6 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Tom Jannace Roofing has been providing stellar residential roofing services on Long Island for more than 30 years. An Angie’s List Super Service Award winner and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau are testaments to the superior work Tom Jannace and his of professionals provide. It’s no wonder why they are the first roofing contractor Long Island homeowners call!

Tom Jannace performs a wide range of services, including the diagnoses and repair of leaking roofs. There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that your roof is leaking. In addition to the annoyance of having to run and grab a bucket to collect the dripping water every time it rains, a leak is a sign of a major roof problem. If the cause isn’t diagnosed and repaired quickly, a leak can cause significant damage to your home.

Since water often travels away from the source of the leak, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem. In an effort to save you time and help prevent serious damage, here’s a look at five of the most common causes of roof leaks.


A roof is designed to be durable and long-lasting; however, like all things, it doesn’t last forever.

The average life-expectancy of a roof is about 20 years. The constant exposure to the harsh rays of the sun, extreme temperatures, wind, rain, snow, and other elements will eventually deteriorate the roof, making it less functional and effective at keeping water out of your home. As a roof ages, the chances of water infiltration and leaks increase.

Poor-Quality Skylights

Skylights flood your home with natural light and can improve air circulation, making them an asset; however, if they aren’t installed properly are they are aging, skylights can be a liability.

If a skylight isn’t built properly or if the materials it’s made out of are giving way, it’s pretty much guaranteed that a leak will arise. Next time it rains, take a look up at your skylight. If you see water collecting in it, a leak is inevitable.

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a thin sheet of metal that’s laid over transitional points in the roof where large volumes of water flow down or where the potential for absorption may occur. Flashing is usually installed around skylights, chimneys, and dormers. If it’s installed correctly and in good condition, it will prevent water from seeping into your roof. However, if it’s damaged or if it wasn’t installed properly, the chances of a leak are high.

Age and exposure to the elements can affect the quality and effectiveness of the flashing, giving way to a leak. Likewise, if it isn’t installed the right way, it won’t be effective at preventing leaks.

Built Up Debris

An accumulation of leaves, twigs, pine needles, and even nesting materials from animals can be the source of a roof leak. If debris collects on top of your roof, water can get trapped behind it and seep into the roof. To allow water to run off of your roof, it’s important to inspect it and clear off any debris.

Trimming back tree branches that hang over your roof will make it easier to control the accumulation of debris.

Exhaust Pipes

Dryer vents, bathroom exhaust fans, and furnace exhaust pipes are often run through the roof. If theses pipes aren’t installed properly or their quality is degrading, water can get trapped around or inside of them and infiltrate your roof. Even if exhaust pipes are flashed and sealed correctly, they can still become the source of a leak.

Ice Dams

Winters on Long Island can be brutal. The ice and snow can cause ice dams to develop on your roof, and if that happens, a leak is virtually unavoidable.

What’s an ice dam? – Essentially, it’s a ridge of ice that forms on the edge of the roof or around changes in the slope, such as around dormers. When an ice dam develops melting snow and ice has nowhere to go, so instead of running off of your roof, it penetrates through it, causing a leak.

If you have discovered a leak in your roof – even if it’s only minor – don’t put off having it repaired. The longer you wait, the more extensive and expensive the damage will be. As soon as you spot a leak, contact Tom Jannace Roofing. Their team of experts will perform a complete inspection of your roof, diagnose the cause of the leak, and make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage.