Rain is a beautiful thing. While many feel relaxed as peaceful raindrops fall from the sky, there may be inner turmoil happening within their roofing system that they aren't aware of. What's one of the most obvious ways a homeowner knows they have a roof issue? They spring a leak. If you notice one (or several,) don't panic! Leaks happen for various reasons and are commonly seen when heavy rains beat down on rooftops.
Something essential to know during your roof leak research journey is that you'll see A LOT of resources spread about (as we're sure you've noticed.) While a surplus of information is rarely harmful, many marketing companies beat around the bush regarding costs.
Why? Most likely because a lot of roofing companies keep their prices hush-hush. At RoofCrafters, we understand that this isn't grandma's secret cookie recipe we're talking about. We're helping homeowners stay vigilant and prepared when it comes to their homes without giving them the run-around. That's probably part of why our business has thrived over the past three decades of serving the Southeast. We know you need answers, and we're thrilled to give them to you.
This article goes in-depth about 7 of the most common reasons your roof leaks. By the time you finish reading, you'll have the peace of mind that you can identify a leak in a jiffy to help protect your home. We have a lot to discuss, so let's get into it!
7 Common Roof Leaks
Your roof can leak for several reasons. Figuring out the specific cause of your leak can seem like a lost cause when you don't have the resources available to you, so we've happily noted them.
Pipe Boot Failure
Pipe boots are flashings installed around plumbing pipes that poke out through the roof. These special boot flashings are designed to seal the pipe and flash the roofing materials. Most pipe boots come in a plastic or metal base with a neoprene rubber gasket that seals them. Lead pipe boots are another popular choice because they don't require rubber gaskets that fail due to dry rot.
How Are Pipe Boots Repaired?
A failing rubber gasket can be replaced separately depending on the material and what's causing the leak. The entire pipe boot will need replacing if it's leaking at the metal or plastic boot that flashes the shingles, though. This means removing a few shingles around the pipe boot flashing, installing a new pipe boot, and adding new shingles.
How Much Do Pipe Boot Repairs Cost?
Expect to pay between $750 and $1,250 for most pipe boot repairs. The cost will vary depending on how steep or difficult it is to walk on the roof and which type of service you may need. Services include replacing the pipe boot with shingles or replacing the rubber gasket.
Metal Pipe Collar Issues
Metal pipe collars are helpful in venting gas furnaces, hot water heaters, dryers, and other mechanical equipment. This equipment is usually located inside the attic of your home! Metal pipe collars consist of four parts:
1. Base Flashing
2. A Metal Pipe
3. A Storm Collar
4. A Rain Cap
Every aspect mentioned can fail, causing a leak.
How Are Metal Pipe Collar Leaks Repaired?
How Are Metal Pipe Collar Leaks Repaired?
The rain cap, storm collar, and metal pipe can be repaired as needed by removing the parts individually and replacing them with new ones. If the base flashing leaks, all aspects will need replacing, along with the shingles around the metal pipe collar.
1. Install a new base flashing and shingles.
2. Replace the metal pipe, storm collar, and rain cap.
3. Apply sealant to the storm collar where it meets the pipe.
Note- your roofer must go inside the attic to ensure the pipe is connected to remove dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.
How Much Do Metal Pipe Collar Repairs Cost?
You can expect to pay between $950 and $1,650 for a metal pipe collar repair or replacement. The cost varies depending on the steepness of the roof and the shingle condition around the damaged pipe.
What's a valley? A valley is where two sections on your roof intersect, creating a path allowing water to flow freely. They're a vital part of the roofing system because they're high-traffic areas during rain storms. (Did you know the average thunderstorm produces about 2,000 metric tons of rain?)
How Are Leaking Valleys Repaired?
A valley is patched by removing the shingles on its left and right sides. Starting from the top of the roof and working down to the edge of the gutter, all metal flashing, underlayments, and rotten wood decking are removed. To fix the valley, wood and new ice/water shield underlayment and shingles are replaced. Your roofer must pay close attention to their actions when tying into old shingles because it's an important task.
How Much Do Leaking Valley Repairs Cost?
