What Are The Leading Causes of A Roof Leak?


Have you noticed water spots on your ceiling or attic recently? Sounds like you may have a roof leak. Before you panic, take a deep breath. Roof leaks are often caused by relatively minor issues that can frequently be repaired or patched.

However, to fix the problem, you first need to determine what’s causing the leak. There are a few leading culprits to be on the lookout for.

Poorly Installed Flashing

If your roof is leaking, poorly installed, or damaged, flashing is often the culprit. Flashing seals areas where the roof surface meets vertical surfaces like chimneys, vent pipes, and the walls of your attic or second floor.

Common issues with flashing include:

  • Not enough overlap
  • Not secured properly
  • Cracked or damaged
  • Improper material

Damaged Soffit Boards

Roof soffits are the boards that cover the underside of your roof overhang. If these become damaged or rotted, they can allow water, pests, and drafts to enter your attic space. Holes or cracks in the soffit material are some of the leading causes of roof leaks.

Improper installation is another common cause of leaks in soffits. Soffit materials must be securely fastened to provide an effective moisture barrier. Look for gaps around vents, pipes, or the edge of the roofline where the soffit meets the siding or stucco.

Inadequate Roof Drainage

Inadequate roof drainage is another common cause of leaks. If water cannot properly drain from your roof, it will eventually find its way inside.

Over time, gutters and downspouts can become clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, which prevents water from flowing off the roof, allowing it to pool on the roof surface or spill over the sides. Missing or damaged gutters, downspouts, and splash pads can also lead to poor drainage and water leaks.

a leaky roof can cause extensive damage to your home

Wrong Materials for Your Roof’s Pitch

The wrong roofing material for your roof’s pitch can lead to leaks and water damage over time. Asphalt or fiberglass shingles may not be the best choice for a steeply sloped roof, while slate or metal roofing is not ideal for a low-pitched roof.

If your roof has a pitch of more than 6/12, asphalt or fiberglass shingles can have trouble sticking properly, increasing the chance they will lift, crack, or blow off in high winds. The steeper the slope, the more stress is placed on the shingles.

Damaged Roof Vents

Roof vents play an important role in temperature regulation and ventilation for your attic and roof. But over time, damage or deterioration to these vents can lead to leaks. Two of the most common causes of roof vent leaks are:

  • Cracked or broken vent covers.
  • Poor vent installation or flashing

Clogged vents also pose potential issues. Clogged vents prevent proper airflow and can lead to excess moisture buildup and leaky vent pipes or ducts extending from the vents into the attic or roof.

Roof Leaning

If your roof is leaning to one side, that’s a sign you likely have water damage in the attic or structural issues with the framing. Several issues could be the culprit.

  • Heavy debris: Over time, leaves, branches, and other debris can build up on one section of the roof, causing extra weight that makes the roof slope to that side.
  • Water damage: Excess water from leaks, condensation, or inadequate ventilation can saturate the wood beams, rafters, and decking in the attic. As the wood softens and weakens, the roof structure starts to sag.
  • Structural issues: The roof framing itself may have issues like rotted, warped, or broken wood beams, rafters, or trusses that are causing it to lean.

Call Our Greenville Contractors to Fix Roof Leaks!

Once you’ve identified the source of your leaky roof, it’s time to call in the pros. Don’t delay in contacting an experienced roofing contractor to assess the situation, make repairs, or handle full replacement if needed.

A reputable roofer will conduct a complete inspection and assessment of your roof to determine the underlying cause of leaks. Following this, they will recommend the best solution to resolve any current damage and prevent future issues. They have the proper training, tools, and safety equipment to access, repair, or replace your roof without risk of injury or further damage.

Call Lanier Roofing in Greenville, SC, today at (864) 990-4836 for an evaluation of your roof and recommendations to resolve current leaks and prevent future damage.

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