Why Dormers Are Common Sources Of Roof Leaks

A dormer is a structural element that projects from a sloping part of the roof. The main functions of dormers are to increase internal attic space, improve ventilation, and improve natural lighting. Unfortunately, dormers are common sources of roof leaks. Here are three reasons dormers tend to leak:

Inadequate Flashing

If the flashing at the connection of the dormer and the main roof is too short, then it can allow (or even direct) water into the house, instead of keeping it out. The risk of leakage increases even further if roof installations, such as communication cables, weaken the areas around the short flashing.

Flashing installation is one of the most important stages of dormer construction. Ideally, a section of the flashing should extend well under the shingles to provide adequate protection from moisture.

Inadequate Installation

Inadequate insulation in the dormer walls may also lead to a serious water leak. During the cold season when the roof is covered in ice and snow, interior heat manages to reach the roof due to the missing insulation. This heat melts the ice and snow and leads to water accumulating on this part of the roof. Since the surrounding areas of the roof will still be frozen, the water will stand on the roof for a long time and have time to seep through the roofing materials. Of course, this problem will be worse if this part of the roof is already vulnerable to leakage, for example, due to roof projections or inadequate flashing. 

Inferior DIY Construction

In many cases, homeowners add dormers to their roofs almost like an afterthought. That isn't bad if the construction is handled by a professional, but many people approach it as a DIY project. Unfortunately, dormer installation is a complex and challenging project that requires considerable experience. In fact, you shouldn't try it if you haven't successfully completed a few roof projects.

In fact, some roofs aren't even suitable candidates for dormer addition. You need a roofing professional to analyze your roof slope, headroom, and the structural strength of the existing roof, among other factors, before starting work on your dormer. Such things are easy to ignore if you don't involves a professional. You may even be tempted to scavenge for materials, such as flashing, which may be inferior and lead to roof leaks.

Dormer leaks are preventable. You just need to use the high-quality materials and have somebody skilled handle the construction. If your dormer wasn't professionally installed and is leaking, forget about patchwork repairs and call a roofing contractor like Ratliff Enterprises for a solution.