A roof protects your home from wind, rain, snow, and sunlight, that is why finding a leak in your roof can be hazardous. It is crucial to address a leaky roof before it gets worse. The longer you wait, the more expensive it becomes to fix.
Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing a leaky roof.
1. You May Be Missing Shingles
Chances are you may be missing shingles due to inclement weather. Often, shingles are ripped off by strong wind or debris. Missing shingles will allow water to seep in, causing your roof to leak. Once a shingle is missing, it can lead to the loosening of other shingles as well. Multiple missing shingles can cause even more damage to your roof, inevitably making repairs more expensive.
2. Your Chimney May Be Cracked
A leak from a cracked chimney can sometimes be difficult to identify. Cracks in a chimney can occur between the metal flashing, a metal covering where the chimney meets the roof, and can be fixed fairly easily by using roofing cement. In some cases, your chimney can leak if there is a crack in the brick or mortar. Normally this kind of leaking is caused by deterioration over time or movement in the foundation.
3. You may have issues with a roof vent
A roof vent can be the most vulnerable area to a leak. Similar to the chimney, roof vents also use flashing to adhere to the roof. It is essential for a vent to have watertight seals in order to prevent leaks. In some cases, gaping may occur between the flashing and the roof which will allow water to leak through into the vent. If too much water gets into the vent and is left unattended, over time it can cause brown spots and bubbling in your ceiling. Compared to shingle roofs, metal roofs are much more durable. A shingle roof has an average lifespan of 20-30 years, where a metal roof can last up to 50 years. Even though metal roofs have a significantly longer lifespan, they still experience leakage.
Your metal roof may be leaking due to an issue with the gasket screws. Screws used on metal roofs have a rubber washer, that when properly installed, will completely seal the hole from water entry. If a screw is underdriven, over-driven, or misaligned, the hole is not properly sealed, giving water the ability to leak through. Your metal roof can also leak if there are missing sealants. Sealants bind the metal panels together and keep the seams watertight. Keep in mind that sealants are not as durable as the metal it adheres, so they must be checked thoroughly during roof maintenance. A metal roof can range between $120 to $900 per 100 square feet. Metal roofs generally cost more than shingle roofs due to the expense of the material used and the need for a specialist. To repair a metal roof requires professional help, where at times, a homeowner can repair their shingle roof on their own. In contrast, shingle roofing can range between $100 to $200 per 100 square feet. The repairs are usually far cheaper in comparison but typically need to be repaired far more often than a metal roof would. In some cases, spending more upfront for a metal roof can save you money in the end.
More often than not, repairing a roof is the simplest solution when there is a leak. However, there are times where it is in the homeowner’s favor to replace their roof completely. One must consider re-roofing if the lifespan of their roof has passed. If your shingle roof is 35 years old and it has started to leak, it may be time to look into replacing the roof entirely. Another circumstance where one must consider installing a new roof is if the damage has become far beyond repair. Such damage can be due to severe wear and tear caused by natural disasters or something unforeseen like a tree falling on your roof. In cases like these a repair would not offer a permanent solution and re-roofing becomes necessary. Whether it’s shingles or metal roofing, when your roof begins to leak it is imperative to act fast. The worst thing one can do is ignore the problem, as a leak unattended can lead to significant damage within the home. A once quick and easy fix can turn into a hazardous and expensive headache the longer you wait.