The Top of Your Home: A Roofing Blog

Common Causes of Residential Roof Leaks

As a homeowner, you never want to put off needed roof repairs, and especially if the roof is already leaking. Water leaks can lead to mould build-up, as well as damage to the home's wood framework and many other parts of its structure. Finding the source of water leaks to fix them properly can be a challenge, which is why roofing repairs are usually best left to a professional. However, if you do want to tackle this job on your own, or want to get an idea as to the extent of the damage to the home's roof, note some common causes of roof leaks so you know where to start looking.

Vent boots

Your home's roof should have a vent of some sort, to let out humidity and allow for proper air circulation inside the home. These vents are often set with a piece of rubber that seals them to a metal base, and the metal base is then screwed or bolted to the roof.

The rubber around this vent will eventually get brittle and crack, and the metal base may come away from the roof as those connectors come loose over time. You don't want to simply reconnect the base and replace the rubber, as there may be water damage under the shingles around the vent, and these may need inspection and replacing as well.

Walls and dormers

If your home has a dormer, the seal around the edge of this protrusion may have come loose or otherwise degraded. You might note if there is a gap between the siding or brick of the dormer and the actual roof; this can mean that water has been seeping in around that corner, and the siding or brick may need repair.

Step flashing

When the roof intersects a wall, the side of that wall will have a layer of what is called step flashing. This flashing helps to keep water from collecting in that spot and then seeping into the home through the wall. As this flashing gets older, it may slide out of place or even fall away from the wall, and this allows water to sit and eventually seep into that wall area. The water may also start to collect under the shingles of the roof in that spot, also leading to leaks. New step flashing can ensure this area is protected and that water runs over the roof eaves, into the gutters, as it should.