Everything you Need to Know about Repairing a Leaking Roof.
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Detecting a roof leak early is the key to avoiding serious roof damage, but finding the problem is sometimes the most difficult aspect of roof repairs. Hiring professional roofing contractors will help you find the problem quickly. Finding the problem is the first step towards preventing costly problems down the road, it's a task you've got to take seriously. Determining the underlying cause of the leak is the only way to solve the problem and have the leak go away. Leaks can occur where shingles butt together with to much space in between the seams. You can also check for missing, curled, or cracked shingles. Additionally, inspect for any failures in the roof flashing, caulking, or the end caps (tent-shaped shingles that cover roof peaks).
The most popular roofing for homes today is asphalt shingles, accounting for nearly 70% of domestic installation by roofing contractors. Asphalt shingles are durable, attractive, lightweight and priced well compared to competitive roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles are made with the latest advancements in fire safety, wind and weather resistance, and long-lasting performance, but even the best products out there can develop problems over time. Residential roof maintenance can be a pain for homeowners, but the good news is that an asphalt shingle roof is probably the easiest type of roof repair, since curled shingles can be flattened and re-secured, and old shingles can simply be replaced. Plus, shingles make the warning signs of a serious roofing problem readily perceptible, making it easy for a homeowner, or a professional roofing contractor to perform residential roof maintenance.
Finding the cause of a Leaking Roof
If you discover that you have a leaking roof—most likely evident by water stains on the ceiling—take a note of the location of the leak, then go outside and look to see if there are any cracked, curled or missing shingles. Leaks can occur at any point where shingles butt, or where flashing and caulking have been compromised. The tent-shaped shingles that cover the angular peaks of the roof, and end caps can also be the source of leaks, so check those as well.
Securing Curled Shingles
Resecuring of curled back shingles can be done by brushing on a coating of asphalt roofing cement, to be certain that the edge and corners of shingles are secured correctly, you’ll want to apply a generous amount of roofing cement to the underside, then press firmly to set.
Replacing Damaged or Missing Shingles
Another simple fix implied that you have replacement shingles are replacing the cracked, missing or rotten shingles. Use a pry bar to remove damaged shingles, remove the nails by lifting the edges of the surrounding shingles. The shingles should slide out ones the nails are removed. Remove any protruding nails and scrape away any residue cement from the roof.
Before attempting to replace a new shingle, make sure to round back the corners with a utility knife. This will make it easier for you to slide the shingle under the one above and align it with those on either side. Once you have it in position, use 6d galvanized nails to fasten the overlapping shingles. Be sure to secure each corner with nails. Lastly, use roof cement to cover the nail heads and smooth down the overlapping shingle edges.
Use a caulk gun of roofing cement to repair leaking caused by metal flashing around chimneys and dormers. If you see damage to joints previously sealed with a line of roof cement, apply a fresh new coat with a putty knife.
If it’s necessary to replace an entire row of shingles, or if you find that shingles lift off from the roof too easily, it may be time to call in a professional roofing company to inspect the situation. Repairs of spots will not increase the life of a roof that needs a roof replacement.
Have you ever seen house ruins from 200 years ago? The one thing you will still see standing is the chimney. At first look, the chimneys may seem indestructible and withstand the forces through the lifespan of a house, but the mortar used to bind the bricks together is a mixture of water, sand, and cement. It can erode away when exposed to the elements of weather. Mortar crumbles and erodes over time, causing leaks to form. Check the mud cap on top of the chimney for deterioration and inspect the mortared joints where the chimney enters the roof. If patches or a repair is required, it is a quick and cheap fix.
The vent boot is a close relative of flashing. It is fabricated from rubber and slides over the plastic vent pipes that protrude from a roof to work with flashing to waterproof the junction of roof and pipe.
Vent boots can be rubber, metal, plastic or any combination. The old boot must be pulled off when the gasket stops working, usually with the aid of a knife that can be done, and a new one would need to be installed. Like shingle work, this work needs to be handled by a residential roof maintenance company.
Storm damage or damage by squirrels, raccoons and other animals can result in holes forming in a roof. Roof holes can also be hidden for years and not be known of until a roof inspection is done and the holes are uncovered. Misplaced roofing nails or a former antenna mounting bracket can be a cause of these devious tiny holes.
The best way to fix it is not just a dab of caulk but using a small piece of flashing under the shingle. This is an easy job for a homeowner to take care of themselves, or a professional roofing company can be hired to do the job with a thorough inspection.
Who doesn’t love a skylight? Your interior space or a specific room can be transformed just by a skylight being present! Hopefully, yours was fitted and installed properly.
Leaks can sprout down the sides of poorly fitted skylights, and the rubber seal around the glass can dry out and wear out as well, ruining the water barrier.
Check for cracks in the flashing along the top and the sides of the skylight, as well as any missing or cracked shingles around it. Also, ensure the skylight was installed with proper pitch. Most skylight leaks occur due to improper installation or flashing issues, and not the failure of the glazing that comes with the skylight.
The skylight will need to be repaired or replaced professionally with new flashing and shingles applied, If you discover cracks in the flashing around the skylight or any missing or cracked shingles. If the rubber seal surrounding the skylight has dried out, then the skylight will need to be professionally replaced.
Asphalt shingles, and other roofing materials, get old and tired. With the changes in temperature and seasons expansion and contraction cause aging roof protection to turn brittle and eventually crack. Years of harsh rays from direct sunlight can melt the tar that holds composition shingles together. When the roof and its materials have run up against its life expectancy. it will be time for a residential roof maintenance company to come and repair or completely replace the roof.
Complex Roof Architecture
Your dynamic roofline may be an architect’s pride and joy and a real showstopper from the street, but all those valleys and slopes can be an invitation to disaster, if they are not properly sealed. Installing a leak barrier that keeps water flowing off the roof and still have it look attractive, is a job for professionals.
Complex roofs can be problematic even when maintained in tip-top shape. In snowy areas a roof’s configuration may not work in helping snow slide off the top of your house. If the snow piles up, an ice dam can potentially form from a combination of melting from your attic’s heat and refreezing on the colder edges at the bottom of a slope.
Ice dams not only put unwelcomed weight stress on your roof, but also keep corrosive water in contact with the roof surface for long periods of time, encouraging seepage under the shingles.
If you cannot keep the edges of your roof clear with a roof rake or ice melting product, an alternative would be roof edge heating cables. These can cost anywhere from fifty to a couple of hundred dollars, not including the bump in your winter electric bill.
Leaking roofs is a worry for homeowners, that means that roof maintenance is needed and it would be an expense that that one is not ready for. Call a local residential roof maintenance company to get a free estimate to help determine the cost that a homeowner would be looking at to take care of a leaking roof problem.