No one enjoys grabbing a bucket whenever it starts raining. Having leaky roofs means you need to stay up to date on the weather and get a stash of buckets built up, but leaks aren’t just an annoyance, they’re usually an indicator of a more serious problem with your roof.
When it comes to roofing problems, one word comes to mind: expensive. Roofing repairs and replacements are big cash sinks which is why it’s important that you nip every issue at the bud.
We know that you’re dealing with enough expenses as is, so we’ve written up this guide that will show you the commonest causes for leaking roofs. We hope that by arming yourself with this knowledge you’ll know the differences between a minor leak and a growing problem.
Flashings is a thin and flat layer of metal that are situated beneath your shingles. They serve as a barrier against water infiltration. Some roofs have them concealed, but if they’re exposed, you’ll see them as long lines of metal. Even if they’re concealed you can still tell where they are by looking for their rubberized coating.
Broken flashings will be rather obvious due to their big cracks. Most roofers use roof tar which seals the metal flashing. The problem with that is that tar isn’t a longevous material and can actually corrode as time passes.
If flashing stays exposed to the elements, rain and wind could lead to cracks manifesting. As soon as you find the point of origin for your leak, get the nails out, lift the shingles, and get rid of the cracked flashing segment.
Gently place new flashings to fill the gap and then fasten it just like the rest of the flashings are situated. Be sure to use roofing nails, not regular nails. After you’ve installed it, be sure to paint roofing sealant on to the exposed nail heads to protect them from the elements.
Broken and damaged shingles are an easy problem to identify. Shingles form the outermost layer of your roof, it should be very easy to notice empty slots where they used to be. Just take a look at your roof and look for areas that have a different color than the rest of your roof.
After heavy storms, you might even see shingles scattered around your backyard. When that happens, either your roof is damaged, or the strong wind tossed a shingle delivery truck in the air — but the former is far more likely than the latter. Use a prybar to remove any damaged shingles then get a replacement. Finally, secure the new shingle with four roofing nails.
Improperly Sealed Valleys
A valley is where the two separate planes of your roof become one. Seeing as these locations usually slope, rainwater can enter them if the seal isn’t proper. You can look for damp areas running along the roof seams to detect a problem with the valleys. There are many reasons why this damage could occur.
Perhaps the sealing process was botched by the contractor, or maybe the rain ate away at it through the years. Regardless of how the damage came to be, it’s imperative that you get the repair done stat. Sadly, this isn’t a project you can handle by yourself. You’ll need to call up a professional due to the complex nature of this task.
Cracked Vent Booting
The small pipes that stick out of your roof are your roof vents. The purpose of roof vents is to get rid of excess moisture that might be in your house. Think of them as mini chimneys but for moisture instead of smoke. Leaks in this area leave dark spots which should be a clear enough indicator to spot.
Roof vents should be sealed by adding some flashing and rubber around the opening. As time passes,flashing can wear away and break. Carefully use a sharp knife to cut away and remove the rubber to check on the flashing. If the flashing is fine, the issue is likely limited to the rubber so all you need to do is replace it and you should be good to go.
Well dam. Ice dams are ridges of ice which form toward the edges of your roof. They make it hard for the water from melted snow to drain. They’re also pretty heavy, and their weight can damage your roof — not to mention all the dammed water which will pool up on the surface of your roof.
Since the heat in your home and attic is warm, it will lead to the melting of snow on your roof even if the outside temperatures are still below freezing. The water will then melt, drip to the edge of the roof, and then freeze again. This is how ice dams are formed. Just whack them with a shovel to get rid of them.