6 causes of leaky roofs and their solutions

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One of the greatest nightmares of homeowners is a leaky roof. If not noticed and fixed in time, it can lead to major expenses later on. In fact, statistics show that 33% of homeowners replace roofs due to leaks.

If you’ve recently observed slight leaks at home and want to fix them ASAP, you must first identify the root cause and take the necessary steps. So, let’s know the top causes here!

1. Poorly driven nails

One of the major causes of roof leaks is a roofing nail driven sideways or not far enough. They eventually disrupt the shingle. During rains, water follows the nail and enters the home interiors. It’s the same when a decking nail doesn’t hit wood during framing.

Water often leaks wherever the nail is, so check the exact areas of the roof for leaks.


This is an extremely sensitive task, so it’s best to seek professionals. However, if you’re not sure which roofer to hire, ask a highly reputable and experienced roofing supply Los Angeles company. Owing to their experience in the roofing industry, they can help you find the right roofers in no time!

They’ll break the shingle seal, lift it up, and pull the faulty nail out. This is followed by driving a nail in properly, applying an ice and water shield, and resealing the shingle.

2. Broken/missing roof tiles or slates

Roof tiles and slates often get damaged from falling debris like heavy branches. They may also come loose and slip off, leading to missing tiles. Water can seep through both broken and missing roof tiles and lead to major stains on the attic, ceilings, and walls.


You can replace the broken/missing tiles or slates by yourself. However, if you don’t have the necessary knowledge in roof tile replacement, hire a reliable roofer.

3. Pipe boot failure

Pipe boot, a kind of roof flashing, goes around the base of pipes coming through the roof. It prevents water from flowing into your home through the roof.

Usually made of neoprene (a synthetic rubber), it often wears out and cracks due to the exposure to sun’s UV rays. This causes the water to follow the pipe and thus leaky roofs.

This leak appears anywhere the pipe leads.


Spot the cracked neoprene pipe boot and install a rubber collar over its top. Ensure the collar encases the flat rectangular flashing around the pipe bottom (aka flange).

4. Stuck debris in gutters

When two roof slopes meet and create a V shape, it’s called a roof valley. This lets water flow down into the gutters.

Often, roof valleys are directed into the gutters at the eaves. However, the gutter is sometimes installed in a valley and stops in the middle of slopes.

When debris and leaves accumulate in this kind of gutter, water can’t flow out and seeps in. Usually, this kind of leak happens after heavy rains and it may show up in ceilings, walls, and anywhere else.


Add flashing to repair the leak and prevent water from flowing behind the gutter. Loosen the gutter and install 3 flashing pieces behind it, on the roof, and one tucked under the valley.

5. Chimney-wearing and tearing

Several chimney-wearing issues can also lead to leaks. For instance:

  • The flashing under the shingles around the chimney might have worn out.
  • Mortar joints and bricks around the chimney get saturated after heavy rains and seep water into the interiors.
  • The masonry top cracked after being wet and frozen, a metal top rusted, or fasteners came loose.
  • If the chimney has siding, water enters the corners where the siding butts into corner boards. This rots the boards and wood behind the chimney.

These leaks always show up around the fireplace.


If you notice leaks around the chimney/fireplace, seek a roofer to investigate. If the issue is related to flashing, mortar joints, bricks, and masonry, they’ll fix it. If the chimney is also affected, you’ll need further assistance from chimney sweeps.

6. Faulty skylight installation

If the skylight isn’t installed properly, the flashing around it may wear off and drywall may get damaged. If the skylight components or pieces are weak, water drips through that.


Take off the cladding and flashing kit. Put ice and water shields around it and reapply the flashing kit.


Since a leaky roof can cause major damage, always seek an expert for repair once you understand the cause. Let the professionals take care of the rest!