What Causes a Leaky Roof?

/ / Roof Maintenance, Uncategorized

One of the worst nightmares faced by any home or commercial building owner is the problem of a leaky roof.

A leak in the roof often goes unnoticed until a large amount of costly damage has already occurred. Water is able to leak into the roof, not only causing damage to the roofing materials, but seeping into the home’s insulation and walls as well. Once the water is inside, it can cause mold to spread, cause damage to electrical wiring, as well as many other serious and costly problems.

The surprising facts about roof leaks

It may surprise you to learn that there are many different causes of leaky roofs, and many have nothing to do with the roofing contractor or installing company.

Only approximately twenty percent of roof leaks are actually at the fault of the roof itself or the roofing installer.
The majority of the roof leaks are caused by equipment or other structures that are within the roof system.

The roof is a complex building structure that often contains heating and air units, ventilation systems, plumbing, electrical systems, skylights, and many other structures. Each of these elements creates a new vulnerability and potential cause for a leaky roof, so don’t always assume that your roofing contractor performed faulty work until the problem is fully diagnosed.

Commercial systems & leaky roofs

The heating and air units on a commercial roof are one of the most prominent causes of leaks. The system must be installed properly, with plenty of attention to detail in order to prevent openings for water. Water can seep into the roof around fresh air intake hoods, filter panels, or any areas that have poor weather stripping or improperly sealed joints, seams, or holes.

If you begin seeing leaks soon after your air system has been installed or repaired, your culprit may be the HVAC professional, not your roofer.

Leaky house roofs

Homeowners often assume that the roof has a leak, when actually the equipment on their roof actually has a leak. Any structures that are installed into the roofing system must be sealed completely, using the appropriate building techniques.

If plumbing, heating, or electrical equipment begins to malfunction, or is not installed correctly, a leak can occur that has little to do with the quality of the roof itself. If your roof is experiencing a leak, be sure to check every piece of equipment as well as the roof itself.

Click here to learn more about proper waterproofing of a home.