5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

5 Common Causes of Roof Leaks

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a leaky roof. It not only signals an external problem, but can also cause a lot of internal damage, as well. Fortunately, the most effective ways of preventing a roof leak is simply checking your roof for damage every now and again. Here are 5 common causes of roof leaks to look out for:

Poor Shingles

This is the easiest problem to spot. Shingles act as a sort of armor for your roof, and it only takes one small gap in that armor to cause problems for everything underneath. You may notice that some of your shingles are crumbling or falling apart, which allows for condensation to slip through. You may even notice some shingles are missing from your roof entirely! Either way, it’s crucial to fix that broken or missing patch to prevent any further damage.

Cracked Flashing

Shingles aren’t the only things working hard to keep your roof waterproof. Underneath your shingles are thin pieces of metal specifically designed to prevent water erosion and to help run it off into your gutters. Unfortunately, even the best of flashing corrodes over time; ice, hail, and heavy rain can cause your flashing to crack. Some houses have exterior flashing, which can be blown away entirely by high winds. Securing blown off flashing with nails and tar is a good fix, but rusted or cracked flashing must be replaced altogether.

Clogged Gutter

This is probably the most familiar reason for a leaky roof. It’s a very typical problem around the autumn and winter seasons when dead leaves accumulate inside. Because your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof, a gutter stuffed with wet leaves doesn’t do you or your house much good. Brave the mess and clean them out before the excess rainwater or melted snow with nowhere else to go starts dripping into your house!

Weak Mortar around Chimney

Chimneys are a handsome addition to any house. Due to how sturdy they’re built, it’s easy to assume they’re practically indestructible. Unfortunately, chimneys do have one weak spot: mortar. Mortar is the glue that holds the chimney together; it’s also essentially a simple combination of water, sand, and cement. Harsh elements like rain, snow, ice, and even extreme winds can wear it down over time. Cracks, holes, and other deterioration can easily cause roof leaks.


Unfortunately, one of the most common and frustrating causes of leaky roofing is time itself. As your house ages, it’s expected that certain parts will need updating and replacing. Your roof is no different, so it’s important to give it a quick look-over whenever you have the chance. Make sure that there is no damage from any recent storms. Double-check the shingles, the flashing, and the mortar. Look over any skylights you may have and make sure they’re securely shut. It’s a lot easier to look everything over as opposed to fixing an entire section of your ceiling.

Free Roofing Estimates in Central Maryland

At Select Home Exteriors, we take pride in making our clients’ homes as beautiful from the outside as possible. We offer a wide variety of roofing shingles to match your home’s style, and we know what types of shingles perform best in Maryland’s weather. Contact our experienced contractors today for a free consultation!