leaks on the ceiling

4 Common Causes of Roof Leaks? (Expert Fix & Prevent Tips)

A roof leak is a problem that no homeowner wants to deal with. It can ruin your ceiling, walls, insulation, and furniture. It can also create health risks, fire hazards, and higher energy bills. A roof leak can also signal a more significant issue with your roof that needs urgent attention.

But what makes your roof leak, and how can you fix it? This blog discusses roof leaks and expert ways to fix them. We will also discuss how to prevent them.

1. Cracked or Missing Shingles

One of the most apparent reasons for roof leaks is cracked or missing shingles. Protecting your roof from water, wind, and other elements is essential. Over time, shingles can wear out, crack, curl, or fall off due to ageing, weathering, or improper installation. Water may seep through the cracks and leak onto your roof’s underlayment and decking when this occurs.

How to Fix It:

You can simply replace them with new ones. You don’t need professionals to do it if you have some roofing skills and tools, or you can hire a professional roofer to do it for you. Here are the steps to replace a shingle:

  • cracked/damaged shinglesLook for different-coloured patches on your roof or shingles in your yard to identify the leak’s source.
  • Use a pry bar to lift the nails that secure the damaged shingle to the one below it.
  • Remove the damaged shingle and slide a new one in its place.
  • Nail down the new shingle with four roofing nails.
  • Apply some roofing sealant over the nail heads and the edges of the shingle.

How to Prevent It:

Focus on inspecting your roof regularly and replace any damaged or worn-out shingles as soon as you notice them. By using this method, you can prevent shingles from cracking or falling off before it damages completely. Avoid walking on your roof unnecessarily, as this can cause stress and damage the shingles. Additionally, you should choose high-quality shingles suitable for your climate and roof type.

2. Damaged Flashing

Another common reason for roof leaks is damaged flashing. Flashing is a thin metal strip installed around the joints and edges of your roof, such as around chimneys, skylights, vents, valleys, and dormers. It acts as a water-resistant barrier that prevents water from seeping into these vulnerable areas. However, with time, it may corrode, split, or come free as a result of faulty installation or exposure to the elements. If this does take place, water may seep through the cracks and harm your roof.

How to Fix It:

The best way to fix damaged flashing is to replace them with new ones. You can do this yourself if you have some roofing skills and damaged flashingtools, or hire a professional roofer to do it for you. Here are the steps to replace flashing:

  • Find the source of the leak by looking for signs of flashing damage, such as cracks, rust, or loose nails.
  • Use a pry bar to remove the old flashing and any nails or sealant that hold it in place.
  • Cut a new piece of flashing that matches the size and shape of the old one.
  • Bend the flashing at a 90-degree angle if needed and fit it over the joint or edge of your roof.
  • Nail down the flashing with roofing nails and seal the edges with cement.

How to Prevent It:

Inspecting your roof regularly is the best way to prevent flashing from getting damaged. It will help you identify and replace any damaged or corroded flashing as soon as you notice it. You should also use high-quality flashing materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Also, avoid using tar or other temporary sealants to fix flashing problems, as these can deteriorate over time and cause more leaks.

3. Clogged Gutters

Another common reason for roof leaks is clogged gutters. Rainwater from your roof is collected in gutters, which then route it through downspouts and away from your home. Yet, gutters can get clogged with leaves, twigs, debris, or ice dams over time due to a lack of maintenance or extreme weather conditions. When this happens, water can overflow from your gutters and back up under your shingles, causing leaks.

How to Fix It:

The best way to fix clogged gutters is to clean them regularly and remove any obstructions that block the water flow. You can do this yourself using a ladder, gloves, a hose, and a gutter scoop or brush, or hire a professional gutter cleaner to do it for you. 

clogged-gutterHere are the steps to clean your gutters:

  • Set up a ladder on stable ground and wear gloves for protection.
  • Use a gutter scoop or brush to remove leaves, twigs, debris, or ice dams from your gutters.
  • To clear your gutters and downspouts of any remaining debris or obstructions, use a hose.
  • Check for leaks or damage in your gutters and repair them if needed.

How to Prevent It:

Clean gutters at least twice a year to prevent them from getting clogged. If you reside in a region with a lot of rainfall or leaves, do it more frequently, preferably in the spring and fall. To prevent leaves and other debris from ever getting into your gutters in the first place, you should also install gutter guards or screens.

4. Improper Installation

Another common reason for roof leaks is improper installation. Your roof can leak very early if installed by an inexperienced or unqualified contractor. It mainly happens if someone needs to follow the proper roofing standards and techniques while installing it. It can affect the quality and durability of your roof materials, such as shingles, flashing, underlayment, and membranes. It can also create gaps and weak spots in your roof structure, allowing water to penetrate and cause leaks.

roof installationHow to Fix It:

If you’re certain that your roof was installed incorrectly, call a professional roofer right away to examine and fix it. A professional in this field will be able to identify and correct any mistakes or defects in your roof installation. And you won’t have to worry about missing nails, poor alignment, or inadequate ventilation. You can also take some relevant advice from them to increase the lifespan of your roof.

How to Prevent It:

The best way to prevent improper installation is to hire a reputable and licensed roofer to install your roof in the first place. You should also research the best roofing materials and methods for your climate and roof type. Ask for references and guarantees from your roofer before signing any contract.


Roof leaks are annoying and dangerous for your home and health. They can cause structural damage, electrical hazards, and higher energy bills. That’s why it’s crucial to find out what causes them and how to fix them quickly and effectively.

This blog article discussed some of the most frequent causes of roof leaks. We’ve also provided you with some advice on how to solve them expertly and avoid future problems. We hope this blog article has helped you understand why your roof leaked and clarified your doubts.

If you have any plumbing questions related to roof leaks, don’t hesitate to call Damien McEvoy Plumbing today at (02) 8599 4593 for expert consultation and assistance in resolving the issue effectively.

Free Quote 8599 4593