The four most common reasons for a roof leak are pretty straightforward and are oftentimes, with proper annual maintenance and care, preventable. The most common causes are:
- Aged Roof Coverings — Sometimes roofs leak because they’re old — plain and simple. With time, all roofs will wear out, particularly asphalt-based roofs. If your flat roof is over 15 years old, or your pitched roof is over 25 years old, call a roofing contractor for an inspection to find out if it is in need of immediate repair or replacement.
- Clogged Gutters and Downspout Pipes – Rain and wind cause leaves and other debris to collect in the gutters and downspout pipes of homes, and without regular yearly clearing, the detritus may cause a serious blockage. Hire a roofing contractor, plumber, or handyman to service your gutters and downspout pipes prior to the arrival of the rainy season, as well as before any oncoming heavy storms, to ensure that your roof will remain watertight.
- Corrosion of Flashings and Metal Roof Accessories – Over time, the metal parts on your roof (flashing, pipe collars, copings, etc.) will corrode, especially if fabricated out of galvanized sheet metal. It is an obvious problem to spot – just look for evidence of rust, and fixing the problem will usually involve a pretty uncomplicated replacement. Pro tip: Always opt for a premium metal, like stainless steel or copper, instead of galvanized metal, when purchasing a new roof and/or flashing – you’ll have the peace of mind to know that your metal roof accessories will last for a generation or longer.
- Weakened Skylight Glass Seals – With changes in air temperature and moisture, the caulking used to seal skylight glass panels can weaken in as short amount of time as a two to three years post-installation, putting you at risk of a leak. Before the rainy season begins (or better yet, during spring and summer’s slow season), hire your roofing contractor to check your skylight glass panels and, if necessary, re-seal them.
And as always, don’t wait to spring a leak before you have your roof checked. Call a roofing contractor today!