Water is getting into your house. Maybe you see marks on the ceilings or walls. Maybe there is excess moisture (or even icicles!) in the attic. But your roof is not that old. Why is this happening?

Believe it or not, in many cases leaks are caused by issues completely unrelated to the quality and age of your roof. Some common culprits:

Chimney:

A problem with the chimney can cause water to enter your home. The most common chimney problems include:

  1. Missing or compromised chimney cap
    • Your chimney cap blocks the entrance to your chimney and keeps rain, debris, and wildlife from entering your home. A missing or cracked cap will allow water to enter.
  2. Problems with the chimney joints
    • “Joints” are the areas between the bricks—typically held together with mortar.
    • Problems occur due to age, weather (small cracks or gaps become large ones when water freezes, melts, and refreezes), or physical damage.
    • Compromised joints act like a sponge, sucking in water and depositing inside the chimney and, in turn, the home.
  3. Where it meets wood siding
    • Wood siding can sometimes split, or the seal in the seams can break. This can cause moisture to get behind the siding, and leak into the chimney.

Insulation

Insulation is designed to keep cold air out of your house in the winter, and warm air in. If your home is improperly insulated, it can result in leakage.

  1. Ice dams: When snow falls on your roof, it forms a barrier. If the warm air from inside your home is able to escape through the roof, it will heat the bottom layer of the snow, which causes it to melt and run down the roof. When the water reaches the colder edge of the roof, it freezes. Over time, an ice dam grows. With the warm air below, and the cold air on top, the ice can be covering a layer of slush and/or water that is trapped underneath and behind the dam. Your roof is not meant to have water sitting on it for extended periods of time–a roof is designed for water to flow off of it. If water sits, it can and will damage shingles, and result in leaks inside your home. This can happen even on a brand-new roof.
  2. Condensation: Even without ice dams, the heat from the inside of the house meeting the cold from the outside can result in condensation on the attic/crawl space ceiling and walls. This can cause damage that can travel to other parts of the home.

Furnace Pipes:

Furnace pipes exit through the roof. If your furnace pipe is straight in the attic/crawl space, you shouldn’t run into any problems. If your furnace pipe has an elbow(s) however, it can lead to leaks. Warm air is in the pipe, and when it reaches the attic/crawl space it encounters colder air. This creates condensation. The seams in the elbow of a furnace pipe are more likely to lose heat, thus creating greater condensation that can then travel outside of and/or down the pipe.

Skylights

If you’ve had your skylight for a while, the rubber and seals might become faulty, causing leaks. We always recommend putting in a new skylight when installing a new roof. Even if the skylight is not old, the stress from the banging and work on the roof can weaken the rubber and seals.

Of course, each roof, home and situation is unique and there are many reasons that leaks could be happening. Contact us anytime for an evaluation and estimate, 585-400-7663 or office@400roof.