7 Causes of Roof Leaks (And How to Fix Them)

Is there anything worse than being tucked into bed, snug as a bug, and then hearing water dripping somewhere nearby? You check the bathroom sinks to get rid of the annoying noise, but it’s worse than you feared: you have a roof leak. Not only do roof leak issues put your home’s furniture, flooring, and appliance at risk — but they can wreak havoc in your wood beams and insulation. A leak left untreated often leads to mold and wood rot. If you regularly get your roof inspection, you can catch most issues sooner than later. But roof leaks can still sneak up on you. Worst yet, the damage left in their wake may affect your home’s value.

Let’s talk about some of the most common causes of roof leaks and how to fix them.

7 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

1. Expansion and Contraction

Regular expansion and contraction caused by extreme temperatures will lead to roof issues over time. After a few hot Sacramento summers, you should get your roof checked. As shingles and other roofing materials grow and shrink over and over, you may start to get cracks and gaps up there. You can avoid this issue with regular roof inspections to fill any holes before they get worse; clay shingles may also be a good solution.

2. Missing Shingles

A good roof can stand up to some wind and rain. But too many thunderstorms later, and a shingle or two may get blown away. This is especially true if you’re not getting regular roof maintenance. As you can imagine, a missing shingle is a recipe for leaks. Any small cracks or nail holes that sit beneath the shingles will suddenly be totally vulnerable and let rain water in the next time your neighborhood sees some showers. Again, regular inspections will spot loose or missing shingles before they cause internal home damage.

3. Leaky Skylights

Your skylight is the pride of your kitchen! What a wonderful way to get natural light. But a skylight with a gap around the edges will not only allow outside air into your home, it will also create an issue the next time it rains. Combat a leaky skylight by paying attention to drafts in the rooms where they exist. A waft of especially cold air at night could be your first indicator that you need to reseal the perimeter of your skylight.

4. Bad Chimney Masonry

If you have a fireplace, you have more work to do than just checking your roof shingles. Your chimney may also be the source of unwanted leaks. A missing brick or aging masonry will also create opportunities for moisture to invade your home from the top down. You can avoid this scenario by having your chimney inspected, and by having the chimney resealed as needed. Please note: Your chimney must be able to breathe, so that moisture doesn’t get trapped inside. Make sure you are applying sealant that is breathable if you choose to use one.

5. Misfired Nails

Sometimes a nail that was meant to secure a shingle to the home’s frame misses its mark. This rarely causes a situation where a shingle has a nail that either allows cold air and water into the attic via its hole, or collects cold condensed air and then drips it downward when the air gets hot again. Either case can cause a small (but damaging over time) leak. You can’t do a lot to prevent this one, but if you identify a nail hole that is causing an issue, you can either clip the nail and seal the remaining hole or replace the shingle and renail properly.

6. Clogged Gutters

The villain behind your leak may not be your roof at all. Check in on your gutters. If they get clogged or don’t work right, they could be overflowing and softening the fascia on the side of your home. In turn, this allows leaks in. You can avoid this issue by regularly clearing your gutters of leaves, branches, and other debris.

7. Gaps Around Vents

Finally, air vents on your roof can become cracked over time, and the seams around the bottom may become broken. Likewise, the rubber boot around the outgoing pipe will eventually deteriorate with age. These tiny imperfections may lead to major problems indoors. Do yourself a favor and always have vents inspected when you’re checking on the shingles.

Have a seriously leaky roof and don’t want to deal with it? It may be time to move! Contact us today at 916-496-3737. California Family Homebuyers buys homes in Sacramento with roof problems, and we can close as soon as seven days!

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