Why Does Your Kitchen Ceiling Leak After A Heavy Rain?

The constant threat of heavy wind and rain from afternoon storms may leave you in a continuous state of anxiety, especially if you are away from home when a bad storm occurs.

It seems that your kitchen roof leaks only after a heavy rain, especially if it's accompanied by strong winds. If it leaks when you are away, you can't place a trash can or bucket under the leak to minimize water damage or try to move vulnerable objects from the leak area.

Instead of trying to protect your kitchen from the leak, you need to find a way to prevent it altogether.

Why is it difficult to find the source of a leak?

The problems with leaks that bedevil both roofing contractors and homeowners is that water does not always flow straight down from your roof. It may travel a winding route around roofing materials and inside ceilings to leak at an area far from the actual damage to the roof.

This means that you must look beyond the area of the roof that is directly above the leak to find a potential cause.

What are the possible sources of a roof leak?

If the leak is in the kitchen, you will want to inspect the general area near the kitchen. While leaking water does travel, it doesn't travel the length of the house. Here are some possible causes of your leak.

Broken or missing tiles

Heavy rain and wind from summer storms can fling tree branches and other debris onto your roofing tiles. If a tile is broken or completely torn away, water, ever the opportunist, will find its way inside your home.

If only a very small hole is formed, the leak may be limited to a very small amount of water under a normal, light rain. The water may remain inside the ceiling and evaporate before it can leak into your kitchen.

However, a sudden rush of water from a storm will produce a leak even from a smaller opening.

You should replace all broken or loose tiles and roofing nails, and then cover the nail heads with roofing cement to be sure that the openings from the original nails weren't the entry points for the leak.

Low points on the roof

If a section of your roof looks like a small lake after a storm, you have some level of structural damage in that area that is causing the section to sink and water to gather at the lowest point on the roof.

This is a job for a roofing contractor because either a section or the entire roof may need replacement.

Checking your gutters

There are two possibilities in which your gutters may be responsible for the leak. The gutters may be full of dirt and debris, or they may be pitched in the wrong direction.

If the gutters are dirty, water cannot flow to the downspouts in an efficient manner. The combined weight of the dirt and the trapped water may cause the gutters to pull away from the exterior wall.

This allows water to access the area between wall and gutter, eventually damaging the wall to the point that water enters the home.

Your gutters need to be pitched (tilted) slightly toward your downspouts or the water will flow to the other end where it cannot drain. This will also cause your gutters to pull away from the wall and experience the same problems.

Clean any debris from your gutters with a gutter cleaning too, which is essentially a narrow hand spade, and then use a stick level to check the pitch of your gutter.

If it's pitched the wrong way, remove the gutter spikes or screws that hold the gutter to the wall, and reposition the gutter.

If that doesn't work, you may need a professional from a company like All American Roofing Incorporated. Roofing repair for leaks can be maddening for the average homeowner