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Roof Leaks and Why They Happen

How to keep your LI/NYC roof watertight

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Leaking roofs are annoying and unpleasant. At first you may only notice minor roof leaks in heavy rain. But with each rainy season the leaks grow bigger and more frequent. Before you know it, every time it rains water comes into your house.

Left ignored, that minor roof leak can become a major repair. Patching a small hole in your roofing now can save you from ceiling damage or even roof replacement.

How Do You Find the Source of a Roof Leak?

You can’t repair a leak until you find it. But it isn’t always easy to see damage to your roof. Professional roofers can spot issues that untrained eyes would miss.

The first step is to trace the stains on your ceiling or wall back to their source. That can give you a general idea of where your roof problem lies. You can also examine your attic with a flashlight for signs of dampness, mold growth or water stains.

If you have an older roof, regular roof inspections are a good idea. Roofing professionals are experts in storm damage. They know what high winds can do and they know where to look for problems.

Here are some of the reasons why you may be having leak problems.


With every season, your roof absorbs a little more damage from the elements. Shingles become brittle with age, as do the sealants used to help hold the shingles on your roof. In time they begin to crack from a wind or from the weight of a snowfall.

Leaks are often the first sign that your roof is showing its age. The sooner you replace your worn shingles with new ones, the less likely you are to face structural water damage.

Patching up leaks every time it rains is just a temporary fix. A new roof can solve you worries and give you peace of mind for up to 50 years.

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As the wind blows against your roof, air pressure pushes the shingles upward. Roofing nails and sealant hold the shingles fast. But over the long term, that pressure can weaken their hold. Or a strong gust will strike at just the right angle to leave a tiny gap in the shingle seal.

Wind damage leaks are annoying, but they are easy enough to fix. If you have a roofing expert inspect your roof after a good storm, you can locate the damaged roof material. Your contractor can then take care of the damage.

Roof repair costs for minor wind damage are considerably less than the cost of roof replacement. And if you are looking for a roof replacement, you have many options available for wind resistant shingles.

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Ice dams are a common problem in New York and Long Island. Sunlight warms the snowy roof and sends water pouring down. But as it reaches the colder side of the roof the water freezes again. As ice accumulates it can block the water flow.

This water can creep back under the shingles or run into the eaves and roof fascia. If it finds an opening, that water will become a leak. Otherwise it will soak the shingles and underlayment. Ultimately this can lead to roof deck rot.

Flashing helps protect your roof from ice dams. Flashing forms a watertight seal between the shingles and the deck.


Gutters carry rainwater away from your roof to the ground. But when those gutters are full of leaves and debris, they can become clogged. This results in water pouring down the sides of the gutters onto the fascia and soffit.

As the wall becomes saturated, standing water pools on the roof eaves. This can leak down into your home’s walls and ceiling.

Keeping your gutters clean can be a challenge, especially if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of trees. But it’s a small effort that can save you a lot of trouble later.

Clogged Gutter


If you notice water coming in around your chimney or heat vents, chances are there is a problem with the flashing. Flashing a chimney properly takes time and requires some skill. Many roofers don’t have that skill and so they leave space where water can seep through.

Roof vents need a roof boot that redirects water onto the shingles and keeps it out of your home. Poorly installed vents can lead to water leaks and seepage.

We have experience both in flashing roof repair and in chimney installation and maintenance. If you’re having trouble with leaky chimneys or vents, give us a call. We’re specialists in emergency roof leak repair and can take care of your problem fast.

Roof vent flashing


If you see water seeping in around your window during storms, there could be several causes. Most involve improper installation. Badly sealed windows don’t just let rain in, they’re also horribly energy-inefficient. We can inspect your window and correct any installation failures.

Leaks around a dormer suggest issues with the roof valley. If your roof installer didn’t seal the valley properly, you may see leakage during rainstorms.

When properly installed, the valley between the dormer and roof should be watertight. The valley directs the water to the gutters. Dormers are a common failure point with less skilled roofers.

Landmarks Pro Designer Roofing Series
Financing your home roof replacement

Financing a roof project can be easier than you think. County Roofing has been doing roof repairs in New York and Long Island for over three decades. During that time, we’ve worked with many local lenders on residential financing. We can put you in touch with regional lenders who are happy to work with you.

If you already have a lender, we make sure to provide all the necessary paperwork. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we have it down to a science. Drop us a line and one of our team members will be happy to explain how we can help.

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?

While homeowner’s insurance will cover roof leaks caused by covered perils like storms. Most homeowner’s policies do not cover water damage from a leaking roof caused by normal wear and tear. There may also be limitations or exclusions on the types of damage covered. Talk to your insurance company for details on your coverage.

The best way to avoid damages from roof leaks is to take care of them before they become major issues. Minor repairs can save you a lot of money later on. At County Roofing, we know how to fix a leaking roof. We spot the breach and patch it before it can do more water damage.

We’ve got experience on all types of roofs, including metal roofing. We’ve prevented water from seeping into homes across Long Island and New York City.

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