Several factors contribute to a roof leak, so you may not always be dealing with just one specific problem. Water usually enters through worn or missing shingles, through damaged or poorly sealed flashing and where gutter nails have loosened, making it difficult to find where the leak originated. Therefore, any signs of a potential leak should not be ignored. Take immediate action to avoid expensive repair costs.
Locate the source
Tracking down the source of a leak is the first step toward repair. The signs of a leak are unmistakable, especially if it’s raining. These are common culprit areas that you may check:
- Attic. If you have an attic, look for water drips, stains, mold, or discolorations on your ceiling, spots on your exterior walls or protruding patches on your interior walls. Take note of where you found the leak, then inspect the corresponding spot on the exterior of your home. If you do not find anything, check the upper area of your roof, if it is slanted.
- Roof. You can also inspect for curled, cracked or missing shingles to further evaluate the overall condition of your roof. Finally, see if the flashing under your shingles has cracked or bent, because damage to it allows moisture to run inside the roof seams.
Sometimes, visual inspection doesn’t always help you find the source. If you cannot find the cause of the leak, wait for dry weather, then do a water test with a friend.
To do this, go to the roof with a garden hose while your friend stays in the attic with a bucket. Flood the roof with your hose, starting at the eaves and working your way up until the leak is found in the attic. Mark the location of the leak so you can begin repairing.
In some cases, the roof may have no leaking issues. The water damage comes from the gutters. Although seamless rain gutters are designed to withstand heavy downpour, they still experience wear and tear. Over time, some parts of gutters may give way to leaks. This is why we recommend SnapLock Gutter Systems.
Here are common causes of leaks in most gutters:
- Holes. If the gutter is always clogged with leaves and debris, water won’t drain efficiently. Over time, pooled water gives way to rust, which eats away at the metal. Little holes form and cause leaks.
- Cracks. Galvanized steel gutters are vulnerable to cracks. A newly installed or repainted gutter system is protected by a layer of sturdy paint. Over a long period, however, the paint chips off, and extreme cold can stress and fracture the steel. Additionally, water may pool in the seams, which increases the chances of rust. As a result, the seams give way, and leaks occur.
- Misplaced Joints. Even if the gutters are clogged, water will always find a way out. It usually leaks through misplaced joints caused by improper installation. Repairing these rain gutters is easy by repositioning the joints.
Repairing the leak will depend on the source as well as the material and construction of your roof. Here are common troubleshooting methods for your roof leaks:
- Fix the Shingles. One common fix is straightening or reattaching curled shingles. Smooth the curls out and apply a dab of sealant under the corners using a caulking gun. Use a trowel to press down the raised shingles, then cover the edges with roof cement.
- Replace the Shingles. If your shingle is completely damaged, replace it by removing the nail that holds it in place and scraping up the roofing cement. Lay down fresh cement and take a new shingle to place over the exposed area.
- Seal the Boots. If your vent boots are the problem, obtain another rubber seal at any hardware store. Apply a liberal amount of sealer to your old boot and clean up the excess. If your existing boot is still in good shape, you may only need to have the screws replaced with rubber-washed ones to keep water from seeping in.
Fixing Seamless Gutter Leaks
Sometimes, homeowners neglect their seamless rain gutters because these experience fewer clogs and are less likely to leak. However, they will need repair at some point.
For small holes, spread a generous amount of silicone caulk or roofing cement over. For larger holes, repeat the same step, then settle a piece of flashing into the caulk or cement.
If your gutters don’t have any leaks, make sure they won’t develop one any time soon. Clean your gutters at least twice a year, and install a leaf gutter protective cover like LeafLock to prevent clogs and prolong your gutters’ life.
Call a professional
Your roof is subject to lots of wear and tear, and, while you can try the DIY route to repair, sometimes your best – and safest – bet is to enlist the services of a professional. The Best Gutters knows how to get the job done. We provide expert roofing services, as well as seamless gutter installation and protection in Wisconsin.
Learn more about our products and services by contacting us. We’d love to hear from you.