5 Major Causes of Roof Leaks in Park City

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Winters in Park City put homes to the test. The average snowfall in Park City presents many challenges for homes and homeowners.

We get called out to dozens of leaking roofs during the winter and have found that a few recurring issues cause most leaks.

Let’s take a look at five common reasons that we see in the field that cause roof leaks in Park City.

1. Old Roofs

One of the biggest causes of leaking roofs is simply the age of the roof. Depending on the roofing materials used, roofs are supposed to last between 15 and 30 years with metal roofs estimated to last 50 years.

As a roof age's, it begins to break down due to water, wind, and the elements. A roof starts to lose its surface material, and the lower layers start getting exposed.

In the later stages of a roofs life, it begins losing the ability to protect your home from the elements; seals will start to break down, calking will begin breaking, and shingles will lose their surface layer.

Often, the cause of consistent roof leaks is an old roof that needs to be replaced.

2. Ice Dams

You’ve likely seen ice dams around Park City and possibly on your own home. Ice dams are ice formations that form on the eave of a roof and can grow to the ground.

Ice dams are caused by a constant thawing and freezing of snowmelt on the roof of a home.

As water melts and freezes, it is possible for water to find its way through your roofing material. Water will work its way into any small crack or opening.

The bigger an ice dam gets, the more potential there is for water to penetrate your roof and get into your home.

Big ice dams can also rip off shingles and hardware off of your roof that makes it vulnerable to leaks.

Ice dams are a significant cause of leaks in Park City. If you want to find out how to prevent ice dams we wrote an article on preventing ice dams in Park City.

3. Improper Valley Roofing

The valleys on any home are some of the most vulnerable spots for roof leaks.

Valleys are vulnerable to leaks because they break up the roofing material and require unique details to ensure that they are watertight.

The change in roof directing at valleys means that there is a break in the singles or metal. These areas require additional Ice and Water shield as well as clean details and valley metal to ensure that they won’t leak.

4. Faulty Chimney Flashing and Seals

Chimneys are similar to the valleys of a roof Because chimney caps cause breaks in a roof.

If not correctly roofed, chimneys are vulnerable to water penetration.

Using additional ice and water shield, flashing metal, and careful detailing will make your chimney watertight and help prevent leaks.

Many roofers often overlook chimney details and often cause roof leaks in Park City.

5. Roof Penetrations

Another major cause of roof leak in Park City is roof penetrations. Any roof penetration can become a problem because water will find its way in your home.

Some common roof penetrations that cause issues are improper roofing penetrations(nails), wrong hardware used(screws, nails, washers), and screw penetrations on metal roofs.

Roofing penetrations are usually a result of improper roofing installation but can be caused by other things like falling branches.

Metal roofs are especially vulnerable to roof penetrations. This is the reason we only install standing seam metal roofs that have no exposed fasteners. Exposed fasteners on metal roofs can let water in and cause leaks.

Conclusion

Every year we get called out to leaks in Park City, and we have found that most leaks are caused by roof penetrations, old roofs, improperly roofed valleys & chimneys, and ice dams.

Park City winters can put homes to the test and can cause problems for homeowners.

Having a high-quality roof will help ensure that your home doesn’t experience leaks in the winter.

 
Randy Jimenez