You can expect to pay between $1550 and $3200 to repair a leaking valley. The valley's length and the roof's steepness will impact the final cost of this roof patch.
1. Failing of the sealant that binds the flashing to the exterior of the chimney
2. The exterior material of the chimney itself
3. Exterior materials (rotted wood siding, cracks in the stucco, or missing brick mortar)
4. Failure of the flashing where the shingles meet the base of the chimney (very common)
5. A rusted chimney cap
Because a chimney can have multiple failures, if the source of the leak is not clear, it's best to perform a water test.
How Are Chimney Leaks Repaired?
Depending on the cause of the leak, there are numerous ways to repair it. The chimney cap and exterior siding can be replaced/painted, and the flashing can be resealed.
How Much Do Chimney Leak Repairs Cost?
Chimney repairs range between $1,650 and $4,200 depending on the above factors. The complexity of the repair will have the most significant impact on cost.
Skylights are stunning additions to any home. However, they can quickly become a massive headache if you find that yours leaks. The majority of skylight failures are from poor installation, and if your roofer makes an error, there can be severe consequences. However, the seal on the skylights can go bad, too.
How Are Skylight Leaks Repaired?
There are different repair options available depending on the cause of the leak. Usually, the skylight is repaired by removing the shingles at the flashing and then replacing them. The entire skylight could also need replacing, which requires removing the skylight itself and the shingles surrounding it.
How Much Do Skylight Repairs cost?
You can expect to pay between $1,825 and $3,900 per skylight. Skylights come in various sizes and features, which all affect the price. Remember that a skylight job is one we recommend a certified professional take on.
Roof-to-Wall Flashing Leaks
Roof leaks often happen at roof-to-wall transitions- typically around dormers or sections of a home with an upper and lower roof section separated by walls. Between your home and garage is an area that sometimes creates a roof-to-wall transition. We're often asked to inspect these because of leak suspicions. Usually, human error causes them.
How are Roof-to-Wall Flashings Repaired?
The shingles and flashing need removing in this case. If the wall contains cedar, Hard-plank, or vinyl siding, this requires removing the siding first. With stucco or brick, the repair is made using two flashing pieces and new shingles.
How Much Does a Roof-to-Wall Flashing Repair Cost?
You can expect to pay between $1,550 and $3,800 for this repair. It will vary depending on the difficulty, wall size, and the type of siding you have. The price could be less if it is a small wall and a roof that isn't steep.
Nail pops occur when our homes have a lot of thermal movement. Roofing materials expand and contract as the weather changes from hot to cold to warm. This thermal movement can cause nails to back out.
Improperly driven nails can cause nail pops, as well. Nails that are under-driven or put in sideways or crooked can back out, causing damage to the shingles. Over time, small water leaks find their way in through nail pops if they aren't fixed.
How Are Nail Pop Leaks Repaired?
Nail pops need pulling out, which requires breaking the seal on the shingles and prying the nail the rest of the way out. Depending on the extent of the damage caused to the shingle, it may need replacing. However, if the damage is minimal, a repair can be done by applying roofing cement under the shingle directly over the nail hole.
How Much Do Nail Pop Leaks Cost to Repair?
You can expect to pay around $550 for this repair. However, this number will increase if the roof has extensive damage due to nail pops. Improper nailing can also result in the roof needing to be completely replaced instead of repaired.
Can I Identify My Roof Leak?
We hope that you have a better understanding of some of the main roof leak causes. However, if you still feel unconfident in identifying your leak, that's completely fine! Skilled roofers aren't just there to make repairs and replacements- they also help identify potential issues to get to the root cause.
At RoofCrafters, we can't stress enough that finding a stellar professional roofer is essential when you need a leak repaired. Check out our comprehensive roofer checklist to help you find the perfect contractor for you. And if you're ready to get in touch with one of our friendly representatives, head on over to our contact page.
I'm a native Georgian who spends my days nurturing my passions and embracing the quiet life. With a penchant for taking the road less traveled, I love discovering new ideas, rooting for the underdog, and taking the long way home. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, animals, and making memories.