The Most Common Leak Sites on Your Roof

25 Jul The Most Common Leak Sites on Your Roof

roof repairLeaks are one of the most common roofing inconveniences, and certain areas of your roof are more prone to developing leaks than others. Here is a guide to some of the most common leak sites on your roof—and what causes those leaks.


A valley is the seam where two downward slopes of a roof meet. Usually special metal flashing is installed in valleys in order to help prevent leaks, though some roofers will either “weave” the shingles at these areas together or install rolled roofing. Shingles that meet at the valleys must be trimmed in such a way that they form arrow points; otherwise water could travel along the top of the shingle and then find its way downward into your house. By their very nature valleys do see some of the highest accumulation of water, so this makes leaks at these sites particularly common.


Chimneys involve a more complicated flashing arrangement than do other areas on your roof, making the potential for mistakes, and therefore leaks, much higher. Flashing accompanied with a special sealant is absolutely essential for keeping water out. Other causes for a chimney leak include a cracked chimney crown, improper lining, and leaking bricks.


On some roofs, shingles will meet at one point at a vertical wall. At these locations step flashing is required to direct water flowing down the vertical wall from seeping down between the shingles and the wall. If there is any mistake in the step flashing, water could easily run behind the flashing and into the home.

Roof vents

Roof vents are a means of allowing outside air to enter and exit attics and ventilation spaces of a home. Plastic vents might crack and allow water to enter, and metal ones can form broken seams. The best fix here is simply to replace the roof vent and surrounding materials.

Fields of shingles

The expanse of shingles, slate, or shakes on your roof is known as the field. While including the field might essentially mean we’ve covered the entire roof at this point, the field is generally only a potential leak site to worry about if you have an older roof or if you have cracked or missing shingles. But it remains a common leak site nonetheless for this reason. Walking on your roof could even crack certain types of shingles such as slate, concrete tile, and clay tile (not to mention these roofing materials are difficult to walk on), so you will need to pay careful attention should the need to step out onto your roof arise. When in doubt, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional roofer who is experienced in working with these types of roofing.

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