Where's That Water Coming From? 3 Common Locations For Roof Leaks

Posted on: 26 January 2017


When you see a water spot on your ceiling, that can be a good indicator that you have a leak somewhere on your roof. But where exactly the leak is coming from can be harder to determine. You might think that the water is coming from directly above the wet spot, but sometimes water takes a more convoluted route to get from the original location of the leak to the spot where you see the water accumulate. It's in your best interests to find the location of the leak and fix it quickly, because mold can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours, and before you know it, you could end up with a widespread mold problem. The sooner you find the leak, the less money you'll have to spend on mold remediation and water damage repair. Take a look at some of the most common origination points for roof leaks.

In the Flashing

One of the most common places to find a leak is in the roof's flashing. Flashing refers to the metal pieces that are used to connect vents and ducts to your roof. With age and exposure to the elements, the metal can corrode and leak.

Also, the plumbing vents on your roof are connected with rubber gaskets that can dry out and crack as they get older. These cracks can let water in that can flow underneath your shingles and cause the wet spots on your ceiling.

In The Valleys

On a roof, a valley is a place where two sloped panels meet, creating a V shape. Naturally, water will accumulate in the valley when it rains or snows. Your shingles are supposed to be specially cut in this area to fit the unique shape of the valley, but sometimes the cuts are rougher than they should be, or the shingles may become worn or damaged over time. When the shingles don't line up properly, they leave gaps that may allow water to seep underneath.

There are a few ways to deal with a leak in the one of the valleys of your roof. You may have new shingles cut to replace the old shingles, eliminating the gap and forming a better seal against water. Or you may choose to install flashing in the valleys that will cover any uneven areas. If you decide to have flashing installed, you should have the sealant used to install the flashing inspected regularly to ensure that it remains watertight. You should also talk to a roofing company to get a professional opinion on the matter. 

Around the Chimney

Chimneys are another common place for roof leaks to occur. A leak around the chimney can occur for one of two reasons. The easiest problem to fix is old caulking. As the caulking gets old, it can lose its integrity and fail to stop water from entering the roof. You can fix this problem by adding new caulk. The chimney also has its own flashing, which may need to be replaced if its corroded, or may need new sealant.

However, it's a bad idea to assume that the problem is only caulking or flashing. It's also possible that you have cracks in the chimney itself that are letting water in underneath the flashing. Before you add new caulk or replace the flashing and call it a day, be sure to inspect the chimney for signs of fractures in the masonry, or have it inspected by a chimney professional. If the chimney itself is cracked, then it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Don't take chances with your safety or your roof. If you're not sure that you can inspect your own roof safely, or if you can't find the leak on your own quickly, contact a roofing professional for an inspection. You'll spend less money in the long run by hiring a roofing company to find and fix the leak quickly than by waiting until the water spreads and causes more damage.