10 Popular Roof Leak Locations
Roof leaks always tend to show up when you are least prepared for them. Next time your roof is dripping, you’ll be familiar with 10 common spots to check when searching for the source.
1. Shingles: Leaks will often times originate from the shingle itself. Whether it is cracked, missing a nail, or simply aged from the weather, an older shingle can easily create a leak if it becomes damaged or worn.
2. Valleys: The line where to roof planes intersect is called a valley. Often times a roof can begin in a valley if the shingles were not trimmed correctly when installing the roof. It’s important to cut the shingles so that the water can flow atop the shingle and not get underneath!
3. Head Wall Flashing: It’s very important to install metal flashing if your roof terminates against a vertical wall. Flashing directs water away from the cracks between the roof and the wall so that it can drain more effectively down to a gutter.
4. Wall Step Flashing: Wall step flashing is similar to head wall flashing, except with wall step flashing the roof and shingles continue along to the vertical wall. A step flashing is installed over the shingle next to the wall. Flashing, in general, is a popular place for roof leaks to originate. Wall step flashing is even more prone to leaks since you can’t really even see these flashings due to them being covered with shingles.
5. Chimneys: Your chimney is essential a giant cutout hole in your roof. Since it has four edges that need to be flashed properly, any mistake will result in a leak. Check all flashings and all counter-flashings which surround the chimney if you think your roof leak is coming from the chimney area.
6. Plumbing Vent Flashings: Vent flashings will often have a rubber seal. Unfortunately this rubber seal can fail and crack within only 10 years! If this happens, water will easily be able to seep in through this faulty flashing.
7. Furnace Flashing: Furnace flashings are special due to their metal storm collar. If you think the leak is coming from the furnace flashing area, check to see if the storm collar has become loose or damaged.
8. Ice Dams: In snowy areas an ice dam will detour the natural flow of water down the roof. If water isn’t flowing as intended, a buildup of water or puddles may form, resulting in leaks through the roof.
9. Leaks NOT Related to the Roof 1: Intense humidity can create attic condensation. The wetness can cause the underside of roof sheathing to look wet, making you think you have a roof leak. In reality what’s happening is a simple reaction and an act of thermodynamics.
10. Leaks NOT Related to the Roof 2: A leak can also result if siding is missing above a roof. Missing siding can result in water entering behind the head flashing. As we stated earlier, if water goes behind the flashing a leak will result!
If you have a leak and you are unsure of where it’s coming from you need to do a water test! View our previous blog where Luke walks you step-by-step through a water test. There’s even a YouTube video!
Carter, Tim. “Roof Leak – Ten Most Common Leak Locations.” Ask the Builder – The Home Improvement Resource. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. http://www.askthebuilder.com/B188_Roof_Leaks_-_Ten_Most_Common_Leak_Locations.shtml.
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1511 South Texas Avenue, #172
College Station, TX 77840
College Station Office
18476 State Highway 6 S.
College Station, TX 77845