What to do When Roof Leaks in Heavy Rain
If your roof leaks during heavy rain…
It’s important to find the cause of the problem.
As soon as possible.
So the roof leak can be fixed before more damage occurs.
Today, we’re going to help you identify what may be causing your roof leak and look at possible remedies.
It’s important to understand.
…That any roof leak is an urgent situation.
Because even if your roof leaks only when rains hard… Left unchecked (and unfixed), roof leaks can cause major damage.
Especially the slow ones.
Slow Roof Leaks = Big Water Damage
The bad things about slow roof leaks – the kind that only shows up when it’s raining hard outside.
In addition to the obvious (drywall and paint damage), when we look above your ceilings and behind your walls, you could be dealing with mold issues or structural problems with rotted wood.
Slow roof leaks sometimes show up in the strangest places too – like water leaking from wall outlets or light fixtures.
Sometimes water leaks behind walls and leaches straight into your hardwood floors or floor underlayment and causes damage there as well.
During a hard rain, you might also see:
- Water leaking behind your gutters
- Wet spots or damp wood inside attic on roof sheeting or rafters
- Bubbling paint around electrical outlets
- Damp or dripping drywall around light fixtures
- Moisture above or below your windows
- Or maybe you hear some faint dripping in the bathroom vent or chimney
Slow roof leaks can be deceptive because what you see might seem minor. But what you can’t see might be devastating.
Common Areas of Roof Leaks During Rain
If your roof leaks when it rains hard, you may have an issue in any one of the following areas.
1. Skylight Leaks
Skylight leaks in heavy rain are a common source for roof leaks.
During installation, each skylight essentially creates a big hole in an otherwise uniform roof surface.
No matter how well your skylights were installed, it is still possible for them to leak during heavy rains. Especially as your home ages a bit.
Although skylights are designed to shed water, the upper edge of your skylight is a flat surface, against which rainwater flows during a hard rain.
It’s also a location that can hold snow or ice and catch twigs, leaves or other debris that may have fallen on the roof. Over time, flashing and seals get worn out.
Leading to roof leaks around skylights.
Keep in mind that water leaking from skylights may not be wholly attributed to roof leaks from rain. Some skylights leak from condensation or from other water leaks that have traveled down rafters inside the attic.
- Flexible roof sealant- apply flexible roof sealant from a can or tube to holes, gaps, and loose shingles
- Silicone caulk – apply 100% silicone caulking to the skylight window or lens to fix any leaks between the window and the frame
- Flashing & shingles – replace the flashing and shingles around the skylight, creating a good new water barrier
2. Chimney Leaks
It could be that your chimney cover is damaged or otherwise not working properly. Or perhaps the chimney crown is cracked or leaking. If your chimney leaks when it rains, you may have one of several different problems.
Or maybe you have cracks or gaps in the mortar or chimney veneer.
But if you have problems with water leaking around the outside of your chimney down into your walls, you may have a problem with worn out flashing or sealant.
Or you may have a poorly designed valley at the bottom of the roof slope (and directly above your chimney) that catches debris, snow, and ice…
And allows water to pool and sit during or after a rain.
That leads to more rapid deterioration of flashing and sealants and allows water to leach into your home.
- Chimney cover – a new chimney cover may keep water from entering the top of the chimney
- Flexible roof sealant- apply flexible roof sealant from a can or tube to holes, gaps, flashing and lose shingles around the chimney
- Flashing & shingles – replace flashing and shingles around the chimney, creating a good new water barrier
- Cricket installation – a chimney cricket redirects water away from the valley formed by steep slopes and away from the chimney
3. Vent Pipe Leaks
Vent pipes penetrate all the way through the roof in several locations of the house, and each one needs to be maintained to keep water out.
Vent pipe leaks during heavy rain can occur if you have cracks in your vent pipe boot or flashing.
When your roof was installed, each vent pipe received a flexible boot to seal water around the round surface of the vent pipe.
These boots vary in quality, flexibility, and longevity.
And over time… many vent pipe boots get hard and brittle as the punishing hot and cold cycles of sun, snow, and ice take a toll on your roof.
When the vent pipe boot cracks, your roof is open to a water leak.
If your roof was constructed with cheap quality vent pipe boots, these will likely need more maintenance and replacement over the lifetime of your roof.
Vent pipes are roof maintenance items that should not be overlooked. Periodic maintenance can prevent roof leaks.
- Flexible roof sealant- apply flexible roof sealant from a can or tube to holes, gaps, flashing and lose shingles around the vent pipe
- Vent pipe boot – overlay the old vent pipe boot with a new vent pipe boot, caulk & seal
- Flashing & shingles – replace worn out vent pipe flashing, boot and shingle around it to provide a long-lasting fix
4. Roof Vent Leaks
Roof vents serve an important purpose. They allow air circulation under your roof and allow air inside your attic to circulate with the air outside your attic.
This keeps your attic cooler in the summer and helps extend the life of your roof.
Roof vents come in a variety of styles. You may have a ridge vent, turbine vent, powered air vent or free air vent.
Blog Source: Pro-tech Roofing | Roof Leaks in Heavy Rain [What To Do About It]