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Cincinnati Homeowners – Get Ready For Roof Leaks

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

After the severe winter we recently experienced here in Cincinnati, roof leaks are becoming a common problem. It is likely that you may wake up one morning and notice spots on your ceiling or water coming in through a ceiling fixture or fan, like the two pictures below.  Maybe you have never experienced a roof leak before… so why now?

Video on Roof Leak Causes

Ceiling Drywall Damage from Roof Leak

Ceiling Drywall Damage from Roof Leak

Bathroom Ceiling Drywall Water Stain

Bathroom Ceiling Drywall Water Stain

Worn Roof Components Can Cause Roof Leaks

Roof components are like any other part of your home.  They wear out in time, especially when exposed to the elements.

While there are many causes of roof leaks, I thought I’d focus on the top two that I commonly see this time of year.  The first cause is some sort of metal flashing malfunction and the other is rubber vent boot failure.  OK, I apologize… let me define those two terms.

Roof Flashing: Roof flashing is simply thin sheets of aluminum or steel used in places to cover holes and gaps that shingles can’t.

Vent Boot: Combines roof flashing with a large rubber collar that seals protruding vent pipes from the roof.

These two components are particularly susceptible to storm damage and exposure over time to the elements.  When they fail, they allow water to enter the home, thereby destroying your drywall, insulation, and framing and sometimes causing mold to grow.  Ensuring that these roof components are maintained and/or repaired quickly if they fail, will ensure you avoid any roof leaks before they can damage your home.

Here is an example of some flashing that has failed.  Notice all the gaps where water can get in.  During the winter, water freezing and the subsequent expansion of ice only widens these pathways, exacerbating the leak.  You can see in the picture where someone has attempted to seal this flashing with mortar and caulk.

Roof Flashing Needs Repair

Roof Flashing Needs Repair

Roof Vent Boot Needs Repair

Roof Vent Boot Needs Repair

While the issues in these pictures look like a mess, they’re actually easily repaired. On the left is a picture of an attempted seal using mortar and caulk, and on the right, a cracked rubber collar surrounding a vent pipe.

Often times the rubber vent collar has deteriorated to the point you can actually poke your finger through them.  Consequently, water travels right down the pipe and into your home, since that collar is the only barrier between you and the sky.

Don’t Ignore the Roof Leak

Roof leaks are like cancer—they don’t typically get better with time.  Acting quickly can ensure you avoid a major home repair bill from the subsequent damage a roof leak may cause.  Better yet, proactive maintenance to ensure your roof flashing is properly attached and vent books are in serviceable condition will spare you the heartache of waking up one morning and discovering water stains on the ceiling, as in the pictures above.

Roof Leak Repair Tips

If you have experienced a roof leak, wait to repair the drywall damage until you are certain the leak has stopped.  There is no sense paying to have something fixed twice!

And finally, if you haven’t had your roof inspected recently, invite one of our craftsmen to take a look at it for you while he’s there.  It only takes a few minutes and solving a minor problem now can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repair bills in the future.

Let ProMaster Do My Roof Repair

ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati is a great choice for those who don’t have the time or inclination to perform their own roof repairs.  Whether you notice a leak or missing shingle, ProMaster has a skilled team of professionals who understand that attention to detail and thorough analysis are the keys to success in solving any roof leak.

Keep in mind that our craftsmen aren’t just pros at roofing; they are skilled at other home repair tasks like drywall repair, concrete & masonry, drywall & paint, electrical, flooring & tile, and plumbing. Our multi-skilled craftsmen represent a distinct advantage over other repair contractors due to their ability to perform numerous tasks associated with a roof repair repair project.

Call (513) 322-2914

or Click here for ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman


  1. Great information about roof leaks!
    I have seen rubber vent boots with cracks large enough for my finger to fit through. What's even more amazing is that it had been that way for quite some time, but increased rains have made the cracks more susceptible to leaking.

  2. Great read! completely enjoyed it! I guess apart from the reasons you mentioned, after winter, ice-dams could also be a reason behind roof leaks?

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