Roof leaks can cause a lot of damage, and the best way to prevent them is to understand what can cause them.

When it comes to roof damage, almost nothing is more troublesome than roof leaks. Roof leaks are such a big problem because they can cause a whole host of other issues down the road. No homeowner wants to have a roof leak to deal with, but in order to prevent them, you need to know what causes them. Here is a list of the top 10 causes of roof leaks:

#1. Your roof flashings are cracked.

Roof flashings are thin pieces of metal that help to create water-resistance in areas that are prone to leaks, such as around your chimney and under your shingles. Over time, roof flashings can become cracked and damaged, eliminating their ability to create a water-resistant seal. There are many different kinds of roof flashings, and some of them can last longer than others. When it comes to roof flashings, the easiest way to prevent leaks is to keep an eye on them and be vigilant about making repairs or getting replacements when damage occurs.

#2. Your roof valleys aren’t sealed properly.

The valleys of your roof are located where two slopes come together, and if they aren’t sealed properly, it can lead to roof leaks. To spot the problem, look for wet spots along the seams of your roof. Improperly sealed roof valleys can be caused by a number of reasons, including damage from being stepped on, improper sealing upon installation and erosion due to excess ice or rain.

#3. You have shingles that are broken or damaged.

Heavy rain, hail and high winds can all wreak havoc on your shingles, leading to shingles that are cracked, buckled, curled, missing or otherwise damaged. Your shingles are your roof’s outermost layer of protection, and without them there to protect your roof, it will be prone to leaks. It’s easy to spot damaged shingles, just look for discolored spots on your roof or granules in your gutters and downspouts.

#4. You have an ice dam.

Ice dams are exactly what they sound like, blocks of ice that form on the edge of your roof, creating a dam that prevents excess water from running off of your roof. Without the ability to escape from your roof, that water has nowhere to go but into the shingles, leading to leaks, as well as the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, the weight of the ice dam itself can cause other issues for the surface of your roof, so if you get ice dams frequently at your home, you need to get the problem corrected as soon as possible. Ice dams are most often caused by improper insulation in the attic. When the attic isn’t properly insulated, the warm air from your home melts the snow, which refreezes at the edge of your roof.

#5. Your gutters are clogged.

Like an ice dam, clogged gutters prevent excess rainwater and melted snow from leaving your roof, which can lead to leaks. Your gutters are designed to take water safely away from your roof and home, but they can’t do their jobs if you allow leaves, twigs and other debris to build up inside of them. Luckily, clogged gutters are probably the easiest and cheapest roof-leak-causing problem to prevent and remedy. You could either climb a ladder and clean out your gutters on your own or hire a professional, either way, you’ll be doing your part to prevent roof leaks.

There are many things that can cause roof leaks, and in our next blog, the experts at Sargeant’s Roofing will be going over the last five. Please stay tuned to learn more!