Most homeowners pay little attention to their roof until it leaks. