Winston Salem Roofing 101: Why Does My Roof Only Leak Sometimes?

Our Winston Salem NC roofing professionals are roof leak detection specialists when it comes to hard to locate leaks. Most homeowners picture a roof leak the way we see it in the movies and in cartoons—the drip, drip, drip of water into a bucket on the floor. 

In reality, that’s not always the case. Although most roof leaks will result in wet patches on your carpet or flooring, it more often appears as damaging stains on the walls and ceilings of your home, as illness-causing damp and mold, and as an annoying drip that you only hear sometimes.

So why does your roof only leak sometimes? In this article, we’ll explore the causes behind an inconsistent roof leak, and what you can do to mitigate your risks at home. Keep in mind to make sure to get regular inspections from a trusted roofing Winston Salem NC contractor to prevent roof leaks.

Winston Salem Roofing Tips To Remember:

  • Act fast. Roof leaks can have a serious impact on your biggest investment: your home. Repairing a leaky roof now is much easier on your wallet than a total roof replacement and interior water damage in the future.
  • Get dry. Once a repair has been made, ensure the area is thoroughly dried. Reputable roofing contractors—like our team at Grace Roofing and Construction—can show you how to do that.
  • Water doesn’t follow a straight line if it can follow an easy line. Roof damage on the exterior of your home very rarely tracks to where the damage is being done on the interior. This article will show you how to find a metal roof leak in your home—or who to contact to have it done fast.

7 Reasons Your Roofing Winston Salem NC Leak Is Happening Sporadically

#1. Skylights

One of the most common reasons Winston Salem homeowners call us out in a storm is that their skylight is leaking. More specifically, the seals, joinery, sealants, or flashing surrounding the skylight can become worn, deteriorated, or separated over time. Typically, a small area of degradation will result in the area only leaking in heavy North Carolina rainstorms.

#2. Plumbing Mistaken For Faulty Roofing Winston Salem NC

If the weather has been dry when you notice water damage, condensation, or the tell-tale drip, drip sound of a leak, you could potentially have plumbing issues on your hands.

Equipment that has been ducted in—like your ventilation and heat/cooling system—could have sustained wear and tear, or damage. Your whiteware—fridges, freezers, washing machines, etc.—may not be operating at optimum capacity.

If you notice signs of a leak in dry, calm weather, but specifically at a certain time of day, the first place to check is your bathrooms. Leaky faucets are a quick and affordable DIY fix. Leaky pipes are a little more complicated, but infinitely more affordable than water remediation work throughout your home if left unchecked.

#3. Winston Salem Roofing Company Finds Chimneys As The Main Source Of Leaks

I love a good fire on a cold winter’s night. But I understand the risk involved in having an open fireplace. One of the lesser-mentioned risks is your chimney’s odds of leaking during storms.

It’s not always as obvious as water—or snow—coming down the chimney, either. The outer structure of a chimney is notorious for allowing water to settle. The retained water, in turn, increases the risk of leaching through imperfect roof shingles and damaging your ceiling or attic.  Make sure to have your chimney flashing checked by your local Winston Salem roofing company before winter gets here.

#4. Corrosion

Corrosion is an issue for older roofs. Newer metal roofing materials, especially those manufactured by trusted roofing brands, have a longer life span and more resilience to the elements over the years.

Typically, corroded roofs leak consistently in wet weather. If the moisture has leached into your walls or joinery, however, it may suddenly seem quiet…until the moisture seeps through that material and starts dripping again.

If your roof has begun to corrode—an issue that your local Winston Salem roofing professionals can spot through an inspection—it may have reached the end of its life. A reputable roofing company can talk to you about options to keep your home covered, safe, and dry.

#5. Poor ventilation in your Winston Salem Roofing System

Quality, consistent air circulation around your home is vital to its—and your family’s—health. A poorly ventilated attic causes melt-water to form on your roof over a cold Winston Salem winter. It finds its way into crevices and grooves in your shingles or around the gutters, freezes again, and repeats this process gradually until it makes it inside your home.

A lack of air circulating around your attic can also lead to condensation issues, causing moisture to settle in crevices and joints and trigger dangerous mold growth.

#6. Gutters

Some roof leaks need to be under extreme pressure before the water makes itself known. A leak in the fascia or soffit, for example, may only leak when the gutter running alongside it is full to overflowing. If the gutters are clear and running freely, the damaged area of the soffit isn’t in contact with any water to produce leaks.

You can prevent this type of issue by ensuring your gutters are free of tree and bird debris. The best time to do this is when the weather is dry and clear, but the forecast is predicting heavy rains or snowfall in the coming days.

#7. Horizontal Rain And Roofing Winston Salem NC

Heavy rains + strong winds = rain that looks like it’s falling sideways (and often, directly at your house. Much like #6, this kind of weather can expose areas of your roof that are usually sheltered from the rain to enough water for leaks to start.

Horizontal rain also comes in at the right angle to accumulate under roof shingles. On the more vulnerable underside of the shingle, this build-up of water can uncover minor cracks in the substrate and trigger a roof leak.  If you know your roof is nearing the end of its age pay attention during heavy storms for any signs of storm damage to your roof.

Winston Salem Roofing Pro-Tip

Keeping your roof properly maintained is simple and effective for spotting issues that could lead to a leak. By heading that leak risk off before it becomes a problem, you’ll save valuable time, protect your home, and score some much-needed peace of mind. The key is simple:

  1. Clear your gutters before storms or heavy rains
  2. Get regular roof inspections from a roofing professional you trust
  3. Fix problems as they arise
  4. Flat roofs can be tricky to  diagnose, make sure to contact a flat roof repair professional

By doing right by your roof now, you can prolong its life and performance for years—even decades—to come.

Does your roof need an inspection? Call our Winston Salem roof inspection professionals for peace of mind and a quality outcome.