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How To Figure Out What’s Causing Roof Leak (And How To Fix It)

Posted on July 19, 2022

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How To Figure Out What’s Causing Roof Leak (And How To Fix It)

A roof leak is one of the most common roofing problems in US households and buildings. If you aren’t careful, you’ll be looking at a more severe issue and many expensive repairs down the road.

Sometimes, you won’t even notice leaks unless water starts dripping in one of your rooms. So you must know all signs of leaky roofs before they go out of hand.

In this blog, we’ve explained everything about leaky roofs and how you can fix them.

How Can You Identify Tiny, Hidden Roof Leaks?

Water falling down the ceiling is the last stage. To spot a roof leak way earlier than this, you’ll need to look out for a few signs of  roof damage:

  • Look at the top corner of the walls, where moisture usually accumulates when it rains or snows heavily outside. You would be looking at dark, damp spots or peeling paint.
  • If you can’t find anything, go for the smell. During monsoon or when the snow melts, you’ll notice a rainy smell in your attic or any of your rooms right when you enter. It’s an early sign of leaky roof and moisture damage.
  • When you check for leaks in your attic, you may be able to see some clear hints— holes in insulation, mold, and algae growth in remote spots and corners (it often looks like black or green powder).

If you see any signs, you must call for a roof inspection, and the experts will quickly tell you what’s wrong. The more you delay, the more damage the leaks will do.

Usually, there are a few simple explanations behind roof leaks. Take a look at why different types of roofs face this issue. This will help you in figuring out why your roof might be leaking.

Why Is Your Pitched Roof Leaking?

Winters are pretty chilly and snowy in Pennsylvania, and almost every home has a pitched roof. It is way more complex and bigger than flat roofs. If you are wondering why your roof often leaks or is leaking right now, read along carefully.

Your Flashing May Be Damaged

The most likely culprit behind leaking roofs is the metal flashing around your chimney or skylight. Even a tiny slit and warping in the metal flashing will allow water to get inside, rendering it useless. The same goes for your vent pipe, gutters, and downspouts.

Your Roof Is Too Old

Every homeowner loves their home, and that includes the roof too. Unfortunately, if you have an old roof— over 20 years old— chances are good that it has been damaged and can’t protect your home anymore. In that case, you shouldn’t waste a single day getting it checked and fixed.

Rebellious Weather

Stormy winds, heavy rainfall, and snow can do a number on your roof. Shingles get pulled; flashing folds in; fascia board and soffits get cracked; gutters get blocked and overflow. All this chaos is too harsh to handle— leading to leaks, roof tears, and breakdowns.

These are good enough reasons for any residential roof to leak. Ensure roofing contractors check every corner of your roof and attic to find out every single leak source and deal with it appropriately.

We have dozens of tools and methods to find and fix a leaky roof that may otherwise turn out to be a nightmare for your home and budget.

You’ll be surprised to know that flat roofs are way more prone to leaks than pitched roofs. We know this because we have repaired flat roof leaks more frequently than residential ones.

Roof Leak

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Why Is Your Flat Roof Leaking?

You’ll see that most commercial buildings have flat roofs because it’s incredibly spacious and can accommodate lots of HVAC equipment and communication setups. We’ve mentioned a number of reasons why flat roofs may leak.

Pooling Water

Flat roofs are, well, flat. They don’t have a slope from where water and snow can slide down the surface. Moreover, they typically don’t have boundary gutters or downspouts; they just have small drainage holes in a few corners, which means that water will end up pooling on the surface of your roof. This leads to mold growth and structural damage. If you have a flat roof, be sure to look into installing downspouts and gutters, so you don’t end up with any leaks!

Improper Installation

Another issue with flat roofs is when you hire cheap contractors or buy cheap roofing materials. Flat roofs have a membrane covering (often made of TPO or EPDM) that allows water vapor to pass through but not liquid water.

Suppose you’ve used poor-quality roofing materials or your roofing contractors come up with shoddy workmanship. In that case, flat roofs can end up with several leaky spots, especially during wet and cold weather, when water vapor does not get enough time to evaporate before it freezes and causes damage to the roof’s surface.

How To Find Out Where The Leak Is Coming From?

When you see the roof leak, you must find the exact source. Only after that, you’ll be able to do something about it.

To pinpoint the source and fix it, you need professional help— an extensive roof inspection and a permanent solution to repair the leak.

Inspecting Shingle And Metal Roofs

The roofing inspector will check every corner of your roof— above and below. We also examine your attic, gutters, and rain spouts. If there are any clogs (not just leaves), cracks, or gaps that could let water through into your home’s exterior walls or foundation when it rains, we’ll suggest a few repairs and replacement options. These types of repairs typically take less time.

Never Miss The Siding

Another thing worth checking out is the top corner of your siding that’s attached to the roof— leaks might occur here due to damaged siding, gaps in boards, and poor insulation against drafts or windows. In case of old or improper insulation, cold air often sneaks inside through cracks which could cause condensation on the inside (another type of leak).

So when you trust us with roof leak repair services, we’ll ensure everything is sealed tight before winter starts up again next year!

How To Fix A Leaking Roof?

The answer to this question is simple. If you are not handy with roof leak repairs and you don’t have a license, get help from professional roofers.

  • From caulking to replacing damaged roof components, we can fix the real cause of your roof leak.
  • When you find roofers near you, make sure they are licensed to work in your area; have substantial experience, and have people who can vouch for them.
  • The best thing about hiring licensed contractors is that they have taken roofing exams; they have insurance policies against accidents or injuries while working on your property.
  • Roofing contractors can give you an accurate estimate for the cost of repairing your roof, plus do high-quality work using specific tools and years of experience.
  • Make sure you hire a local contractor who knows your town from end to end. At North Star Roofing, we know which material works best in North Wales, PA, and we’ve been helping property owners with roof repairs for years.

If you are not an expert, we will never suggest you do it on your own. Roofing requires lots of experience, safety measures, tools, and equipment— only licensed contractors have access to these.

From your end, you should do your best to prevent leaks and perform regular roof maintenance.

How To Prevent Small Leaks?

Do you want to know the easiest and most inexpensive way to prevent roof leaks? We believe every property owner would like to know that.

  • Keep an eye out for water stains, softwood, peeling paint, electrical failures, mold, and mildew.
  • Go for free roof inspections twice a year. If your roofers notice any problems, such as cracks or damage to shingles, they’ll paint a clear picture of what you should do and why.
  • Keep your roof clean and protected at all times— use gutter guards, and remove leaves and debris regularly.
  • Confirm that there is no standing water on your flat roof. Clean the drains regularly and watch out for warping membranes around the edges of your roof.
  • Right before winter, call for professional roof cleaning services. We will pressure wash your flat roof and choose a more soft method for shingles— chemical cleaning.

If you suspect anything, please don’t ignore it. When you don’t repair a leaky roof right away, even the tiniest crack can grow up to become an expensive roof replacement.

We Can Find And Fix Your Roof Leaks

At North Star Roofing, we take pride in our highly trained and accomplished team, which is dedicated to helping you with utmost honesty and transparency.

We are a full-service roofing company with over 55 years of combined experience. The people of North Wales, PA, trust our team with their roofs and have always reached out to us in case of emergency roof repairs.

We hope that you found this blog helpful. If you have more doubts about why your roof is leaking and how you can fix them, our experts are always happy to guide you.

We can come by and inspect your leaky roof for free. After we give you the report, it would be solely your choice to go with the repairs or not. If you think you can rely on us for roof leak repairs, call us at (484) 302-7663.

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