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Where Do Most Roof Leaks Occur

Where do most roof leaks occur

Understanding where roof leaks occur will help you make decisions for the long term heath and well being of your home.

Many homeowners find roof leaks annoying. It can be hard to diagnose roof leaks when they occur. Different weather conditions causes roof leaks.

Most roof coverings work on the principle of gravity. This can help you locate the source of the leak. Horizontal roof boards may trick you. The location of the leak can be anywhere from 8-10 feet to the side, depending on whether you are looking at the ceiling or the spot in the attic.

It is simple to find the source of leaks. Some may require some detective work, a garden hose, and an inside spotter. Old Time Roofing can provide a free assessment of your roof for roof damage if you aren’t comfortable. Sometimes, it can be as difficult as finding the smallest leak. These are some tips to help you locate a roof leak.

The Field of Shingles

It is possible for a leak to be found within your roof if it is older. This refers to the entire roof field, including slate, shakes and shingles. You can easily walk on asphalt roofs. Some materials, such as clay tile, concrete tile, or slate may not be as flexible. If you walk on roofing, it can crack. Look at the tops and sides of vertical knockouts when you are using regular shingles. You should look for missing colored granules. Check for cracks. It is possible that a nail has come out of the roof sheathing. Take your time, and search.


A valley is the intersection of two roof planes. In Old Time Roofing, we use metal flashing for valleys. Some areas have rolled roofing. Some areas simply tie the shingles together. If you don’t trim your shingles properly, valleys can become a problem. A chisel point is created when you trim a piece of shingle to make it fit into a valley. This point can be used to guide water through your home if a second cut isn’t made. This simple second cut can be found on the shingle wrapper.

Head Wall Flashings

Some roofs end at a vertical wall. To direct water away from the stopping point for the shingles, roofers use a metal flashing. This flashing can be placed behind wood siding or in front a brick wall. The flashing must extend at least three inches beyond the shingles. The flashing should extend at least three inches beyond the shingles if the wall is brick, masonry or any other type of wall. These materials should not be combined with roofing cement, caulk, or tar. These are signs that someone attempted to fix a leak.

Wall Step Flashing

Step flashings can cause roof leakage. These flashings are located where the roof rises along a vertical wall. A step flashing is placed over each row of shingles as they are laid. One portion of the flashing is placed on top of the wall, while the other half is covered by the next row. These flashings should be checked for holes or rust. If all is well, however, you may only be able see a small portion of these flashings.


Chimneys are the source of most leaks. There are four types of flashing available for chimneys. Otherwise, you’ll have a leak. Also, make sure the counter flashing is correct in the brick mortar joint. A small crack at the flashing’s edge can allow water to seep behind it. It is important to inspect the flashing for any broken or missing soldered corners. You should not repair these flashings with caulk!

Plumbing Vent Flashings

We are concerned about the newer vent flashings. These include a rubber seal and an aluminum flashing. Rubber can crack in as little as 10 to 15 years. Cracked rubber should be found around the plumbing pipes. The flashing should reach the roof and be under the shingles, which extend from the middle to the plumbing vent. The flashing’s bottom should be visible and cover the shingles.

Furnace, B-Vent Flashing

These flashings look almost identical to the plumbing vent flashings. Sometimes, however, they have a metal storm collar. They simply fit snugly around the vertical pipe at the roof’s exit. Leakage can occur if the storm collars become loose.

Ice Dam Leaks

Ice dams can often affect people who live in the snow belt. Even if your roof is in good condition, these leaks can occur. Ice dams block he natural flow of water. Water begins to pool under the flashings and shingles. Water can drip into your house for days if it starts to flow. Installing membranes under the roof is the only way to prevent water from entering your home. If installed correctly, the membranes will not stop ice from forming but they will prevent water leakage.

Wind Blown Rain Leaks

Wind-driven rain can pose a major problem. Even though you may have a great roof, wind can drive water up to your roofing materials. You can only defend yourself with tar paper or ice dam membranes. If you have metal valleys you might want to hem them. The valley’s hidden edges will have a 180-degree bend. This channel directs wind-driven rain back to the valley’s bottom. It is also a good idea to use roofing cement under shingles at the edges of roofs that face wind. Do not underestimate the power and force of sustained wind-driven rainfall at 70 mph.

Non-Roof Leaks

Sometimes, you may think your roof is leaking when it is actually fine. One example is attic condensation. Condensation and rain can form in your attic due to high humidity. The roof sheathing’s underside can become wet from the moisture. It can make you think that there is a leak. The plaster bubbles or discoloration can cause the inside of your chimney to become darker. A roof leak could be the reason. This can allow water to get behind head flashings. You can be a good gumshoe, and look for leaks.

Get a Free Estimate

When roof leaks occur call a professional roofer. Old Time Roofing has been providing excellent roof repair, installation and other services for years in Clearwater, FL and other surrounding areas. Our number one priority here at Old Time Roofing is our customers and their satisfaction. We make sure that every home we benefit is well cared for and free from leaks. Our expertise grants us the ability to inspect, evaluate and repair your roof. Contact us for a free estimate.

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