5 Types Of Roof Leaks

Posted on: 30 June 2021

Not all roof leaks are the same. There are five key areas where most roof leaks tend to form.

1. Shingle Leaks

Shingle leaks are the type most people think of first. They can be caused due to shingle damage, such as that as a result of storm damage and cracks. Aging also contributes to shingle damage, as older shingles begin to deteriorate and curl upward, allowing water to seep beneath them. Shingle damage usually only requires the replacement of the affected shingles if the problem is caught early.

2. Flashing Leaks

Flashing seals the joint between rooftop vents and chimneys and the roof itself. Flashing is typically made of aluminum, although some pipes and vents may have rubber boots instead. Damage from hail can affect flashing, as can normal aging that leads to corrosion or cracking. If caught early, you can simply replace the flashing before the leak damage spreads to the neighboring shingles or decking.

3. Decking Leaks

Roof decking, sometimes referred to as sheathing, is made of plywood. Leaks in the decking are usually, although not always, a side effect of an existing shingle or flashing leak that is not repaired promptly. Decking leaks can also be the result of roof punctures or from water washing under the shingles due to an ice dam. The plywood will begin to rot, which means that the entire sheet of decking along with the shingles upon it must be replaced.

4. Skylight Leaks

If you have skylights on your roof, then there is another likely spot for a leak to form. The upslope side of a skylight is especially prone to leaks because water collects against it. This water then seeps into the joint between the skylight and shingles, where it can lead to shingle and decking damage. Properly sealing the skylight and installing diverters to prevent water from being trapped along the edge help to remedy the problem.

5. Valley Leaks

Roof valleys are typically sealed with some type of flashing and covered in special shingles. Since the valleys are the main water flow path during heavy rains, they can quickly develop a leak if the sealing materials suffer damage from storms or aging. Make sure that valleys are properly sealed and not simply shingled over if you want to avoid most leaks. Any damage should be repaired promptly before the water damages spread to other parts of the roof.

Contact a roofing contractor, such as Reitzel Home Improvement, to learn more.