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Why Is My Roof Leaking? A Guide To Causes, Detection, and Prevention

why is my roof leaking

If you need to bring the buckets out every time there is a heavy storm, you probably have a roof leak. The frustration of finding water dripping through your ceiling, the damage it causes to your belongings, and the worry about the potential for mold growth are all valid concerns.

First of all, you’re not alone in this. Many homeowners experience roof leaks, and the best part is that there is a way to fix them. In this guide, we’ll look at the most common causes of roof leaks, ways to prevent them, and how Homefix can repair the damage.

What Causes a Roof Leak?

Roof leaks happen due to either impact or deterioration. Several factors can cause this. Check out some of the most common causes of roof leaks below.

couple trying to solve a roof leak

Damaged or Missing Shingles

Shingles are your home’s first line of defense against rain and other severe weather conditions. They are applied in a way that overlaps each other, creating a barrier of protection. When they become damaged or go missing, it creates spots where water can seep into your home. Sometimes you can spot missing shingles from the ground, but you usually need a professional to scope your roof.

Cracked Flashing or Sealant

Flashing and sealant prevent water from penetrating through chimneys, vents, and skylights. If your roof’s flashing or sealant is damaged or deteriorated, it can lead to cracks and gaps that allow water to enter your home. Even warped flashing can lead to water leaks, encouraging mold and mildew growth.

Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Your gutters and downspouts are responsible for safely channeling water away from your roof. That being said, clogged gutters and downspouts can back up water and cause overflows. Water can even back up onto your roof, which can result in rot over time.

Improper Roof Installation or Poor Workmanship

Sometimes a roof leak can be traced back to poor installation or workmanship. If your roof was not installed correctly or if there were problems during the installation process, your roof could develop holes and weak areas.

Age-Related Wear and Tear

Roofs aren’t meant to last forever. In fact, roofs are designed to last up to 50 years depending on the materials and how well it was installed. However, as your roof ages, the materials will deteriorate. This makes them more susceptible to developing leaks.

Structural Damage From Severe Weather

Roofs can become damaged due to severe weather conditions and wind. Extreme weather events such as hailstorms, heavy rain, gale-force wind, or snow can cause structural damage to your roof. Debris and broken tree branches may also fall onto your roof, puncturing the shingles.

On the other hand, constant exposure to the sun and intense heat can weaken the structure of your roof.

How To Find a Roof Leak

Determining the location of a roof leak can be tough, but it’s not impossible, especially with the help of a professional roofer. Trying to identify a leak yourself? Follow these steps:

water stains are a sign of roof leaks

1. Conduct a visual inspection of the interior and exterior.

Before all else, place a bucket underneath the leak source. Your goal is to limit the amount of water entering your home. Once you’ve done that, take a look at your roof from the inside and outside. 

Climb into your attic and examine the underside of your roof for wet spots, peeling paint, or mold patches. Next, stand outside and look at your roof from afar. It’s unsafe to climb on your roof unless you’re a professional. If you need to take a closer look, use binoculars.

2. Look for signs of water stains, mold, or mildew.

After you’ve examined the inside and outside of your roof, check for signs of water stains, mold, or mildew surrounding the leak source. Check for signs of moisture including dark spots on wood, wet insulation, wall discoloration, or condensation buildup.

3. Trace the leak’s path from the interior to the exterior.

A flashlight comes in handy for this one. You can pinpoint the leak source by tracing the leak’s path from the interior to the exterior. However, we do recommend calling a professional roofing contractor to track leaks on the roof. 

4. Use a hose to simulate rainfall and pinpoint the leak’s location.

Spray water onto your roof and soak the suspected areas. A friend or family member can keep watch inside for any signs of dripping. It’s important to spend some time saturating each area before moving on to the next suspected area.

How To Prevent a Roof Leak

The best way to prevent roof leaks is to be proactive about your roof maintenance. Scheduling regular inspections helps nip any issues in the bud before they become big problems. The team from Homefix can identify problem areas and make necessary repairs to shingles, flashing, and even your roof’s sealant.

Another way to prevent roof leaks is to regularly clean your gutters. Gutters can clog fast if you’re not routinely cleaning them out. Branches, twigs, leaves, and pest infestations can overload your gutter system and cause water to overflow onto your roof. 

Additionally, trimming overhanging branches and installing proper ventilation can minimize the risks of damage.

roofing contractor repairing a roof leak

Should I Try To Repair My Roof Myself?

Trying to DIY roof repair is dangerous and can lead to a pretty expensive emergency room visit. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, over 300 deaths are caused by falls from ladders. Keep yourself safe by hiring the help of a professional roofer. Homefix is GAF-certified and among the top 3% of roofing companies.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Roof Leak?

The cost to repair a roof leak depends on a few things. First, the cost can vary depending on the extent of the damaged area. Other factors that influence the cost include the type of roofing material, the complexity of repairs, and market rates. 

Luckily Homefix offers convenient payment options for those in need of a roof repair on a budget. Contact us for a free estimate.

How a Professional Roof Company Can Help

A professional roof company takes the headache out of roof repair. With Homefix, you can count on the best materials and prices available. Here are a few reasons why it’s smart to hire a roofing company rather than risk the repairs yourself.


Homefix is a GAF Certified Master Elite roofing contractor. This means that our professional roofers go through extensive training to ensure you get the best quality roofing service around.

Compliance with Safety Standards

Roofers working for certified companies like Homefix are required to adhere to safety standards and regulations.

Warranty Coverage

As a part of our GAF certification, Homefix offers exclusive warranties on all GAF products. 

Let’s Fix Your Roof Today

It’s time to put the buckets away. Get rid of roof leaks once and for all with the help of Homefix, serving homeowners across the East Coast. From minor patches to major repairs, our team gets the job done and does it right. Start with a free estimate and get an expert to examine your roof today. 

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Why Is My Roof Leaking?

Roof leaks can be caused by damaged shingles, cracked flashing, clogged gutters, improper installation, and wear and tear. Roofs can also become damaged by severe weather and fallen tree branches.

How Do I Find A Roof Leak?

You can find a roof leak by following the steps outlined above, however, the best way to pinpoint and repair a leak is by hiring a professional roofing contractor.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Roof Leak?

The cost to fix a roof leak depends on your roofing materials, labor costs, and the extent of the damage. Contact Homefix to get a free estimate.