Why Your Roof Leaks In Heavy Rain & How To Fix It

If Your Roof Only Leaks During Heavy Rainfall, It Is A Sign That Repairs Need To Be Made ASAP Or Risk Severe Water Damage.


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Why Does My Roof Only Leak In Heavy Rain?

If you notice that your roof leaks during heavy rain storms, it is essential to get your roof fixed right away or it could end up costing you a lot more money down the line. Many leaks come from old or improperly installed roofing systems that have aged, deteriorated, cracked, broken or been damaged and now have areas that allow water to get through. When rain starts coming down heavily, it will find it’s way into all of the small or large holes, cracks and anything else that water can get to, especially if you have an old roof or a roof with lots of repairs or patches. If you can, take pictures of all the roofing and exterior damage because it will help you get your insurance to pay for a roof replacement.

If it doesn’t leak during light rain, that doesn’t actually mean it is not leaking. Typically any areas that water can penetrate are at risk and are most likely damaging your building, whether it’s causing mold on your rafters or roof decking or causing water damage without showing any signs from inside the house. Minor leaks soon turn into major leaks that can quickly cause significant damage, so make sure you don’t let a small leak get worse. Have it fixed by a professional roof leak repair specialist right away. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for roof leaks during heavy rain.

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Common Causes For Roof Leaks In Heavy Rain

Plumbing – Many homes and commercial buildings have some sort of plumbing coming out of the roof, especially commercial buildings with flat roofs. When pipes are coming through the roof, the hole around the pipe will need to be properly patched and sealed or water may get in. Over the years, the sealant can deteriorate and allow small penetrable areas to form and cause leaks. Be sure to take a look at all plumbing on the roof to check for possible damaged areas.

Vents – Your roof will usually have numerous vents to allow heat out of your house from the stove, bathrooms or attic ventilation systems. If the contractor that installed your roof didn’t properly seal the edges around the vents or your vents get damaged or bent, there may be areas that can allow water into your home so it is very important to make sure your roof gets installed correctly in the first place or is maintained well to prevent any future leaks.

Water Ponding – On flat and low sloped roofs, water ponding is a common issue and gets much worse when there are heavy rains coming down. When large amounts of water gather, it creates a wide surface area and will reach areas of the roof that it normally doesn’t, prompting it to leak during these times. The seals and patched areas on flat roofs are very prone to leaks, so these areas should be the first place you check for issues.

Clogged Gutters – If your gutters get too clogged up with leaves and debris, they won’t allow efficient water flow so that the rain can be directed away from the house. When the gutters are full, the rain water will overflow and can get into the home, damage siding and cause foundation issues. Make sure your gutters are clean and properly directing water away from the home with no blockages or you might find yourself with some unwanted water damage.

Solar Panels – While having a solar panel system on your property can save you a lot of money, if the installation wasn’t done right, there are a lot of areas where the panels are mounted to your roof that could cause leaks. Every mount has to be securely fastened to the roof which means a lot of screws will penetrate the roof and every screw hole is a potential source for a leak. Make sure to check your attic for leaks around where the solar panels are mounted.

Chimneys – typically chimneys are not maintained very well and after years of aging and deterioration, the chimney could develop problem areas such as cracks in the bricks or cement. As with anything else on the roof, proper installation of flashing around the chimney will prevent water from getting into areas it shouldn’t be. If you notice your chimney has cracks in it, call a professional asap to have it fixed.

Skylights – Skylights are great for bringing light into your home, but they can also be great at letting water in as well. The older the skylights get, the more susceptible to damage from hail and debris they are, not to mention the edges around the skylight are prone to leaks. Using an ice and water barrier around the edges will help prevent these things, but if the roof decking is rotted out you will get leaks no matter what as the water works it way through those areas.

Damaged Roofing – Old roofing materials degrade over time which can be very problematic for property owners. Most roofing materials will expand and contract slightly during temperature swings which over time will cause the material to crack, pull apart and even come off of the roof completely when combined with high winds. Metal roofing can corrode over time and allow water into the seams or into the screw holes used to attach the panels. Tile can crack from hail and shingles can get blown off in severe thunderstorms. Don’t let old damaged roofing cause you more problems, make sure to have your roof inspected regularly to prevent these things from happening.

