The Usual Suspects: Common Causes of Roof Leaks

The Usual Suspects: Common Causes of Roof Leaks

If you have a roof leak, it’s essential to take care of it promptly to prevent costly roof repairs down the road and more easily pinpoint the problem. Wait too long and the water will spread, making it much more difficult to determine exactly where the leak originated. Inspecting your roof regularly will help catch these problems before they start. Here are some of the most common culprits to look out for.

Keep an Eye on Penetration Points for Roof Leaks


  • Roof vents. Leaks can occur at any penetration through your roof that isn’t sealed properly, so it’s important to regularly examine the rubber gasket, or boot, that fits over the vent pipes for gaps and cracks.

  • Roof flashing. Flashing is a thin piece of metal that is installed around penetrations in your roof, such as skylights and chimneys, and along the joints of your roof where large amounts of water run down when it rains. The tar or caulking used to seal it can break down over time, exposing the flashing to the elements and causing it to crack. Segments of flashing can also come loose due to missing nails, leading to leaks.

  • Valleys and ridge caps. The area on your roof where two planes slope downward and meet is called a valley, while upward-sloping planes that meet at a peak are called ridges. Both valleys and ridges have a gap where these planes meet that needs to be properly sealed to prevent leaks. Valleys are protected by a leak barrier that leaves a fairly large seal, which means they’re one of the more common culprits when it comes to water problems. Ridges are covered by a ridge cap, which can be damaged by contractors or homeowners who don’t protect them properly while working on the roof.

While regular roof inspections are important, just the act of venturing out onto your roof can lead to leaks. Roofing material is very delicate and easily damaged, so in most cases, it’s better to leave roof inspections and repairs to professional roofing companies like Muth & Company Roofing. Give us a call at (614) 682-3060 at the first sign of a roof leak to save yourself from an expensive repair bill and extend the life of your roof by several years!

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