Why Does My Roof Leak During Heavy Rain?

Find Out Why Your Roof Only Leaks In Heavy Rain And How You Can Stop It From Getting Worse.

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Leaks Show Themselves During Strong Weather

When rain comes down really hard, your roof catches a lot of the rainwater and any obstructions or minor damages can turn into leaks when they is an excessive amount of water compared to usual. Typically these will be things like old deteriorating sealants, leaking vents or skylights or even your gutters being clogged. It might not leak during light rainfall, but if your roof leaks at all it needs to be fixed or it’ll end up costing your much more in the long run.

No leaks with light rain probably just means the holes for water to get into are very small and water doesn’t get to it until there is a lot more than usual. Make sure to stop any leaks right away and catch any water coming into the house to prevent further damage. Let’s take a look at some of the major causes of leaks during heavy rain storms.

In order to know the ins and outs of proper flat roof repair, installation and replacement, you need specialized training. At Overhead Roofing Of Colorado Springs, we have been working with flat roofs for years and our crews are experts as every step of the flat roofing process. With certified crews, you can be sure our services are top notch and will stand the test of time. We are happy to help with any Colorado Springs flat roofing work you need done, so don’t hesitate to reach out for a free roofing inspection and estimate.

Rotted Colorado Springs Roof Needs Repairs
roof with a tarp on it as a temporary fix for a leak

Major Causes Of Leaks During Heavy Rainfall

Clogged Gutters – One of the most common things we see when dealing with leaks during heavy rains is clogged gutter systems. When the rain can’t efficiently move through the gutters and down away from the house, then the water finds other places to go. When this happens the water will start to drip down the siding, flashing, fascia and eaves of the building which will cause water damage over time if left untreated. Make sure to clean your gutters regularly to avoid these issues. Gutters also help to direct water away from the foundation of the house, so prompt action is needed to avoid expensive foundation repairs or basement flooding.

Roof Vents – Many roofers cut corners and go too quickly which leaves you with improperly installed roofing systems. When the roof isn’t installed properly, it is extremely common for the home to develop leaks around any roof vents. If there are gaps around the edges that allow water in, your roof decking could be majorly damaged underneath and causing problems. This will start to rot away eventually leaving you with large holes in the roof so don’t wait to get it repaired.

Chimneys – As with the roof vents, chimneys are very susceptible to leaks as well. Especially as they age and the seals start to deteriorate. Also if the flashing around the chimney is installed correctly, large gaps may be present that will allow water in during heavy rain. It is important to checkup on the health of your chimney when performing a roof inspection as you don’t want to let gaps in the chimney to damage the interior of your home.

Plumbing – Many homes and commercial properties have some sort of plumbing pipes sticking through the roof somewhere. The sealants around the edges of these pipes will degrade over time and start to crack. This commonly leaves small holes that may not cause noticeable leaks during light rain, but heavy rain will start to get into these cracks and show noticeable signs of leaks in various spots.

Water Ponding – If your roof has any flat areas, these can become major sources for leaks if water starts to pond. This is very common with flat and low sloped roofing systems when they are not tapered to allow the water to run towards the gutter systems. Improper installation of flat roofing systems will also commonly cause water ponding issues. Seams on rolled flat roofing systems are usually the most common spots for leaks to form and the standing water eventually works it’s way into the seams and down into the interior of the building. These can be tough to diagnose, so make sure you are working with an experienced flat roofing contractor if this applies to your roof.

Skylights – The edges around skylights are notorious for allowing water in when not properly sealed up or once they start to age. Large hail stones may also puncture holes in the skylight itself leaving a large hole in the roof that can cause major water damage. Our crews have repaired many skylight leaks over the years, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you are experiencing a skylight leak.

Solar Panels – When installing solar panels on a roof, there are a lot of areas that the solar panel mounts will have to be attached to the roof decking which makes it very easy for an inexperienced contractor to screw it up. When that happens, you may have many different spots on the roof that leaks slightly and start to show in heavy rain. If this happened to your roof when they installed solar, it is extremely important to deal with it right away or risk a major loss if the entire roof gets water damage.

Debris – If a tree branch falls on your roof, a lot of leaves or pine needles, these obstructions cause the water to not drain down the roof properly which can push excess water to areas that can’t handle it properly. Regular cleaning and maintenance to remove debris from your roof is always advised to avoid unnecessary problems.

Hail Damage – Hail storms can cause major damage to your roofing system, the roof decking, gutters, siding, windows and more. Hail can also damage vents and other extrusions on the roof, causing them to develop gaps around the edges. If your home was recently hit by hail, make sure to have it professionally inspected so you can catch any problem areas before damage occurs.

Damaged Roofing – Storms and aging can cause your roofing system to get damaged over time. Wind can blow shingles off, old shingles can curl up and start to leak and more. If your roof got damaged when you were climbing on it to inspect it, this can cause problems as well, especially if your roof was already in bad shape to begin with.

Improper Installs – The common theme between most of these roof leak problems is improper installation by inexperienced roofing contractors. Hiring the cheap guy to do the job often means they are cutting corners and don’t have the training required to get the job done right the first time. Dealing with these contractors ends up costing you much more when you have to pay to fix it, so don’t make that mistake. Choose a reputable roofer so you don’t have to worry about buying your roof twice.

What To Do When The Roof Leaks

Stop Water From Coming In – The first thing you want to do when you notice a leak is to catch any water that is coming into the house so you can prevent any further damage to your belongings or the interior of the home. Use buckets and bowls to catch any water coming in and make sure to get any valuable belongings away from the leaking areas. If you feel capable, get on top of the roof and tarp up the problem areas to minimize the amount of water coming in. If you don’t do this your flooring, walls, cabinets and other things may incur damage which will increase the price of fixing everything. 

Call Your Local Roofer– After you have taken care of catching the water coming in, call your local roofer that offers 24/7 emergency roof repairs to come out and do a temporary fix. They will use tarps, sealants and other materials to temporarily fix the leak and stop water leakage. Then when the storm passes they can come back out to complete a proper fix and diagnose any other areas that may cause problems.

Check The Rest Of The Property – If you haven’t already checked every area of your home for leaks, do it as the roofer is performing the temporary fix. Check walls, window areas and the attic for signs of water damage or spots on drywall that weren’t there before. Checking the attic is especially important because there may be multiple leaks that you aren’t aware of. Look for dark or black spots on the rafters and roof decking or ins the insulation if you have it. Mold growth is another common sign of a roof leak in your attic. This can get dangerous quickly as mold spores can travel through the house and are not safe for occupants to breathe in.

Proper Maintenance Can Prevent Leaks

No matter what the cause of your roof leak, it most likely could have been avoided in the first place with proper roof maintenance and regular inspections. A thorough inspection will usually uncover any problems before they start to cause damage so staying on top of your roofs health is always a good thing. At Overhead Roofing Of Colorado Springs we have performed countless roof repairs and we provide 24/7 emergency service as well to ensure our customers stay safe. Feel free to give us a call to inspect your roof, maintain it or repair your leaks anytime. We are happy to help our Colorado neighbors!