Different Ways Your Roof Leaks (And What It Means For You)

Not all roof leaks are created equal. A myriad of issues can prematurely age, damage, and deteriorate your roofing system, which can leave your home vulnerable to mold, moisture, and even structural collapse. Here, we break down three common ways your roof leaks, and offer some tips on how to navigate these frustrating roofing snafus.

1. Normal Wear and Tear: It’s inevitable – your roof will ultimately wear out. While residential roofing systems can have a lifespan anywhere from 10 to 100+ years (depending on materials and other factors), they will all require maintenance, repair, and regular inspections to provide protection.

Normal wear and tear on your roof stems from temperature fluctuations throughout the year; temperature changes cause roofing materials to expand or contract, depending on the season; over time, that causes the roofing materials to weaken. If weakened materials aren’t able to expand or contract normally, they can crack, curl, and warp, leaving your roof extremely vulnerable to leaks.

Leaks from normal wear and tear typically originate in the roof field, or the general shingled area. Curled shingles, cracking, or visibly weathered patches will be visible on the roof. Roofing nails may come out of the roof deck over time, causing shingles to slip or tear off. The roof begins to absorb water, rather than repel it; this, in turn, causes the home to take on more and more moisture. Age-related roof leaks are typically identified in the center of the home; the roof may begin to sag in the middle as it’s weighed down with more and more water.

What To Do: Consulting an experienced roofing contractor is really the only way to identify where your roofing materials are in their life span. If you suspect your roof is aging (and leaking because of it), contact a trusted Guy Roofing technician for a complimentary inspection. Guy Roofing’s technicians are specifically trained to identify the source of a leak, properly diagnose the level of damage, and outline a plan best suited to a home’s climate, location, and lifecycle stage.

2. Storms, Natural Disasters, and Other Emergencies: Storms come in all shapes, forms, and durations – and their unpredictability can wreak havoc on your roof. Storm type determines how these leaks will present; whether it’s a short burst of hail or a long-tracking tornado, severe weather can be a terrifying, overwhelming, and financially devastating event. For your roof, that typically means extreme damage from high winds, torrential rains, or falling trees and limbs. Hurricane-force windspeeds can even tear your whole roof off.

What To Do: Fortunately, there are ways to reinforce your roofing system BEFORE the storm hits, which can significantly reduce the amount of damage incurred. Installing storm windows, hurricane straps, and gutter guards are all preventive measures homeowners can take prior to storm season; in some regions, upgrading your home to include more storm-friendly structural components can even provide tax and insurance benefits. Read more on how to prepare for storm season here.

3. Installation Error: By far the most frustrating leak source is installation error. Low-cost neighborhood roofers may seem like a budget-friendly option in the moment, but poorly installed, cheap materials are a ticking time bomb for your home.

Leaks that arise from installation error typically present in the roof’s seams – any joints, valleys, or flashing can compromise the entire roofing system if not applied properly. Incorrectly installed ventilation can similarly affect the rest of the roofing system; if intake and exhaust vents aren’t in proper order, overheated materials can experience total malfunction – leaving you with little protection.

What To Do: The simplest way to avoid installation error? Use only an established, well-trusted roofing contractor. Guy Roofing’s technicians are trained with the most up-to-date installation methods for every roofing material. With rigorous quality control standards and certification requirements for all crew members, Guy Roofing ensures only the most experienced technicians install materials. This means a longer lifespan for your roof – and a leak-free home for you!