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Why is My Roof Leaking?

Unfortunately, in Britain, we’re not always blessed with good weather in the UK, meaning flat roof leaks in heavy rain in the UK are common. Rain on roofs allowing water to seep through is far from ideal, leaving many wondering why exactly their ceiling is leaking from rain. While tile roof leaks in heavy rain can be quick to start, they’re rarely quick to fix, and the repairs are far from cheap. Therefore, it’s essential to spot the warning signs as soon as possible and, more importantly, understand why roof leaks happen. This is because water ingress can cause substantial damage to your home, meaning fast action is imperative.

Even if your roof only leaks in heavy rain, discovering an issue with your roof can be a nightmare all the way from the diagnosis to the repair. Your roof is your home’s most vital barrier against the elements, meaning it needs to remain in good condition. As a result, we’ve put together a list of reasons why your roof may be leaking.


A lot of the time, a ceiling leak from the rain is caused by general wear and tear. Although roof tiles have a life span that exceeds decades, there will come a time when they simply can’t withstand the impact of the elements. As with all products, roof tiles become less effective with time, which makes them more susceptible to water ingress.

In order to maintain the quality of your roof tiles for as long as possible, you should regularly remove moss. You won’t be able to stop the ageing process completely, and the fact that your roof tiles will be worn down by debris, impacts, adverse weather, and extreme temperatures is inevitable. Not only will your roof tiles eventually become more brittle, but they’re likely to crack at some point, too.

Poorly Installed or Damaged Flashing

For your roof to be properly protected, lead flashing must be installed appropriately. Flashings are designed to seal and protect the joints of your roof, as these are weak points that may allow for unwanted pests or water ingress. Consequently, damaged or poorly installed flashing creates an ideal opportunity for roof leaks to occur. As with roof tiles, flashing can incur damage from general wear and tear due to direct impacts, fluctuating temperatures, and more.

Since flashing protects joints, including chimneys, skylights, etc., it’s vital that any problems with your flashing are readily identified and amended. Otherwise, chimney leaks in heavy rain will become increasingly common.

Missing/Broken Roof Slates/Tiles

Another common reason for roof leaks is slipped or damaged roof tiles, as your tiles are a key form of protection. As previously mentioned, your roof tiles can be affected in a number of ways, and although they’re designed to withstand decades of impact, there will come a day when they can’t take any more. Thankfully, identifying missing or cracked tiles is quite easy, as chips are often noticeable, and you may even spot rogue tiles in your back garden.

The role of your roof tiles is to protect your underlay, meaning any tiling problems allow water to seep into your underlay and structural timbers. Following this, your home is put at risk of damp, condensation, and rot. If caught early enough, fixing the issue could be as simple as replacing the tiles; however, if rot has started to occur, further work will be required.

Damaged Underlay or Membranes

In the instance that roof slates/tiles have been damaged, this exposes the roofing underlay and membranes to the elements. Of course, the purpose of underlay is to direct moisture towards your gutters; however, there’s only so much moisture that they’re able to withstand. Too much water will lead to pooling, which can cause issues such as tears and rot, resulting in persistent leaks.

The Use of Incorrect Materials

Your roof’s pitch will determine which materials are most appropriately used, meaning some materials won’t manage to protect your roof to the correct level. For instance, shallow-pitched roofs typically require a double layer of underlay, as extra waterproof protection is required. This is because a low-pitched roof is more exposed to the elements, meaning additional protection is required to avoid damage. In fact, manufacturers always suggest leaving smaller gaps between tiles and using more fixings for low-pitched roofs. Therefore, it’s important to employ trusted roofing companies, such as Leeds & District Roofing LTD, to carry out this work.

Incorrectly Placed Fixings

For roofing fixings and nails to be effective, they should be placed into the rafters, as missing the rafter leads to a nail piercing into your roof space. Consequently, a gateway is created for water to seep into your property. This issue is exacerbated by changing temperatures in the UK, as cold weather may lead to the nail freezing; though, once it warms up, the ice will melt and run into your loft space. What’s more, the problem can be exacerbated by poorly ventilated or insulated loft spaces. In fixing this issue, the nail will need to be removed, and the hole will need to be filled.

Contact Leeds & District Roofing LTD About Your Leaky Roof

Here at Leeds & District Roofing LTD, we’re equipped to handle all manner of roofing issues. If you’re wondering, “why does my roof only leak sometimes in the UK?” get in touch with our team today.

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