Water and shingles


If you’re a homeowner in New York or New Jersey, one of the most important things you need to do is to keep your roof in good condition. 

One common issue that can cause serious damage to your roof is water running under shingles.

When water seeps through the shingles, it can penetrate the underlying structure, such as the plywood decking or roof rafters, leading to their deterioration.

Rotting wood not only compromises the stability of the roof but also provides a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent water from running under shingles. We will address them in this article!

Understanding Shingles For Your Home

Shingles are a common roofing material used in homes. They are made of various materials, including asphalt, wood, metal, and slate.

Shingles are popular in the northeast because they are durable, affordable, and relatively straight forward to install. 

Shingles are designed to last for many years, often up to 20 or 30 years, depending on the type of shingle and the quality of the installation. 

Importance of Proper Shingle Installation

Proper shingle installation is critical to prevent water from running under shingles and causing damage to your roof.

When shingles are not installed correctly, they can create gaps and spaces that allow water to seep through and cause damage to your roof deck, insulation, and other parts of your home.

One of the most important steps in proper shingle installation is ensuring that the underlayment is installed correctly. The underlayment is a layer of material that is installed between the roof deck and the shingles. It acts as a barrier to prevent water from penetrating the roof deck and causing damage to your home.

Shingles that are not aligned correctly can create gaps and spaces that allow water to seep through.

Additionally, shingles that are not installed correctly can become loose and can be blown off during high winds, leaving your roof vulnerable to water damage.

Water Damage: Causes and Effects

Water running under shingles can lead to significant damage to your roof and your property.

Understanding the causes and effects of water damage can help you prevent this issue from occurring.

Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Poor roof slope or inadequate drainage: If your roof has a low slope or flat design, water may not be efficiently directed away from the shingles, increasing the likelihood of water infiltration.
  • Damaged or missing shingles: Poorly installed or damaged shingles can leave gaps where water can penetrate. Additionally, damaged shingles, such as those with cracks, tears, or curling, provide openings for water to seep through.
  • Clogged gutters: Clogged gutters prevent water from flowing freely away from the roof, causing it to accumulate and potentially seep under the shingles.
  • Ice dams: During the winter, ice dams can form on the roof, preventing water from draining properly and leading to water infiltration.

Effects of Water Damage

Water damage can cause several issues, including:

  • Structural damage: This is a biggie. Water infiltration can cause wood rot, weakening the structure of your roof and potentially leading to collapse.
  • Mold growth: Moisture from water infiltration can create an ideal environment for mold growth, which can be harmful to your health and difficult to remove.
  • Energy loss: Water infiltration can damage insulation, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.
  • Decreased property value: Water damage can decrease the value of your property, making it more difficult to sell in the future.

Preventing water from running under shingles is essential to protecting your roof and your property from damage. By understanding the causes and effects of water damage, you can take appropriate preventive measures and ensure the longevity of your roof.

Preventing Water from Running Under Shingles

Roof water damageIn this section, we’ll discuss the most effective methods for preventing water from running under shingles.

Proper Shingle Installation

One of the most important factors in preventing water from running under shingles is proper installation.

Shingles should be installed with the correct amount of overlap and nailed down securely. If shingles are not installed correctly, they can lift up and allow water to seep underneath.

Use of Underlayment

Underlayment is a waterproof material that is installed beneath the shingles.

It provides an extra layer of protection against water infiltration.

There are several types of underlayment available, including felt and synthetic materials. When installing underlayment, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Importance of Drip Edges

Drip edges are metal strips that are installed along the edges of the roof.

They help to direct water away from the fascia and into the gutters. Drip edges also provide a barrier that prevents water from running under the shingles.

It’s important to ensure that the drip edges are installed correctly and extend beyond the edge of the roof.

Flashing Installation

Flashing is a material that is used to seal gaps and joints in the roof. It’s typically made of metal or rubber and is installed around chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations.

Proper flashing installation is crucial for preventing water from running under shingles. If flashing is not installed correctly, it can allow water to seep into the roof and cause damage.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Regular maintenance and inspection of your roof is essential to ensure its longevity and prevent water infiltration under shingles. Here are some tips to keep your roof in good condition:

  • Inspect your roof at least twice a year: Have a professional inspect your roof in the spring and fall to check for any damage, wear, or tear. Look for any cracks, missing or damaged shingles, and any signs of water damage.

  • Clean your gutters: Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and spill onto the roof, which can lead to water infiltration under shingles. Clean your gutters regularly to prevent this.

  • Trim trees around your roof: Trees that are too close to your roof can damage it during storms or high winds. Trim any branches that are too close to your roof to prevent them from falling on it.

  • Check your flashing: Flashing is the material that seals the joints and edges of your roof. Regular inspection and maintenance of flashing are crucial to ensure its integrity and prevent water infiltration.

  • Remove debris: Debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt can accumulate on your roof and cause water to pool, which can lead to water infiltration under shingles. Remove any debris from your roof regularly.

Consider Segelman Shaw Roofing, Siding & Gutters

House Exterior ContractorAs our company name reflects, our specialty is roofing, siding, and gutters. Hundreds of NY and NJ homeowners put their trust in us to properly maintain their home exterior. 

Whether it’s maintenance or an emergency service from a storm, our team can assess and resolve your situation. For a free estimate, give us a call at (845) 364-8200 or email us at TheOffice@letsroof.com.


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Segelman Shaw Roofing Siding & Gutters

1 Executive Blvd., Suite 105B, Suffern, NY 10901

NJ: 201-530-9500
NY: 845-364-8200
WC: 914-874-1197 

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