Roof Leaking? Finding a Roof Leak

10 minutes

Are You Experiencing a Leaking Roof? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why

Your home’s roof may be one of the most important aspects of your house. Your roof is the first line of defense against anything that may hurt or damage one of your most important assets. If your roof is leaking, chances are that it is a combination of things that have happened within a few years. In this article we will help you how to find a leak in a roof and find a possible cause for the leak. First, let’s point out some possible reasons why your roof is leaking.  

Life Expectancy of a Roof 

The life expectancy of an asphalt roof is about 20-30 years. If your roof is around this age and depending on your climate, this could be an easy indicator why your roof is leaking and is a good sign it could be time to replace your roof. The life expectancy of your metal roof is about 50-60 years. Metal roofs are known to expand and contract depending on the temperature outside. If your roof expands enough and it starts raining, that moisture will instantly get in between the sheets of metal and accumulate into your attic and eventually into your ceiling.  

Poor Installation 

Another reason your roof may be leaking is because the contractor that replaced or built the home did a poor installation. You should always make sure your roofing company that you choose to repair your roof is reputable and has a good amount of experience. For your next roofing project, contact DaBella, we have been in business for 10 years and complete thousands of jobs every year. We are GAF certified Master Elite contractor which entails that we are insured & licensed in every state and county we operate in. We have a clean record of accomplishment of providing a quality home improvement service from start to finish. We are highly qualified, which means that we are up to date on GAF training and certification and can offer the best GAF warranties including the Golden Pledge and Silver Pledge warranties.  

Acts of God 

If your roof is below the average life expectancy, then chances are that your roof has experienced impact damage from hail or a branch that fell from a tree nearby that will cause holes and cracks in the shingles. Another possibility is high winds have potentially ripped your shingles off or have lifted them and moisture has been building up and will end up causing a leak. It is important to stay up to date on where your roof is in its life cycle and peek at it occasionally and see if you can notice any warning signs before it is too late.  

Your Gutters Are Clogged 

Neglecting your gutters is a common homeowner mistake that can cause drastic problems with your roof that you may not ever see until it’s too late. If you’ve been neglecting your gutters and haven’t been cleaning them on a regular basis this can cause water to pool up and concentrate in a spot of the roof that will inevitably lead to a leak in your roof. What you can do to reduce this risk is to regularly clean your gutters by getting on a ladder and removing any debris that is present. Also, carrying a bucket or putting a tarp down below will help the cleanup process. If you are unable to get on the ladder, have a relative or a professional take care of this issue for you.  

Your Skylights Were Installed Inadequately  

Leaks around skylights are typically easy to spot and fix. If you’re noticing unusual amounts of water on the floor underneath a skylight, chances are that the flashing around the skylight may have cracked or originally wasn’t installed properly. The size of the skylight may have been poorly measured and as a result water has been able to get in between the skylight, insulation and flashing. Have a professional roofing company fix this small issue and check to see if there are any issues with other flashing around the roof.  

The Flashing Is Not Sealed or It Has Cracked 

Flashing is the thin metal pieces that are installed on the joints of your roof that are exposed, for example around the chimney, vents or skylights. These are installed to create a waterproof seal. If you find a part of your flashing that is cracked there is a possibility that water will seep through and into your attic. Usually, contractors put a layer of tar on the flashing and overtime this tar may corrode and allow the flashing to be exposed. This type of repair should be done by a professional roofer if you do not have any experience working on a roof. Missing steps or not doing the proper installation could do more harm than good.  

Roof Valleys are Poorly Sealed 

This is the part of the roof where two sides of a roof meet and form an angle. The Valley is the line that separates the two with a metal strip that acts as a barrier to keep water out where the two sides meet. These types of leaks are typically easy to spot because you can check the seams and see if there is any dampness. Leaks that are found in the valleys are mostly due to the valley’s not being installed correctly, the insulation has broken down or, you or somebody on your roof has stepped on and broken the fragile element of your roof. This can also be a taxing job for the average individual and should be done by a professional to restore the roof without any mistakes.  

