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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

The Most Common Types of Roof Leaks

Published by Pickard Roofing at

Roof leaks are inevitable, but the source can be difficult to spot sometimes. Below, we've listed places where you can look for a roof leak. Remember that roofs are inherently dangerous, and climbing on your roof can lead to accidents and injuries. If your roof is leaking, hire a professional to find the source and make repairs.


1. Missing/Broken Shingles

Wind, rain, and debris can knock shingles off the roof, which allows water to invade the attic space unnoticed. Missing and broken shingles happen because of severe storms, but this problem often indicates that the roofing shingles need to be replaced.

Most roofing shingles last twenty to thirty years. If your roof is approximately twenty to thirty years old, you could be experiencing a roof leak because your shingles are too old to be effective against leaks.

While you might be able to stop the leak by replacing the shingles, it's more likely that you'll need to replace your roof to address the problem entirely. Have your roof inspected and assessed by a roofing professional to address the issue.

2. Gutters are Clogged

Gutters are a critical part of your home's drainage system. Functioning gutters help direct water off your roof and away from your home. When they're clogged, water backs up at the roofline. Overflowing water, overflowing ice, and snow have more time to seep in when your gutters are not flowing properly.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to solve. To address the issue, just clean your gutters once or twice per year, as needed. You'll know when it's time because your gutters will start to overflow. Stay on top of gutter maintenance by cleaning twice annually: once in the spring and once in the fall. If you start to notice problems like water leaking from the cracks between gutters, have your gutters repaired by a professional or replaced if needed.

3. Flashing is Cracked

Flashing is the material that protects your roof beneath the shingles. Flashing can crack with time, especially as it is exposed to water, rain, snow, ice, extreme heat, and other severe weather conditions. Flashing needs to be inspected periodically and replaced as needed - just like the rest of your roof. Work with a roofing professional to get your roof inspected and either repaired or replaced if needed.

4. Chimney Leaks

Chimneys can become a source of leaks as the years go on. Leaks can happen when there is no chimney cap, the chimney or chimney cap is damaged, or when the chimney flashing is cracked or damaged (as described above). Over time, this can lead water to enter your home, and deterioration can occur.

You can prevent chimney leaks by having your chimney inspected by a professional at least once per year and by having your roof inspected by a roofing professional on a regular basis. We recommend having a chimney professional come to your house in the fall before you start using the chimney in the winter.

5. Cracked Roof Vents

Weather occurrences can crack roof vents in the same way that they break your roof's flashing. Your roofing professional will inspect your roof vents when they inspect the rest of your roof and will make recommendations for repair or replacement.

6. Your Skylights

Skylights often leak either because the caulk or tar has deteriorated or the flashing itself has begun to deteriorate. Skylights need regular maintenance in order to maintain their structural integrity. Your roofing professional will be able to identify when there is a problem with your skylights and can make recommendations for repair as needed.

7. Roof Valley Leaks

The roof valley is the area where the two slopes of your roof meet, and the shingles are slightly bent. It is in the roof valley where shingles are more susceptible to falling off. During your inspection, your roofing professional will likely look in that area for wet areas or softwood.

Contact Us

Not sure if you should DIY your roof repair or call a professional? Working with the pros makes the job easier, more efficient, and safer. Call Pickard Roofing Company today to make an appointment for a consultation.


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At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.