How to Spot Common Roofing Problems
By Blue Corona Dev Jun 3, 2013
One of the most common things that can go wrong with your roof is a small, unnoticed leak. Many homeowners believe a small leak isn’t worth their time and that it will be fixed the next time they get a roof repair or replacement. Not so. Small roof leaks can lead to huge problems, like mold, rotting and destroyed installation, all of which can lead to an expensive repair bill. Dealing with small leaks right away is imperative, so check out these most common areas for leaks.
What to Look For: One of the most common telltale signs is a discolored or water-stained area on your roof or attic ceiling. Leaks often occur around plumbing/roof vents, chimneys or anything that projects through the roof, so check these areas first. From the inside of your house, check for water stains or mold around light fixtures and ceiling fans, as water tends to run to openings in the ceiling’s vapor barrier.
Plumbing Boot Vents: This vent a pipe that sticks out of your roof and is sealed with metal or plastic to keep rain water from entering your home. However, this protection deteriorates with age and when exposed to the environment, so cracks and gaps are common. Check for broken seams and spots that are rotting away, allowing water to enter your home.
Roof Vents: A roof vent is a small dome near the ridge of your roof that allows air to pass through into the attic. They can be made of plastic, which can crack, or metal, which can have broken seams. Many homeowners believe that a quick and easy solution to these problems is duct tape, however, this is not the case. The best fix is to replace the vent or caulk new shingles over the vent’s base, which acts as an extra barrier to rain water.
Siding and Dormers: Often, a rainstorm is so powerful that the rain comes in at a slant or even horizontally. Therefore, checking your siding and any dormers is also important. The caulk holding dormers together can be old and cracked which permits water to penetrate the fracture and work its way into the house.
Step Flashing: Step flashing is the material used where a vertical surface meet a sloped plane, so on a roof, where walls intersect with the roof. Ideally, each piece of flashing will channel the water downwards off the roof but a rusted or loose piece can cause the water to run behind it and into the house. Rusted flashing means replacement, which is a lengthy process, so it’s important to identify this problem early on.
Brick Chimneys: Homeowners often don’t give brick chimneys any thought as they are made of brick and therefore totally impermeable, right? Wrong. The flashing around the chimney may be corroded and allow water to rush inside. Additionally, water can leak through crevices in the brick and then runs through the house and comes out anywhere along the way. This is why it’s important to know your chimney is made of quality brick because it is possible for a leak anywhere in the house to be traced back to the chimney.
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