Although a tiny “drip-drop” sound may seem small, it can mean a whole world of unseen trouble. A roof leak can be due to several different causes and factors, which require the attention of a roofing professional. But there are some causes that are much more common than others. If you’re prepared, you’re already one more step ahead. Here are some common roof leak culprits:

1. Loose Roofing Nails:

Roofing nails can sometimes come loose and causes them to begin slipping or backing out. This leaves small holes, where water can easily enter, especially when it’s close to the roof’s edge where wind-driven rain can enter. These tiny holes are generally unseen by the natural and untrained eye, but not when you have your roof inspected by a professional. Catching this issue early helps you prevent bigger repair expenses or even a premature roof replacement.

2. Damaged and Old Shingles:

If your roof is around 20 to 30 years old, chances are the shingles are showing signs of aging, like cracking, breaking, or rotting. In some cases, the shingles may come loose and fall to the ground. When the outer layer becomes weaker and weaker, it will expose the underlayment. The continued exposure to wind and sun can wear the layers away and eventually cause leaks to form. If your roof is in such a condition, you need to have it inspected immediately. Your roof may only need repairs, which will definitely cost less, and, if properly done, can extend your roof’s life for a few years. This is enough time to prepare for a scheduled roof replacement.

3. The Vent Booting Is Cracked

Roof vents are those things that look like small pipes sticking out of the top of your roof. They’re used to expel excess moisture from the inside of the house. They are often sealed by placing some flashing around the opening and slipping a tight, rubber boot over the area where the pipe peeks out of the roof. Over time, the flashing can break or the roof can decay.

4. Damaged or Dislodged Flashing:

Flashing is a piece of metal that protects valleys and any spot where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as walls and dormers. Roofers often use tar to seal the flashing together and that can corrode over time. If damaged or dislodged by strong winds, like hurricanes, this could leave the breaks in the roof exposed, making it easy for rainwater to get in.

5. Clogged Gutters

You may be able to see the leaves sticking out of the gutter when you look up onto your roof. But, if not, you should notice the lack of water trickling out of a downspout during a rainstorm. Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof. When a blockage forms and they get clogged, that travel stops. Rainwater will then pool in one area of the roof and have more of an opportunity to seep through cracks.