Roofing leaks pose a small problem that can get even worse. It is wise to fix the small leaks before they turn into larger, more expensive problems. Roofing leaks can be caused by a number of things, depending on the location of the leak, but can be difficult to diagnose exactly where the problem is happening. There are locations where most roofs commonly leak which can help figure out why the roof is leaking.
Walk on your roof and look for clues for your roofing leak. Do not do this on materials that will break or not hold your weight, such as slate, concrete, or clay tile. Asphalt shingles are good for walking. Look for discoloration, rusty nails, and missing or broken shingles. Replace these bad shingles and nails to fix the problem, and the leak should go away. Also look at the valleys where the two roof planes connect, at the tops and along flashing. Improperly trimmed shingles will cause holes and water will leak. Chimneys also have flashing that must be correct or leaks will occur. Next, look for cracked rubber at the plumping vent or flashings, indicating leaks from the damaged rubber. Replace the rubber ever 10-15 years to prevent leaks from this area. Ice dam leaks in the winter months are caused by melting snow and accumulation at the eaves. Proper attic ventilation will prevent these ice dams from occurring. Next, look at furnace vents and the flashing near those areas. Loose storm collars will cause leaks. Tighten or replace the storm collars to prevent leaks from this area.
Sometimes the elements just get under your shingles to cause leaks, even if your roof is in good shape. Sideways rain, sleet or snow will drive the rain under your shingles, which are usually nailed at angles layers to prevent uplift from the wind. This will cause leaks as the water seeps through the felt under layer. Tar paper or cement placed under the shingles can help to prevent this from happening. Other times, you will not have a roof leak at all. Check your attic for simple condensation, or your house for roof sidings. If a roof siding is missing you will let water in.
If you have leaks and have identified the location of the leak, then you must fix the leak. Use a shovel to scrape off old shingles that are causing the leak and replace them with new shingles. You may have to replace the plywood underneath if the leak problem is deep and has reached the interior. If you have interior damage or water stains, use fans to help speed up the process of drying the leak after you have fixed the exterior source of the leak, and paint over the area.