Common causes of a leaky roof

A leak in a roof can cause serious damage to the house if the cause is not found and corrected immediately. As water can move outward from the site where the leak originated, it might be tricky to determine the precise cause. Carry out regular checks of your roof for some of the most common causes of leaks to stop those that already exist and to avoid problems in the future. Here are some of the common causes:


Roofing materials deteriorate with age and become less effective at keeping water out. Fluctuations in temperature and weather conditions can cause roofing material to become brittle and crack over time. Direct sunlight exposure can also melt tar on the roof that seals the shingles together. For help from a Cheltenham Roofer, visit a site like


It is essential that where there is any penetration through the roof, it should be sealed properly to prevent leakage. Check the gasket around the vent pipe for cracks or gaps and check for missing nails. Plastic ventilation may crack after years of exposure to the weather.

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If the slope of the roof is too shallow, the wind can lift the shingles and rain can get underneath. The slope of a roof is measured in inches as the ratio of vertical rise over a horizontal length of 12 inches. Building Codes stipulate that the slope of the roof must be at least 2:12 for the asphalt shingles. Make sure that your roofing material meets these requirements and has been installed properly.


An accumulation of debris, like leaves, branches and moss on the roof can trap water and it then seeps into the walls. It is important to maintain a clear roof to allow water to run off effectively. Cutting back any overhanging branches will make it far more manageable to keep your roof free of debris.


Metal flashing acts as a seal for joins in the roof, where there could be a large amount of water or absorption may occur. Flashing is found where the roof meets a dormer, for example, where the chimney enters the roof and around edges of a skylight. Flashing parts can move from where they should be if a nail is missing and the caulk can dry out become cracked over time.

Blocked guttering

If the gutters are clogged with leaves or other debris, this can slow the water that flows from the roof, giving it time to soak through. Gutter covers can help keep gutters free of debris to ensure that water can move freely and quickly from the roof.

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The hole left after the removal of a TV antenna or other roof installations can draw water into the house. Check the roof for any holes and seal anything you find.

Excess moisture

Roof gutters draining directly onto a lower roof can cause the lower roof to become saturated, which can cause leakage. Extend a gutter downspout to a lower level or to the ground instead.

Lost Shingles

Strong winds can tear shingles off the roof, and you may have an exposed area where you cannot see. Climb a ladder to check out hidden areas for any missing shingles.