Ice Dam Buildup 

An Ice dam is a ridge of ice that holds the snow from falling off roof. After the snow melts the ice dam will stay and won’t allow the water to flow off the roof. This added weight of ice and water can cause havoc on your roof and may result in a leak. The leak happens because the heat of your attic creates a layer of water underneath the ice to sit and seep into cracks. This can be an easy fix for any individual willing to get on a ladder and try to break the ice with a shovel. You will need to be extremely cautious with this though as hundreds of pounds of snow may fall off your roof and could cause injury. If you do not feel confident in this task, call a professional or a friend who is comfortable with this somewhat cautious task.  

Too Much Foot Traffic on Your Roof 

Venturing onto your roof to check out the condition, hang Christmas lights up, or replacing a broken shingle can cause some serious issues if you don’t know exactly where you’re stepping. The materials on your roof are very fragile and can be moved around when stepped on, especially more so if you have a clay tile roof. Asphalt roofing shingles are amazingly easy to see where foot traffic has happened, especially if it is continuous walking over many years. When you install a brand-new roof, you may be eager to see the work your contractor completed at a closer view. The tiles or shingles may seem exceptionally durable at first, but they are not as strong as you think. Several components of your roof can be damaged from foot traffic including the tiles, underlayment and the foundation wood. After a few years these tiles become brittle and more prone to cracking and walking on your roof may accelerate this process.  

Finding Leak in Roof 

So how do you find that leak that is threatening the structural stability of your home? 

Early signs of a roof leak include water stains on your ceiling, rotten wood beams and mold in the insulations, or damaged shingles that look to be curled, cracked or loose. When you see these signs, you should immediately try to pinpoint where the leak is coming from.  

The first place to look for leaks is by the chimney or vents. Anywhere there are openings in your roof that require extra protection and sealants are the most likely to see leaks. Either the flashing, caulking or insulation have been damaged and will need to be fixed by a professional roofer.  

Another way to find a leak is by searching for water stains on the attic floor. Water leaks do sometimes travel to other parts of the roof on wood beams or any other surface that is underneath the leak. If you see a leak on the floor of your attic, then chances are the originating spot is very close by. If you also notice any mold or abnormal color, then you more than likely have a leak in your roof. 

If your forecast doesn’t predict any rain anytime soon, you can get on the roof and run water down your roof and have someone else search for where the leak is in the attic. While you’re up on your roof look for any damaged or missing shingles.  

What Should You Do If You Have a Leak?  

First, assess the cause of the leak. If there is a forecast for rain, put a tarp over the damaged area. Then do some research for professional and qualified roofers to fix and assess whether the roof needs a minor repair or be replaced because of the age of the roof or the damage that was done from the leak. You can do a DIY fix if you feel comfortable doing so, but it is never worth getting on your roof and injuring yourself or causing more damage to the roof than the original leak.  

You may have a leak without even knowing it. Here is a list of signs of a leak in your roof: 

  • Damp spots on floors
  • Unpleasant water stains on ceiling 
  • Missing shingles 
  • Paint peeling or bubbling 

If you do have any of these signs, you must act immediately to reduce the risk of further damage to your home.  

DaBella, The Top-Rated Roofing Contractors in Your Area 

If you see signs of your roof showing its age, contact the experts at DaBella. We can diagnose any kind of issues that you may be seeing and give you recommendations on what your next steps should be. DaBella is well known as being the top roofing company according to several organizations including Qualified Remodeler and Guild Quality. We have these accolades because we provide some of the best customer service, factory trained installers that get the job done the right way. As well as strategic partnerships with manufacturers including GAF, James Hardie and Alside allow us to provide exceptionally great warranties that leave you protected.  

Contact DaBella today for a free no obligation estimates and we will come out to your home and do a precise measurement and go through our catalog of options. You’re looking to add lasting value to your home and our home improvement experts will help your home to reach its full beauty and efficiency. If you’re ready to take the next steps for your roofing project call us today at 844-DaBella.

Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

Learn more about Steven