Diagnosing a Leaky Roof: These Are the Most Common Causes

Sometimes it isn’t all that difficult to see that your roof is leaking. Either you notice water pooling on the floor or perhaps a black spot on the ceiling which can’t be anything other than black mold from moisture coming through from the attic. However, just because you know there is a leak, doesn’t always mean you know where and how the water is getting in. Before deciding on a DIY roof repair project, it’s important to diagnose the problem in order to know whether it’s time to call in a pro or try to patch it up yourself. To help you determine what is going on, here are the most common causes of a leaky roof.

Slipped or Missing Tiles

While there may be times when slipped or missing tiles are visible from the ground, most often inspection of the roof will entail physically climbing up onto the roof to see if any tiles or slates are missing or damaged. Before climbing onto any roof or other high structure, it is important to understand the safety precautions necessary for the job. Whether you intend to do the work yourself or are just up there to do the inspection, at least buy the necessary discount safety gear to protect you while working at heights. Falling from the roof while attempting to save money isn’t going to save you anything at all! Be safe above all else.

Damaged Underlay

Damaged underlay is usually a secondary problem resulting from a slipped or missing tile. The underlay is what amounts to a backup if the roofing material fails or is missing. If you are missing any tiles and there is water coming through to the home, you can almost always discover that the underlay needs to be repaired as well.

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Improperly Installed or Damaged Junctions

This is another especially common cause of leaky roofs. If the flashing is installed or damaged at the junctions, the damage to the roofing structure can worsen quite quickly. If copious amounts of rainwater are channeled to the junctions which are improperly installed or damaged in any way, a leak will result quite rapidly. If you don’t notice any missing tiles and the visual inspection shows severe water damage, always check the flashing at the roof’s junctions.

Water Run-off onto a Flat Roof

Most roofs on homes today are of the hip or gabled type. This means they are sloped downward at an angle where water runs off. Unfortunately, there are often extensions of the home constructed with a flat roof and water will be directed to this area of the roof. If a large amount of water is dumped rapidly on a flat roof over a short period of time, the tiles or shingles and the underlay may not be able to hold up. Ultimately, it will often result in a leak.

These are just some of the most common causes of leaky roofs but knowing what they are gives you a starting point for an inspection. Just remember to keep safety in mind if you are going to do any inspections or work on a roof. Your safety is so much more important than fixing that leak, so keep that in mind before stepping foot on your roof.