What Part of the Roof is Most Likely to Leak?
One of the best ways to avoid major roofing problems is to detect and address leaks early. Untreated leaks may eventually become major problems such as mould growth, rotted framing and sheathing, damaged insulation and damaged ceilings if left untreated.
Rainwater will flow along its least resistant course – even if that means seeping into chimneys and skylights if their flashing has worn or cracked over time. Windy weather can also cause pooling water on flat roofs.
Another common area that can be leaking is around vent pipes, or plumbing vents. These vents protrude from a home’s roof to allow air to escape through the eaves. They often have flashing on them and a rubber boot to seal the top of the vent. Over time, the neoprene pipe boot may deteriorate or crack, allowing water to leak underneath it and into the house.
Regardless of where water is coming in, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Not only does it pose a health risk, but water can damage your ceilings, walls and flooring. If it is not corrected promptly, the water can cause serious structural problems.
If you are worried about a leak, the first thing to do is look inside the area of concern for signs of damage. A brown patch on the ceiling, or even a small stain, can be an indicator of water entering the interior of your home.
Chimney flashing is one of the more susceptible parts of your roof to leakage, potentially resulting in extensive damages to both the roofing, attic and actual chimney itself. When this occurs, damage can quickly occur to both.
Cracked flashing may allow water to seep into homes or cause major chimney fires. To avoid such problems, it’s essential that your chimney’s flashing is installed correctly and sealed around its base.
There are various kinds of flashing that you can choose to install on your chimney, including aluminium and copper options. These metals are easy to work with and won’t rust like steel does, making them less expensive and suitable for almost any kind of roof application.
Roof vent pipes are an integral component of your plumbing system that remove wastewater from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Ensuring they remain free from obstruction is paramount in order to continue functioning effectively.
Clogged pipes make water hard to flow freely out of the home, resulting in issues like gurgling or bubbling sounds as well as sewer gas and unpleasant odours leaking in from under your floorboards. Blocked plumbing vents also can release sewer gases that emit foul odours into your living space.
To clear a clogged vent, you may attempt to use either a plumber’s snake or garden hose to loosen any blockages; if this doesn’t work, however, professional plumbing assistance should be called upon in order to remove them for you.
Roof vents are particularly susceptible to leakage because they act as entryways for water into your home, creating a potential entry point. By properly flashing this area of your roof you can help avoid leaks occurring.
Flashings Around Skylights
Flashings around skylights are one of the primary sources of roof leaks, serving to connect it to the roof and direct any rain away from its frame rather than pooling around its frame.
If your pipes are improperly installed or old and corroded, you should expect them to leak and cause mould, rotting wood and insects.
To prevent leakage, professional flashing installation should be used. They will perform step flashing techniques in order to integrate your skylight seamlessly with other roofing materials.
Installing flashing involves weaving the top flashing into the underlayment, then attaching its opposite, the bottom one back over it with an approximate gap between 2 3/8 to 4 inches between them. Following that step, shingles are added over both ends of flashing to cover it while being secured with nails to the flashing.
Shingles form the exterior layer of your roof and are responsible for keeping water away from your home. When one or more shingles become missing, damaged, or in poor condition they cannot do their job and leaks may occur as a result.
Weather-related: Heavy rainfall and winds can lead to the removal of roof shingles due to extreme conditions, while erosion from exposure over time has the same effect.
Trees: Tree branches that scratch against your roof could damage its shingles and allow water to leak in, leading to further leakage into your home.
Valley Issues: Shingles can leak in valleys when there is insufficient flashing surrounding them; this often occurs if an installer is careless during installation.
Nail Failure: If any nails that attached your roof shingle to it weren’t driven straight in or hit wood properly, water may seep through and pool at the base. This is known as nail failure.
Varicella zoster is the virus responsible for shingles and used to be responsible for chickenpox before health experts developed a vaccine against it. Reactivation is possible years after you’ve had it, often in those with weak immune systems or those living alone.
Check out our other articles: Can a Roof Collapse From a Leak?