Three Common Spots for Roof Leaks

Although some roof leaks are very straightforward and easy to identify and remediate, others are sneaky and resist discovery. Instead of dripping or causing water damage directly under the problem spot, the leak may run along the underside of the roof for a long time before dripping. If you have a leak that you're having a hard time identifying, be sure to check for damage in any of these three common trouble spots.

1. Flashing 

The flashing around the edges of your roof and around anything sticking up in the middle of it (such as a chimney, a bathroom vent, or a stove vent) is vital to the health of your roof. The flashing's function is to direct water around and away from the vulnerable area. If the flashing is missing, water can soak into the cracks uninhibited. Even more insidious is incorrectly installed flashing. If the flashing is present but is somehow not doing its job correctly, this type of leak may still occur, and it may be more difficult for a non-professional to spot. 

2. Gutters

Although the flashing at the edges of the roof prevents water from running down the roof and into the cracks where the roof meets the wall, it's still possible for water to get up under the roofing shingles if it collects for long enough. Gutters that are blocked with debris can allow water to collect until it backs up all the way to the roof's edge and seeps in under the shingles. This is why it's important to keep your gutters cleared out, especially when a storm is on the way. Gutters that were previously functional before a storm can become more and more blocked as the storm progresses.

3. Valleys

Valleys are areas where the lower edges of two roof slopes meet. If your roof has two or more peaks, check the valley area for any signs of damage. Because water and gravity are both working against the roof in these sections, any incorrect installation or flaws in the materials can allow a leak to develop. Because of this, a valley is still an area of interest even if there doesn't appear to be any damage. 

These three spots are all vulnerable to damage and leakage, so they're good places to start when you're hunting for an elusive leak in your roofing. If you still can't find the source, be sure to have a roofing professional take a look at it for you so you can get the problem solved before you have water damage issues such as rot and mold to deal with.