8 Common Causes of a Leaky Roof

8 Common Causes of a Leaky Roof

Attic Insulation, Gutters & Eavestroughs, Roofs and roofing

8 Common Causes of a Leaky Roof

A roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It keeps your family and belongings safe and dry. Unfortun...

Posted by Tricia | March 8, 2022

8 Common Causes of a Leaky Roof

A roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It keeps your family and belongings safe and dry. Unfortunately, roofs can develop problems, especially in the unpredictable climate of Alberta. This can lead to leaks and water damage.

Half the battle of fixing a leaky roof is understanding the root cause. Let’s discuss 8 common reasons for leaky roofs in Calgary. We’ll also provide tips on how to prevent these problems from occurring again

Leaving a leak unattended is never a wise option. Get in touch with our team to get professional roofing advice about how to stop your leaky roof from dripping. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours and can always schedule a roof repair if your roof isn’t holding up.

Why Are Roof Leaks Dangerous?

A roof leak can be dangerous for a few reasons. First of all, an unattended leak can damage your roofing materials and shorten the life of your roof. Second, a roof leak can cause water damage to your home’s interior. This can lead to costly repairs down the road.

Finally, if you have a roof leak in the wintertime, it could lead to an ice dam forming. An ice dam can cause even more extensive water damage to your home.

Addressing even the smallest leak right away is always the wisest course of action. Professional repairs prevent little drips from becoming big disasters. So give us a call at the first sign of water leaking through your roof.

Sagging shingles near chimney on roof.

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Many things can go wrong with a roof and cause it to leak. Here are some of the most common roofing problems that cause leaks and drips around your home

Ice Dam Buildup

Ice dams are a common roofing problem in Alberta. An ice dam occurs when snow and ice build up along your roof’s edge. This prevents water from draining properly off of your roof, which can cause leaks to develop. Ice dams often form due to poor ventilation in the attic space of an older home

If you have an older home with no insulation in the ceiling or inadequate insulation, heat rising from your living spaces may melt any snow on top of your roof. That snow will then refreeze along the edges when it reaches colder temperatures at the exterior. This causes an ice dam to form on your roof’s edge.

The best way to prevent an ice dam is by properly insulating your attic space and ensuring that there is proper ventilation. You can also install Heat-Line to melt the snow and ice before it has a chance to cause problems.

Eavestrough full of ice during winter.

Cracked Flashing

Flashing is a metal strip installed around roofing materials where they meet walls, chimneys, or other roofing elements. It helps seal the roofing material and prevents water from seeping into the seams. If flashing is not installed correctly, cracked, or missing altogether, water will be able to leak through these areas.

Even the smallest leaks slowly damage your roofing materials and infrastructure. The best way to prevent this problem is by having your roof inspected regularly by professionals who know what unhealthy flashing looks like.

Missing or Loose Shingles

Shingles are one of the most common roofing materials and standard for most residential construction in Alberta. But even weather-resistant shingles can be damaged by wind, rain, or hail over time. In fact, more than ½ of all hail damage in Canada occurs in Alberta.

If shingles are missing or loose, water will be able to seep through these areas and cause roof damage. Make sure to inspect your roof following major hail storms. And have a professional roofer repair any damaged shingles immediately.

Clogged Gutters

If your gutters are not properly maintained, they can easily become clogged with debris like leaves, sticks, and ice. This blocks proper drainage of water off of your roof during a storm or snowmelt. And water that isn’t draining is a risk for causing leaks.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of gutters, eavestroughs, and fascia is every homeowner’s responsibility. Annual gutter inspections are one of the easiest ways to keep your roof’s drainage channels open and flowing. Consider installing a leaf guard if your property has lots of trees or you live in a windy area.

Roof Valleys Not Sealed

Valleys are roofing elements that help channel water from one side of the roof to another. If valleys become damaged or clogged with debris, water will pool and potentially leak into your home. A faulty seal can also lead to drips in your attic.

Keeping valleys clear and sloped properly is another part of annual roof maintenance. Valleys should be evaluated before (or during) every winter to avoid pools becoming giant hunks of ice.

Cracks in Your Chimney

If your roof has a chimney, it will be especially susceptible to roof leaks. Cracks in the roof around your chimney can cause roof damage over time as water seeps through. Look for holes in the mortared areas of your chimney or wear and tear along the top.

For some, fixing a chimney crack simply means replacing the worn or missing mortar (cement type mixture used during stone or brickwork). In other cases, a leak near your chimney could be flashing or shingles that have come loose.

Chimney repairs are very particular and always best managed by our experts at Guns N Hoses.

Worn Seals Around Skylights or Windows

If you have skylights in your home your roof is more susceptible to leaks! Skylights are a common source of roof leaks because they often have seals that wear out over time due to exposure from sun and rain.

Minor leaks in skylight seals can be fixed with some silicone sealant and a steady hand. If you notice a drip near a skylight or window, start with this method. But leaks that are always dripping, have significant water flow, or won’t stop after applying sealant, should be looked at by the pros.

Problems with Roof Vents

Roof vents are those little pipes jutting out of your roof. They take moisture out of your home, preventing it from causing problems to the interior. If the seals around roof vents become worn out over time, water will be able to leak into your home and cause roof damage.

In Alberta, with its sudden storms and frequent chinooks, adequate roof ventilation is essential. Let our team make sure your roof vents are equipped for the rest of the year. Gun N Hoses ventilation warranties also cover ventilation work that goes below your roof.

Stained ceiling caused by leaky roof.

Roof Repairs: Better Sooner Than Later

A roof leak can be a serious problem for any homeowner. If you think that your roof has been leaking or the signs are obvious, it’s important to contact a roofing professional immediately.

Never ignore a roof leak and be aware of the trouble areas that your roof may be vulnerable to. By taking care of roof leaks quickly, you’ll save money on repairs later down the road!

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Written by Tricia Arsenault

Tricia’s first experience roofing was when she was a teenager, roofing with her dad in small-town Manitoba. Her dad was a farmer but they did construction in their spare time, and she was his right-hand woman. After highschool, Tricia graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and International business. She has worked in the travel and finance industry and then returned full circle to the construction industry when she started Guns N Hoses with Keith over 14 years ago. Fun fact: Tricia has traveled all over the world, lived in three different continents and traveled to fifteen different countries.

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