When water starts trickling in through your roof, your first reaction is probably to start looking for patches of missing shingles. But what do you do when you don't see any shingles that are broken, peeling away, or missing? Shingle malfunctions are actually only one possible cause or roof leaks. Here's a look at the other issues that may be to blame.
Loose or damaged flashing.
Flashing is metal that is used around chimneys, skylights, and other features that join up with your roof. It is common for it to become peeled away or corroded, leading to leaks. Examine the flashing around your chimney and around any other features of your roof. If you spot a crack or corroded spot, you can apply some caulk to temporarily seal the spot. Plain, silicone caulk will work just fine, or you can purchase specialized roofing caulk. Squeeze a thin line of caulk into the crack or corroded patch, and then use your fingers or a scraper to smooth it out.
If the flashing is in really bad shape, such as if a whole section of it is peeling away from the roof, you'll need to call a roofing contractor and have it replaced.
Improperly sealed valleys.
Water tends to pool in the valleys of your roof. Thus, your roofing contractor should take great care in sealing these areas, adding an extra layer of waterproof drip edge and ensuring the shingles are well cemented together. If the leak seems to be coming from a valley area in your roof, there's a good chance the area was not well sealed originally, or that it is starting to come unsealed.
Re-sealing a valley can be a pretty complex roofing project that may involve stripping and replacing some of your shingles or adding an extra waterproof layer. This repair is best left to a professional.
If your gutters become too clogged with leaves and other debris, water might not drain off your roof properly. Instead it will work its way into a tiny nail hole or under a shingle – spaces it would not regularly get into if the gutters were doing their job.
Luckily, clearing gutters is an easy task as long as you're comfortable on a ladder. Scoop out the big debris with a gloved hand or trowel. Then, use a regular garden hose to rinse out any small stuff. Assuming your shingles are in decent shape, the leaking should stop.
For assistance, talk to a roofing professional.