Snow Melt – After a big snow storm, ice and snow on your roof will start to melt and if that snow melt gets into any cracks, you are going to see some damage. This isn’t the same as what you may see from heavy rain, but water on your roof is all the same once it gets into the interior, damaging.

Too Much Weight – If your roofing system is too heavy for the structure of your building, you may start to get some sagging of the roof and this can cause major issues with the entire roofing system, not to mention the dangers of having people underneath such an unstable roof. Some unlicensed contractors will not take proper precautions when installing your roof, and if you end up getting someone who doesn’t know that your building isn’t suited for a heavy roofing system, you could be facing an entire roof replacement project. A roof that is too heavy and is covered in water may start to leak and be your first sign that it needs attention.

Debris – Broken branches and debris landing on your roof during storms can cause a significant amount of damage and if it is not dealt with right away, could allow a lot of water to get into your property which is never a good thing. Always check your roof after a big storm to make sure nothing has fallen onto the roof.

Hail Damage – Hail is a very common problem here in Colorado and it wreaks havoc on the roofs here. Large hail stones can actually break your shingles, dent metal roofs, crack tile roofs and sometimes even put holes in your roof. Even minor hail damage can cause cracking in your roof system which leads to water penetrating underneath and will eventually cause a leak. If there is no signs of major damage but your roof still leaks in heavy rains, this could be the culprit.

Improper Roof Installation – Unless your roof was damaged by any of the things mentioned above, then your roof leak is probably coming from an improper installation by whoever replaced your roof the last time. There are so many unlicensed and poorly trained contractors out there that it can sometimes be hard to spot which ones are legitimate so we highly recommend that you do your due diligence and follow our checklist for hiring a roofing contractor to make sure you are hiring a professional. Going with the cheap guy usually means you’ll have to pay double when it needs to be completely redone.

How To Fix Your Roof Leak

Temporary Fix – If water is pouring into your home, the first things you need to do is find a way to catch all that water and keep it from causing further damage to the interior of your property. Get buckets, containers, bowls, jugs and whatever else you can find to catch every bit of the water because water damaged walls and flooring are very expensive to replace. Then go place a tarp over the leaking areas to prevent more water from coming in. Make sure to weigh down the corners of the trap so it doesn’t blow away. You may need to get towels or something similar to help stop water from coming into large holes in the roof. Each roof leak is different so you will need to assess the problem and figure out what your best course of action is until you can get the roof professionally repaired.

Take Care Of Belongings – If water is flooding the house or pooling on the ground and you can’t stop it, make sure you get any valuables out of the way immediately. You can also use towels to help contain pooling water or sandbags if you happen to have any laying around.

Call A Roofing Contractor – Once the immediate danger is taken care of, make sure to reach out to us for 24/7 emergency Denver roof repair. We know how bad emergency roof leaks can be which is why we are always available to come out and perform a temporary fix to stop the water from coming in until we can get the roof properly fixed so that you don’t have any future leaks. 

Extract Water In The House – If there is any standing water in the house, you will want to get the shopvac out right away and suck up all that standing water. If you don’t have anything to clean it up with, you may consider calling a water extraction company to come get it all out as soon as possible.

Check The Rest Of The Property – Just because you took care of one leak, doesn’t mean the rest of the home doesn’t have any issues. It is always recommended that you check the rest of your house for leaks or signs of damage as well because there could be numerous problem areas you need to deal with. Check out the attic and look around for any dark spots, water damage or mold growing in the attic as these are all common signs of a leaking roof.

Prevent Roof Leaks In The Future

The absolute best way to prevent roof leaks is making sure your roof is installed properly the first time and having regular roof inspections and maintenance done. By keeping up on your roofs health, you will end up saving yourself a lot of headaches and money in the long run, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert roofing service. Even if you don’t feel comfortable checking out your own roof, we are more than happy to come out and perform an in depth assessment of your roof and give you affordable options to maintain your roof. If you need emergency service, feel free to reach out to us 24/7, we are here to help!