Pleasanton home with a sporadic roof leak fixed by Element Roofing.

Why Does My Roof Leak Sporadically?

When we think of a leaky roof, what typically comes to mind is that cartoon scenario of a ceiling drip drip dripping into a gradually filling bucket or cooking pot below. It’s true that most roof leaks will make their presence well-known, either via a wet spot on the carpet, stains on the walls or ceiling, or the steady dripping sound. But what about a sporadic roof leak? What causes a roof to leak inconsistently, and what can you do about it? In this post we’ll discuss possible causes of intermittent roof leaks as well as how you can prevent and resolve them (or at least call upon the services of someone who can).

Possible Causes of a Sporadic Roof Leak

Quite frequently we receive calls from customers who are confused about why their roof withstood 5 heavy rainfalls, but is all of a sudden leaking during a light drizzle. An inconsistently leaky roof can be frustrating, because once the leak stops you might think the problem is over – but that’s far from the truth. Here, we explore a few possible causes of your sporadic roof leak that you might not have considered before.

  • Horizontal rain

Roof leaking sporadically being repaired by Element Roofing in Pleasanton, CA. Horizontal or windy rain is exactly what it sounds like: rain that runs horizontally rather than vertically. This isn’t the stuff of science fiction, it’s just the result of the combination of heavy rainfall and heavy winds. Horizontal rain has an effect on your home because it’s much more likely that water will accumulate underneath your shingles. Shingles were designed to let water hit at a 90 degree angle and then run off. If rain is hitting parallel to the shingles, it can easily seep underneath, exposing cracks and leaks that were otherwise concealed. Your last 5 nights of rain might have been leak-free, but one gusty and rainy evening can lead to a seemingly sporadic roof leak.

  • Heavy rain

Sometimes the sheer volume of rainfall leads to your sporadic roof leak. Normally, rain runs right off the roof and into the gutters, directing water away from the home. However, during heavy rainfall, your gutters might not be able to keep up. If water is lingering on your rooftop, it will be more likely to seep through the shingles and reveal weak spots in your roofing.

  • Ridge vents

If you have ridge vents on your roof, it’s possible that the wind is blowing rain down the vents and into your home. This is probably the least likely of the three scenarios listed here, but you shouldn’t rule out this possibility altogether.

What to Do About Intermittent Roof Leaks

  • Get it checked out

Just because a leak seems to come and go doesn’t give you an excuse to let it go unnoticed. If you notice any sort of roof leak or water damage, call a roofing contractor in your area right away. You’d regret not doing so sooner if your sporadic roof leak turned into a constant one. Play it safe and have the number of a licensed roofer on hand for emergency roof leak repairs.

  • Locate the source

Locating the source of a sporadic roof leak can be difficult. Try to call a repair technician the moment you notice the leak so they can pinpoint the source while the leak is active. Otherwise, the roofing technician should be able to look for water marks, stains, dampness, and other telltale signs of a leak even if the roof is not actively leaking at the time of inspection.

  • Consider a new roof

If you’re experiencing more and more roof leaks, you might want to consider having a new roof installed. And if you live in an area that gets heavy rainfall and high winds quite often, consider installing tile shingles instead of asphalt shingles for optimum protection against the elements.

Element Roofing is your trusted source for all things roofing in the Bay Area.  Give us a call for your roof leak repair needs, roofing in Livermore, roofing in Orinda and the rest of the Tri-Valley area.