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Sometimes a leak will travel 10-20 feet away from the penetration area.


Well this last week’s weather was pretty good, besides Friday night through Sunday where it rained like cats and dogs with lightning and thunder crashing all around the area, at least where I live (CAMAS, WA). 

While all this moisture was falling from the heavens I was noticing my gutters were full and spilling over the sides. Now listen, I clean my gutters more than a couple times a year and didn’t even have a notion this would be a problem. Come to find out that with all the dry weather and the wind from the spring I had a small layer of decomposed leaves and debris dried so hard that water would not pass through the downspout holes!

Literally like ¼ inch or less of material causing all this mess. So here I am out in the darn rain punching holes in the clogged downspouts, so the gutters would drain. Ugh. Now, that I have that vented (get it?) let’s move on.

Remember it doesn’t take much to cause a gutter to back up so that if your roof flashing isn’t correctly installed it will cause serious damage to your home. It got me thinking about other ways water can make it into your home, and how to prevent that from happening. But if it is too late to save your roof remember, All County Roofing is ready to assist you with a FREE Roof Estimate. Call Now! 360-869-1141

Roof leaks are a huge issue for many homes that can be hard problems to troubleshoot. I can be difficult to diagnose exactly where the source of water is! Different weather can produce different leaks and water has a funny way of traveling sometimes. It takes an experienced roofer to know where the leak starts, that is why you call All County Roofing.

Roofing uses gravity to keep water out of the home. When a leak occurs, it will take the path of least resistance. So, when trying to locate the source of the leak keep that in mind. However, horizontal roof boards can leave you scratching your head. A leak might be eight to 10 feet left or right from where you see the wet spot in the ceiling or attic. 


In one scenario, finding the source of a leak could be easy, While others will possibly require a garden hose and an inside spotter looking for drips or moisture. Honestly, it just depends on a multitude of variables: location of the home, type of roofing, how many layers, flashing, gutters, etc.


The Field of Shingles

If you have an older roof, it’s possible the leak is in the roof field. With regular shingles, look at the tops of the vertical knockouts. Look for missing colored granules. Look for cracks. Maybe a nail has backed itself out of the roof sheathing. Take your time, it is definitely worth it…


A valley is a line where two roof planes intersect. Valleys can be big problems if you do not trim the shingles correctly. When a shingle is trimmed for a valley you end up with a chisel point on the end of the shingle. If a second cut is not made to make this point like an arrow point, then water can travel along the top of the shingle and find its way inside your house.



Head Wall Flashing

When a roof stops at a vertical wall, metal flashing must be in place to direct water down the wall away from the stopping point of the shingles. This flashing may be behind wood siding or in front of a brick wall. The flashing should extend over the shingles at least three inches. Tar, caulk or roofing cement should never be used in conjunction with these materials.




Wall Step Flashing

You find these flashings where a roof climbs alongside a vertical wall. As each row of shingles is laid, a step flashing is installed over the shingle next to the wall. Part of the flashing turns up on the wall and the other portion gets covered by the next row of shingles. Look for rust or holes in these flashing’s.





Chimneys contain four different types of flashing. All must be right, or you will have a leak. Plus, the counter flashing that goes into the brick mortar joint must be right. A hairline crack above the flashing can allow vast amounts of water to run behind the flashing. Look for soldered corners of flashing that might be broken or have holes.



Plumbing Vent Flashing

Look for cracked rubber around the plumbing pipe. The flashing should dive up and under the shingles that extend up the roof from the middle of the plumbing vent. The bottom half of the flashing should be exposed and cover the shingles.




Non-Roof Leaks!

Sometimes you think you have a roof leak when in fact the roof is fine. Attic condensation is a prime example. High humidity can cause condensation and “rain” to fall in your attic. It can also make the underside of the roof sheathing look wet convincing you to think you have a leak instead. Chimney crowns can develop cracks. Siding can be missing above a roof. This can cause water to enter behind head flashing. 

There are so many different ways water can get in. The best practice is to do regular maintenance and check ups.


Good Luck! And Remember we are here to help.
Amboy, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Camas, Gresham, Hockinson, La Center, Portland, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, Woodland, Yacolt