June 4, 2019
Common Causes of Roof Leaks
Roof leaks are a common problem among homeowners in Toronto and can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Insufficient underlayment
- Poor workmanship
- Inadequately installed or maintained roof penetrations
- Improper ventilation
- Ice dams
A roof’s underlayment (a layer usually made of breathable, synthetic material located between your roof deck and your shingles) is one of its most critical components. If the underlyment for the roof is not installed properly a roof repair or roof replacement may be in order. Unfortunately, the Ontario Building Code only requires underlayment installation up to the eaves of your roof, meaning that many homes – if the roof they have today was constructed by the builder – may have areas where shingles have been applied directly onto the roof sheathing or only minimal underlayment. This puts your roof at greater risk of leaks, especially when wind-driven rains occur.
Oftentimes, moisture or condensation you notice in your attic may not actually be from a leaking roof, but rather from an improper ventilation system. Proper attic ventilation is essential to the optimal function and longevity of your roofing system. Good ventilation has the perfect balance between intake and exhaust, well sealed air leaks, correct venting from bathroom fans, washers, dryers and dishwashers, and the perfect amount of insulation. If any of these elements is installed poorly or incorrectly, it can cause moisture buildup in your attic potentially leading to mould development and rotting wood.
Ice dams are caused by the constant freezing, thawing, and refreezing of snow and ice on your roof. Eventually, ice builds up at the base of your roof around the eaves. When it melts, this can cause water to seep underneath the shingles and eventually leak through your entire roof. Integrity Roofers can help you fix current ice damming problems and prevent them from recurring in the future.
Your roof is a complete system and each component works together with every other. Poor workmanship can result in serious problems, such as roof leaks, which is why it is so important that you hire experienced roofing professionals to address any issues you come across as a homeowner. Without a qualified roofing contractor, even the best products and the best materials do not guarantee a job well done.
The most common areas for roof leaks are those where objects penetrate the roof including chimneys, vent pipes, plumbing stacks, dormer walls, terminations and wall flashings. These parts of your roof are the most vulnerable and are often improperly installed and maintained because a great deal of time and expertise is required.
What to Check For
Remember, by the time you notice a leak coming through your ceiling inside your home, this is a clear indication that your roof has been leaking for some time already. Take a few precautionary measures before you reach that point and look for the following indicators:
- Water stains on the roof sheathing, beams and rafters in your attic
- Stains on the wood inside your garage (if your garage roof is exposed)
- A sagging roof visible from the outside
If you notice any signs of leakage, call a professional right away.