What Causes a Leaking Roof?

A leaking roof often becomes noticeable when the ceiling has a notable watermark in the plasterboard. Or the cornice is warped due to the moisture.

Heavy rain, hail, storms and wet weather events like cyclones can put your roof to the test.

It can be difficult to identify where the leak is coming from and often requires a bit of investigation work by an experienced roof plumber.

There are a number of causes for a leaking roof. But here are some common ones and solutions for each.

Common causes for a leaking roof:

Blocked gutters

Gutters full of leaf matter and debris can not only block your downpipes, it can force the water to overflow back into the roof through the eaves. This type of water damage can be avoided through regular maintenance, and ensuring adequate storm water drainage is in place to remove rainwater away from the roof.

Blocked down pipes or storm water pipes

If the gutters are clear, but the down pipes or storm water pipes are blocked, the water will backflow through the gutters and overflow into the roof space. Always ensure down pipes and storm water pipes are free flowing. You can use a garden hose to test them to see if water comes back up through to the gutters.

Broken or missing tiles

Often hail or a falling tree branch can break roof tiles. Gail force winds can whip old tiles, which can allow water through the roof. If you have a tiled roof and suspect a leak, you will need a specialised roof plumber who has experience with tiled roofs.

Rusted ridge capping

Ridge capping is where the roof edges meet at an angle. If the ridge capping is rusted out, it will let water into your roof cavity. There is no quick fix for this as it will need to be replaced.

Rusted or blocked gulley

Roof valleys are the ‘V’ shaped metal channels that running through the folds of the roof. Valleys will catch leaf debris and much like gutters, if this debris is not removed, rainwater will find its way into your ceiling.

Rusted roof

This is a given that a rusted roof will allow water through rusty holes. The only solution is to get the roof replaced.

Faulty flashings

Flashings will be used around the edges of the roof or around penetrations like vents and skylights. If the flashing hasn’t been well made or moulded around the penetration, water will find its way into your roof.

Incorrectly installed roof sheets or roof flashings

Incorrectly installed roof sheets and roof flashings can result in roof leaks. Although you may not be aware of a leak until a big storm, persistent rain or strong winds and rain from a certain direction allow water into the roof, causing water damage to the ceiling.  In this case, replacement of the roof and flashings will be needed and silicone is only a temporary fix.

Salmon Plumbing has experience with metal roofs, including Colourbond. If you have leaking metal roof which needs inspecting and replacing, give the team a call on 3862 2600.

Detecting Leaks – Where They’re Most Likely and How to Find Them

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background

The sound of water can be incredibly soothing: think of the rolling sound of waves or the gentle tap of rain on the roof. But as a home or business owner, the steady drip-drip-drip of a tap or pipe inside the wall is not only really annoying; it can be a warning sign that your home or office is at risk of serious water damage.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a quick reference list about how to detect water leaks that you suspect are there but can’t hear or see.

Drain Leaks

Drain leaks can be really bad news, especially if the leak is occurring on a floor other than the ground floor and there is a ceiling of another room below. Drain leaks occur when water that is in a wet area like a shower or bathtub does not all exit through the drain. Instead, the water escapes through joints in the drain as well.

This problem is especially common where there is a fibreglass bathtub or shower flooring. Unlike tiles and grout, fibreglass flexes and warps a little bit each time that weight is placed on it. That means that after years of normal use, the tight seal around the drain hole weakens and water might find its way through. It is also possible over long periods of time that slight movement of pipework can cause loosening of pipework and fittings causing water leaks that can not always be seen.  A steady, continual leak underneath a bathtub or shower will slowly ruin the floor under the bathroom or the ceiling of the room below.

There’s a simple way to test whether your drain has a minor leak. The first is filling the tub or shower area with water and observing for warping/leaks from the floor below. Water stains and discolouration are also tell-tale signs. The other tactic to use is to fill the area with water then mark the level of the water on the wall. Check back after a short period. If the level has gone down, then it’s likely you’ve got a drain leak.

Tile Leaks

Whether it’s a laundry, shower or bathroom, tile leaks are sneaky, hard to find and can cause serious damage to the wall behind it. Gaps in tiles caused by loose tiles or cracked grout, even if they aren’t regularly covered in water, can be a huge headache. That’s because while water won’t leak, steam and moisture will get behind the tile and between it and the wall. This can lead to the wall rotting from the inside out.

Signs to watch out for are peeling paint, tiny cracks in the grout next to tiles, and mould that grows back regularly because it has a warm damp home behind the cracked tile to grow in.

Toilet Leaks

Few things are as concerning as a leaking toilet, but there are some simple things to be on the lookout for to make sure you can get things fixed before it leaks all over the bathroom area. The first thing to watch for is a toilet that rocks or “gives” a bit when it’s pushed or when the flush button is pushed. Minor leaks around the toilet are also obvious causes for concern, as is the appearance of the water pooling more on one side of the bowl of the toilet than the other.

No matter where your leak or suspected leak is, a professionally qualified plumber can take a look for you, point out where you might have problems, and potentially save you thousands of dollars in repair costs by getting on top of a problem early. Our friendly, experienced team of professionals at Salmon Plumbing in Brisbane are ready and available to do this for you today, so give us a call to set an appointment.