Your roof protects your home’s interior from the elements, but it’s not always up to the task. Age-related deterioration, storm damage and other factors can compromise its ability to stop water from entering your home, resulting in leaks that can cause serious damage.

If your roof has a leak, it’s important to determine the cause and have it repaired as soon as possible before it becomes a bigger problem.

Here’s a closer look at 6 reasons why your roof might be leaking.

Shingles

Broken, loose or missing shingles provide an entry point for rain or melting snow to get inside your home’s interior. Shingles can become damaged from hail, falling tree limbs or severe storms. High winds can loosen them or tear them off your roof.

Flashing

Metal flashing covers vulnerable spots on your roof where water could seep into your attic, such as the joints at dormers or around chimneys. When flashing corrodes or cracks, it raises the risk of having water get inside. Flashing sections can also become loose if the caulking around them cracks or if the nails holding them in place fall off.

Age

Many roofs are built to last for decades, but they eventually begin to deteriorate. Exposure to severe weather, temperature changes and the sun’s UV rays over the years can lead to wear and tear that weakens roofing materials. The amount of time that your roof lasts depends on what it’s made of and how well it’s been taken care of.

Certain types of materials, such as metal, last much longer than other materials, including asphalt.

Ice Dams

Ice dams occur when snow melts, then refreezes at your roof’s edge. This ridge of ice prevents the rest of the melting snow from draining off your roof. Instead, it can seep under it and enter your home, causing considerable and costly water damage.

Gutters

If your gutters are clogged with debris, water can’t drain into them and flow away from your home. The water ends up sitting on your roof instead, where it can leak through to the interior. Keeping your gutters clear of branches, leaves and other buildup on a regular basis can help prevent leaks.

Vents

The areas around the vent pipes that stick out of your roof can let water in if they’re not properly sealed. The vent pipes can also crack or become damaged if they’re made of plastic, which increases the risk of leaks.

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