5 Common Issues That Cause Leaks in Your Roof

5 Common Issues That Cause Leaks in Your Roof

Roof leaks are never fun, especially when you’re not sure where the moisture is coming from. You might think you’ve spotted the source of the leak, but sometimes a patched area of your ceiling would show condensation again after a while. Turns out, the water is coming from somewhere else! 

It can be difficult trying to find the real source of a leak, especially if you have shingle roofing. For one, you need to know what you’re looking for, and that requires you to be aware of the different parts of a roof that displays signs of wear. Here are some pointers to narrow it down.

1. Your roof has improperly-sealed valleys

The valley is the space where two roof planes meet. Roofing is usually set at an angle, so if these spaces are not sealed properly, they can let water in. This gap in the sealing might be because of many reasons. For one, it could be from poor craftsmanship; a roofer who is rushing or inexperienced at his job might not seal these areas properly.

Another reason is that the roof may have been stepped on and cracked. Yet another is natural wear and tear from rain and ice. Look for unsealed valleys by examining the seams of your roof for areas that are wetter than the other ones.

2. It has portions of broken flashing

Flashing are thin pieces of metal that create a water-resistant barrier for your roof. These are installed on the joints of the roof and under its shingles. Exposed flashing looks like long pieces of sheet metal; concealed, they have a rubber coating. It is easy to spot broken flashing, whether exposed or concealed.

Broken flashing is mostly a result of natural corrosion. When they are installing flashing, roofers will use tar to seal it. This holds up well for a while but it will eventually break down from exposure to wind, rain, and other elements.

3. There is an ice dam

An ice dam forms at a roof’s edge and prevents the snow or water from draining from it. When this happens, the weight of the ice can damage the roof, and cause cracks where the dam has formed. If enough ice forms, it can start putting other areas of the roof at risk as well.

An ice dam forms because the heat from the attic or the interior of the house causes some snowfall on the roof to melt. This causes water to run down the surface, but not enough to drain; before it falls off the edge, it will refreeze into ice, causing the buildup. 

4. You have clogged gutters

Leaves and debris in the gutter might contribute to a roof leak. Your gutters are supposed to help water drain away from the roof, so when there is a blockage, the rainwater can gather in that area and seep through cracks in your roof or along the walls. Prevent this through regular roof repairs and cleaning.

5. The chimney is cracked

A cracked chimney will show signs of wear and tear in the mud cap, which is mortared shut. Holes in joints sealed with mortar are also common, as well as loose flashing and shingles. Since mortar is a mixture of water, sand, and cement, it can erode quickly in extremely windy, rainy, or snowy weather.


Roof leaks can be avoided through proper maintenance and regular roof repairs. Aside from regularly cleaning your roof, you should also get a maintenance professional who can help you prepare your home for all sorts of weather conditions.

If you’re looking for roofing specialists in Ottawa, get in touch with Rydel Roofing today. We are a fully-insured general contracting company, and we strive for 100 percent customer satisfaction, warranty included. Contact us today for a free roofing estimate.