch any potential issues that may arise without intervention.

8. Improper Installation

All roofing materials must be installed correctly to ensure a watertight barrier. Poor installation practices can lead to gaps, exposed areas, and insecure flashing. When getting a new roof or repairs, hire a reputable roofing contractor, like Apex Exteriors, with a proven track record to ensure proper installation.

Preventing Roof Leaks: A Checklist

To make things a little bit easier for you, we have created a checklist that you can follow to ensure that you have the best chance of preventing a leak in your roof.

  1. Regular inspections – Perform visual inspections of your roof, safely from the ground, at least twice a year. This should especially be done following severe weather events such as hail and snowstorms.
  2. Ensure the gutter works properly – Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly. If it has been damaged, contact a professional immediately for repairs or a replacement.
  3. Check the flashing – If you can safely do so from the ground, inspect the flashing around any vents or chimneys.
  4. Trim Trees – If any overhanging tree branches are close to your property, trim them to avoid debris buildup on your roof or in your gutters.
  5. Proper Insulation and Ventilation Р Ensure your attic is insulated and ventilated to prevent moisture buildup.
  6. Prompt Repairs and Inspections from a professional – Contact a roofing expert to inspect your roof at least every two years so they can diagnose any potential threats and provide a solution before costly repairs and or replacements are needed in the future.

When Your Roof Starts to Leak, Contact Apex Exteriors

Has your roof started to leak? Or do you just want to get ahead of it and ensure that it doesn’t happen to you? Look no further than Apex Exteriors. With over three decades within the industry, we know everything there is to roofing solutions. Schedule an appointment with us, and an experienced and specialized crew will be sent out to your location right away. Don’t let something as simple as a leak cause you thousands in damages; contact the experts at Apex Exteriors.

Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by


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