Where Exactly Is Your Roof's Leak Coming From?

Posted on: 4 November 2016

If your roof leaks constantly, and you've patched every hole in the roof that you can easily find or access, have a roofer check the flashing around your chimney and main vent stack for deterioration. These locations can hide problems that allow rainwater in the spring and melting snow in the winter to leak into your roof, attic, and ceiling. Before you climb your roof again, here's how deteriorated flashing endangers your roof and what you can do to fix the issues without risking your safety or sanity.

How Can Water Leak Around or Under Your Flashing?

Chimneys and main vent stacks should have some type of protective barrier, or flashing, around their edges that keeps water at bay when it rains or snows. But sometimes, flashing wears down, lifts up, or ages over time. You might not notice the damage until your roof leaks. 

A leaky roof can do a lot of damage to the structures beneath it, including the substrate and attic. Substrate material, such as wooden trusses and beams, can eventually lose support, strength and density. Your home is not at risk for termites, wood rot, and structural failure. 

Flashing can also damage from repairs completed during plumbing and HVAC services. For instance, if a plumber recently tampered with or replaced the main vent stack and didn't secure the flashing around the stack properly, water can trickle past it when it rains. Ice and snow can also "move" or damage a main vent stack pipe in the winter. If heat escapes from your attic and through the flashing, ice dams might form on your roof. Once an ice dam melts, excess water can leak into the home's walls and other locations.

With the right help, you can put a stop to the issues above before they even begin.

How Do You Solve Your Flashing Problem?

It's important that you consult with a professional roofing contractor about your leaky roof and possible flashing damage before winter hits full swing. Once the cold season arrives, it may be difficult to make the repairs you need right away, especially if blizzards and snowstorms occur in your area.

A roofer might do several things to diagnose the leak, including examining the condition and position of the chimney and vent stack's flashing. If the flashing around the structures are in great disrepair, a contractor may suggest that you replace it. A contractor may also suggest that you replace the material located beneath and around the chimney and vent stack during the repairs, particularly if the wood is rotten or weakened with holes. Even if you just repair or replace the flashing, water can still seep through rotting wood. 

Also, be aware that if water damaged your roof's shingles, you'll need to replace them during the repairs. As with rotting wood, damaged shingles can place your home at risk for leaking water. Water can potentially travel past your attic and into your ceiling, where spots of water may form in the material. 

After the repairs, watch out for future issues with your flashing, such as lifted corners or peeling shingles. If it's safe to do so, climb a ladder and examine your chimney and vent stack at least once a year, or on a schedule that works best for you. You might be able to inspect the vent pipe and chimney from the inside of your attic. In this case, there may be water stains on the attic ceiling or other signs of damage, such as discolored wood or bubbling paint.  

For more information about damaged flashing, consult with a roofing contractor today.


A Direct Guide To Roofing

Hi, my name is Scott, and as you search through this blog, you'll learn invaluable information concerning roofs. When reading the articles, you'll learn about roof repairs, roofing materials and what's new in the roofing industry. I didn't become interested in roofing until my roof started to leak. When that happened, I started doing all types of research to find out why and where my roof was leaking. As I performed my research, I became very interested in the entire industry and even after I hired professional roofers to fix the leak, I still wanted to learn more about roofing. Since I enjoy blogging in my spare time, I decided to start a blog about roofing, and I hope that you also find the information you read interesting and useful.