The roof is one of the most essential parts of our house and yet it is the most ignored by some home occupants. Some may not even know that they need to maintain their roof, especially when there are no obvious signs of wear or damage such as leaks or other physical signs. As this is also one of the most expensive to renovate, repair or maintain, it is imperative to regularly inspect your roof as well. Who doesn’t want to try and avoid roof replacement costs, right? And one could possibly achieve that by doing proper maintenance.
Dealing with a leaking roof is not fun for anyone involved. Even on newly installed roofs or relatively young ones, leaks can happen. And when a roof leak is not properly addressed, it can lead to a number of issues for homeowners. To make sure you aren’t faced with a hefty repair bill, let’s look at five of the most common causes of roof leaks, how to spot them and how to fix and prevent them from happening again.
Top reasons why roofs leak:
- Storm Damage
- Improper installation, poor craftsmanship
- Wrong roofing system was installed
- Failure on maintenance work or inspections
- Natural wear and tear (the roof may be too old)
Now that you know the top reasons why your roof may leak, you can also anticipate or even prevent roof leaks in the future. Remember that addressing roof leaks as early as that stain on your ceiling or wall, or that loose Asphalt shingle will definitely ward off potential big problems in the future. Ignoring that tiny leak for too long can lead to a number of issues for homeowners. And one of the most serious issues is the threat of mold and mildew which can lead to serious health issues.
As we came to know the five possible reasons for roof leaks, finding the leak is the next big step towards proper roof maintenance. It can be frustrating or relatively simple depending on location and weather conditions.
Here are the areas of your roof where leaks usually occur:
- Roofing protrusions, penetrations, pipe vents, skylights, hood vents
- Low slopes EPDM, TPO or metal roofs from lose or exposed fasteners, gaps at the seams
- Roof to wall flashing, broken sealants or improper installation
- Walls’ brick, stucco or siding failure at the waterproof system behind the exterior materials
Leak detection may be easier if we know which areas of our roof may likely be the cause of a roof leak.Tracking down the leak is the hard part; the roof leak repair is usually pretty easy. And by locating the right spot where the leaks usually occur, repairing the damage while it’s still minor, not to forget its proper maintenance, your roof stays in good shape (probably another 10 more years without leaks) keeping your property value at its highest potential.
As you are now aware of the causes of leaks and areas where it usually occurs, our focus now is on roof maintenance. Come to think of it, water leaks can be a very simple roofing problem. However, it can damage the interior of your home, the roof deck and your roofing system that may cause you to replace the whole roof. This is something that cannot be overstated no matter how we look at it. Imagine all the trouble you can avoid and the money you can save just by deciding to have a professional roofer do maintenance work on your roof to prevent it from leaking.
To help you get a good maintenance service from your trusted roofer, we prepared a list that you can use as a reference.
A good roof maintenance work should include:
- Removal and replacement of pipe boots flashing around PVC pipes
- Removal of the old sealant and resealing of metal exhaust vents
- Cleaning and removal of debris
- Removal and replacement of any broken tabs on the shingle roof
- Sealing any exposed fasteners and flashing roof to wall areas
- Actual repair or Recommendation to repair the walls or gutters that are adjacent to the roof
Roof maintenance is not as difficult as it might sound, as it is the very simple things that matter. Problems overlooked today could have direct consequences tomorrow, hence, they should be investigated and treated as early as possible.
So if you are wondering if you can use your Homeowner’s insurance for maintenance or repair, then the answer is, “YES!” Though it won’t cover leaks that were caused by wear and tear or poor maintenance, it should offer protection in most other cases. However, we don’t recommend our clients to file a claim when the roof repair or roof maintenance cost less than the insurance deductible.
To know more about how you can maximize your Homeowner’s insurance for your roofing projects, please click here.
If you are thinking if it’s possible for you to repair your leaking roof, then the answer is, “It depends!” If the leak is not too complicated and just needs a small replacement or minimal work then it is much better to do it yourself. It will definitely save you time and money.
Here are the steps in identifying if you can repair your leaking roof by yourself OR NOT:
Step 1: Find the leak source using a water hose. Go into the attic to locate the drip or stain.
Step 2: Once the leak source has been located determine the scope of work to do (If it needs a partial or full replacement of that specific area to cover the problem).
Step 3: If you think the scope of work is too complex and there’s a little bit of doubt in your mind about how you can fix it, then do yourself a favor and call a professional roofer to do the job for you.
If you have the experience or skill set to do the repair depending on the scope of work then start preparing the tools and materials.
Step 4: Proceed with the repair.
You can only do as much as you know. That is why you should call in professional roofers to take a look at your roof as they may detect problems you overlooked or just did not notice. They are also experts in roof repair, so they can fix the problem right there and then. The money you’ll invest for a professional roofing maintenance service is smaller compared to the cost of major repairs due to recurring damages and lack of maintenance.