7 Causes of roof leaks during heavy rain in Philadelphia

1. Skylights

People that have skylights in their roofs will be much more likely to experience roof leaks during heavy raining periods than people without skylights. No matter how skillfully the skylights were installed, roof leaks will still be possible in a heavy storm. While most people shouldn’t have problems during light rains, heavy rains may be different. Skylights remain on properly installed flashing details to keep water out. Older skylights may need to be replaced due to glazing failures or issues with the existing flashings. On flat roofs often time the roof may be built up too high and the skylight may need to be raised above the roof level to prevent leaks.

2. Plumbing

Sometimes a roof leak is actually a plumbing leak. Leaks can occur with something as simple and essential as a ventilation fan duct or a plumbing stack. Depending on the plumbing setup, some houses may be more vulnerable to leaks during heavy rains than others. Homeowners that are worried about these kinds of leaks can ask their plumbers or inspectors what they can do to minimize these kinds of problems, particularly if they live in areas prone to heavy rains. Often times the answer is as simple as having a roofing contractor come out to install a vent cap on top of exposed pipes. If a plumber can’t figure it out, you will need to call a professional roofing company.


Houses with chimneys will be more prone to intermittent roof leaks than houses without chimneys. While water can obviously leak inside through the chimney itself, the outside of masonry chimneys tend to retain water, leading to the possibility of a leak. People that have any imperfections in their roof shingles will be that much more likely to experience roof leaks if they also have chimneys. Proper Chimney flashings can prevent water damage including step flashings at each course of shingles and properly installed counter flashings. In many cases a steel chimney liner and integrated cap are needed to prevent water leaks.


Metal roofs can experience corrosion over time, so some homeowners may experience roof leaks simply because of wear and tear from their metal roofs. This is a particularly difficult problem to fix during seasons with heavy rain, which can cause additional damage to a corroded roof. Specialized paints with rust inhibitors can help to stop rust from spreading, and create a water tight barrier on top of the panels. Ask a professional roofing company like Reiter Roofing for advice on the best way to repair a metal roof.


Homeowners with attics that haven’t been ventilated properly may be indirectly putting themselves at risk for roof leaks. An improperly ventilated attic will cause ice dams to form in the winter, leading to potential leaks. This is often the case with a roof that will only leak in the winter time. Roof vent leaks during heavy rain can be caused by improperly installed ventilation. Improperly installed ridge ventilation can result in water damage caused by driving rain. Roof vent leaks are a common occurrence during high winds.  Heavy rainfall during temporarily warmer winter days will only make the situation worse for homeowners. Experienced roofing contractors will need to look into this for you and fix the problem.

6.Lack of Maintenance

All homeowners need to keep their roofs properly maintained, since roofing shingles eventually get old and crack. Sometimes, the roof leaks that occur during heavy rains happen because the components of the roof in question are finally starting to degrade. Homeowners that are experiencing roof leaks should always consider this possibility when they are wondering who they should call in order to address the problem. Flat roofs require periodic maintenance to prevent water from getting in. Flashing details need to be re-sealed every few years, and protective coatings should be applied to the roof to prolong its useful life. Reiter Roofing can help with roof leaks, clogged gutters and offers roofing repair and roof replacement.

7.Storm Damage

People that live in areas that are generally prone to bad weather may have suffered roof damage from previous storms. People that live in heavily wooded areas may have had a lot of animals climb on their roofs, or they may have had tree branches hit their roofs. A series of simple events like these can still lead to roof leaks down the line. Hail damage is one of the leading causes of a need for roof replacement.

If you have a leak and you think it may be from the roof schedule a roof inspection today to prevent any further damage to your roof. Reiter Roofing is here to help.

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Call us today at 215-335-9999 for a free estimate to repair or replace your roof, siding, or gutters, or click the button to go to our contact form.

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Call Today for a Free Estimate

Call us today at 215-335-9999 for a free estimate to repair or replace your roof, siding, or gutters, or click the button to go to our contact form.