3 min read

The 6 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

The 6 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

A leaky roof can lead to a cascade of problems, from water damage to compromised structural integrity. As a homeowner, understanding the common causes of roof leaks is essential for maintaining the health of your asphalt shingle roof. By recognizing these issues and taking proactive measures, you can prevent leaks and preserve the integrity of your home.

In this blog, we will dive into six of the most common causes of roof leaks, including:

Alright, let’s get into it!

Clogged Gutters

Recognizing the Issue: One of the telltale signs of clogged gutters is water overflowing from the sides during heavy rains. This excess water can find its way into your home's interior, causing water stains on walls and ceilings and even affecting your foundation. Moreover, you might observe water pooling around your foundation, leading to potential basement leaks.clogged gutters_WebP-Aug-09-2023-01-31-07-1987-PM

Causes: Leaves, twigs, and debris accumulate in the gutters over time, obstructing the flow of water. This buildup prevents rainwater from draining properly, causing it to overflow and seep into the roof structure. Over time, clogged gutters can contribute to rotting fascia boards, water infiltration into the attic, and even structural damage.

Repair: Regular gutter cleaning and maintenance can prevent clogs. Consider installing gutter guards to keep debris out and allow water to flow freely. Addressing this issue can save you from expensive repairs caused by water damage and compromised structural integrity.

Damaged Shingles

Recognizing the Issue: Inspect your roof for curled, cracked, or blistered shingles. You might also find granules from the shingles in your gutters or around your property. When shingles are compromised, they lose their ability to protect your roof and home from water intrusion.blown up shingles_WebP-1

Causes: Exposure to harsh weather conditions, sunlight, and aging can cause shingles to deteriorate. Curled shingles allow water to penetrate beneath the layers, compromising your roof's ability to keep water out. Damaged shingles can result from severe weather events, fallen tree branches, or inadequate attic ventilation, which leads to heat buildup and accelerated shingle degradation.

Repair: Damaged shingles should be replaced promptly. Hire a professional roofer to ensure proper installation and prevent further water infiltration. Replacing damaged shingles and addressing underlying issues can extend the life of your roof and prevent leaks.

Pipe Boot Failure

Recognizing the Issue: Look for cracks or tears in the rubber seal around pipes protruding from your roof. Water stains on ceilings near these pipes can also indicate a leak. A failing pipe boot can lead to water penetration and subsequent damage.cracked pipe boot_WebP-4

Causes: The rubber seal on pipe boots can degrade over time due to exposure to UV rays and weather. This degradation allows water to seep through, leading to leaks. Pipe boots may also become damaged due to animals, strong winds, or simply wear and tear over time.

Repair: Damaged pipe boots should be replaced with new ones. Apply roofing sealant around the base of the new boot to ensure a watertight seal. By addressing pipe boot issues promptly, you can prevent water infiltration and the potential for interior damage.

Compromised Valleys

Recognizing the Issue: Inspect the valleys where two roof planes intersect for damaged or missing shingles, cracks, or gaps in the flashing. Valleys are critical areas that require proper maintenance to prevent leaks.damage in valley_WebP

Causes: Poorly sealed valleys or missing shingles in these critical areas can allow water to flow underneath the roofing material, leading to leaks. Valleys are particularly vulnerable to leaks due to the concentrated flow of rainwater and the potential for ice dam formation in colder climates.

Repair: Damaged shingles and compromised flashing in valleys should be replaced. Seal any gaps in the flashing with roofing sealant to prevent water intrusion. Addressing valley issues promptly can prevent water from infiltrating your home's interior and causing extensive damage.


Recognizing the Issue: Look for condensation, water stains, or visible gaps around the edges of your skylights. Leaky skylights can result in water damage to your home's interior.leaky skylight_WebP

Causes: Skylights are susceptible to leaks due to aging seals, gaps in the flashing, or improperly installed flashing. Moisture can infiltrate these vulnerable points and cause leaks. Poorly sealed or damaged flashing around skylights can result from exposure to weather, thermal expansion and contraction, and settling of the roof.

Repair: Address skylight leaks by resealing the edges with appropriate weatherproof sealant. If flashing is compromised, replace it to ensure a watertight seal. Proper skylight maintenance and prompt repairs can prevent interior water damage and protect your home.

Chimney Damage

Recognizing the Issue: Check for cracks in chimney bricks and mortar. Look for water stains on ceilings near the chimney and examine flashing for signs of deterioration. Leaky chimneys can lead to water damage and affect your home's structural integrity.water damage by chimney_WebP-1

Causes: Cracked chimney bricks and deteriorating mortar can allow water to seep into your home. Damaged flashing around the chimney base can also be a source of leaks. Exposure to weather, temperature fluctuations, and settling of the structure can contribute to chimney damage.

Repair: Repair chimney cracks with appropriate masonry sealants. Replace damaged mortar and flashing around the chimney to prevent further water infiltration. Timely chimney repairs and maintenance can prevent water from infiltrating your home and causing extensive damage.

Preventive Measures and Financial Consequences

Regular roof inspections and preemptive maintenance are paramount in preventing roof leaks. Procrastination can lead to severe financial consequences. Untreated leaks can cause extensive water damage, compromise insulation, and even necessitate roof decking replacement. Repair costs escalate the longer leaks go unaddressed. By promptly identifying and addressing potential leaks, you can save money and protect your investment.

A leak-free roof is essential for maintaining the integrity of your home. By staying vigilant and addressing common causes of leaks, you can safeguard your asphalt shingle roof from water damage and its associated problems. Regular inspections, proactive maintenance, and prompt repairs are your best defense against roof leaks. By taking these steps, you ensure a dry, comfortable, and secure living environment for years to come.

On Tops Roofing has been helping homeowners in Raleigh find and fix their roof leaks since we started up in 1991! Whatever your roof requires, We’re on it!

The 5 Best Roofing Companies in Fayetteville, NC for 2024

The 5 Best Roofing Companies in Fayetteville, NC for 2024

How do you find the best roofers? Ask an experienced roofing contractor who knows all the other roofing contractors in Fayetteville NC!

Read More
Benefits of a Project Manager for Your Roof Replacement

Benefits of a Project Manager for Your Roof Replacement

A roof replacement is a substantial undertaking, and the key to a successful project often lies in the hands of the project manager. This individual...

Read More
Signs Your Roof Has Storm Damage

Signs Your Roof Has Storm Damage

If you’ve recently experienced a storm, you should probably take some time to investigate your roof for signs of damage left by that storm.

Read More