Why is My Roof Leaking?


Four most common leak points on residential roofs

Any roof is as good as its weakest link. Here are the five most common “weak links” that we find when performing leak inspections and repairs.

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Unfortunately, some roofing contractors install a new roof without replacing the chimney flashing or without installing proper counterflashing. Instead, the existing flashing is reused or caulking is applied instead of flashing. A chimney without proper flashing usually only holds up for a few years before the sealants or caulking fails. If your roof is leaking near the chimney, check to see if proper flashing is installed.

Pipe flashings

Pipe flashings are a second weak spot on many roofs. Over the years, this flashing collar dries and cracks due to intense heat and allows water into your home. If you're experiencing a leak near the vent pipe, check the pipe boot for cracks.

Storm Damage

In Central Pa, there are three primary causes for storm damage which include, high winds, hail, and tree damage. Storm Damage from high winds and trees is usually obvious to spot. Hail on the other hand, can cause damage that only is obvious through close inspection of the shingle’s fiberglass matting. In most cases, if you see or even suspect storm damage, it is wise to get your insurance company involved.

Nail Pops

Nail Pops are usually found on older roofs where a nail has back its way up out of the decking far enough that it pops through the shingle above. Nail pops usually only leak slowly at first, but with time become much worse. They can also be some of the most difficult to spot when trying to identify a leak. Search for nail pops when the leak is not near any of the previously mentioned “weak links.”

Finding a roof leak is not always easy. Thoroughly inspecting these specific points on your roof gives you a good place to start. Move from the most obvious to the most inconspicuous options. For very difficult leaks, use a garden hose and wet one section of the roof at a time while watching for water infiltration inside the house. This can be time consuming, but worthwhile considering that finding a leak when it is small can save you significant money if you stop it before interior damage occurs.

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