Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are one of the leading causes of preventable property damage.

A leaking roof can
be disruptive and costly, and can eventually cause mold,

damage to interior finishes, and even
structural damage.

While it's true that older roofs or those in disrepair are at greater risk for leaks,

one of the most
common causes of roof failure is poor workmanship during

installation. This is not always readily apparent because it often takes a few

years for a poor installation to manifest itself as a leak.
Using a licensed,

qualified roofing contractor for any installations or repairs is always recommended.

Let's take a look at some of the factors that affect how a roof handles water

and what they can mean when it comes to water leaks.

Pitched/Sloped Roofs: Pitched or sloped roofs are designed to shed water from

one shingle to
the next down to the roof edge, where the gutters and downspouts

will carry the water away. Many people are surprised to learn that sloped roofs are

not actually waterproof but instead rely on gravity
and engineering to quickly move

water off of the home.

Flat Roofs:The most common type of flat roof is the built-up, or tar-and-gravel,

 roof. Flat roofs are designed to be waterproof and use a membrane such as roofing

felt or specially-engineered foam
to seal the surface. These roofs will have just

 enough slope to conduct water to a drain, which will
funnel water down and off the

roof surface. It's critical to keep drains on flat roof clear of debris so
water won't

back up and damage the integrity of the roof.

What causes leaks? Most roof leaks can be traced to poorly installed or worn

flashing. Flashing
usually consists of pieces of metal that cover gaps between the

roofing material and items that
penetrate through the roof such as chimneys,

skylights, dormers, and roof/wall intersections. Wind
and rain in just the wrong

combination can cause a pitched roof to leak by compromising its
water-shedding

capabilities. In cold climates, ice can cause a perfectly good roof surface to leak.


Ice can block the flow of water to the edge of the roof or to the drain. The water

can then back up
under the shingles and leak into the house.

Water leaks can have interior causes as well. Condensation in the attic due to

leaking household
air, or heating and/or air conditioning ducts can cause damage to

 the roof decking and structural framing. In severe cases it can cause water to drip

back into the house. This can lead to mold and
even structural damage if not

corrected.

Proper installation and maintenance of roofs are key to preventing problems down

the road. Homeowners should monitor their roof and attic, and contact a qualified

roofing contractor at the
first sign of any problems.

Posted on November 9, 2015 at 11:35 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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