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  • Eric Herring

Top 10 Causes of Roof Leaks


1 - Pipe Boots

Pipe boots are plastic or rubber boots that fit over and around the plumbing vents that penetrate a roof. The boots are nailed to the roof and the collar fitting around the plumbing pipe prevents water intrusion. If the pipe boots are not set properly, on a metal or shingle roof, this can cause a leak. This is one of the most common sources of a leak.


2 - Roof Accessories

There are many penetrations found on a roof. These necessary penetrations range from boot flashings to ventilation products. If these accessories are not properly nailed, sealed or flashed then they may, over time, become a source of a pesky leak.


3 - Chimney Flashing

Chimneys can be a MAJOR problem when issues begin to appear. Chimneys are a bulky, complex system that penetrates a roof line. There are many reasons a chimney may leak including improper step flashing, counter flashing, broken mortar, exposed nails or inadequate chimney caps.


4 - Nail Pops

When shingles are installed they are nailed to a roof typically with 1-1/4” roofing nails. These shingles may be installed by traditional ‘ hand nailed ‘ method or using pneumatic nail guns. If the nails are not properly set the nail may back up over time. This also occurs with an aging roof. If the nails back up they may allow water behind the shingle or through a tear in the shingle.


5 - Missing Shingles

One of the more visible issues that can cause a leaking roof are missing shingles. Wind and storm damage can lift, break or blow shingles off of your roof leaving exposed nails, plywood etc.


6 - Improper Flashings

Flashings are small pieces or strips of metal that help protect and seal transition or tricky areas of a roof. Improper or inadequate flashings are a very common source of a leak. Often times these leaks require a more advanced repair to ensure the leak does not reoccur.


7 - Valley Issues

There are multiple styles and methods to installing shingles in a valley. Often times you will hear a roofer state that it is necessary to install “ice and water shield” in a valley to prevent leaks. Since a large amount of water flows down valleys this is a common source of a leak.


8 - Roof Debris / Gutter Debris

Roof debris or gutter debris such as leaves and pine straw prevent water from properly shedding a roof. This is problematic since shingles are installed in individual pieces and water that remains on a roof can often times find its way to a nail or other opening and enter the home. Additionally clogged gutters can allow moisture to seep behind the gutter and under the roof covering. This can cause wood rot and leaking. It is critical to ensure that debris is removed from a roof to prevent this from occurring.


9 - Skylights

Skylights are beautiful. Skylights are popular ways of creating a source of natural night within a home. Unfortunately - skylights may also leak! Since skylights have flashings, seals and multiple components of the light framing - they may leak over time. It is important to use proper flashings and take additional precautions when installing skylights to avoid a nasty roof leak.


10 - Wind Driven Rain

One of the most frustrating leaks that commonly occurs is a leak caused by wind driven rain! This occurs when strong winds force rain water into a home through a gable vent, ridge vent or other opening of a home. Your roofing contractor can discuss the best roofing system and install methods to reduce the possibility of a leak caused by wind driven rain.


If you notice a roof leak or suspect you have a roofing issue please contact us! We may be reached at 910-292-2566 or email us at info@herringresidential.com. Our Representatives understand the importance of quality roofing and can help you understand the best roofing system available for you specific needs.


Let’s Roof!


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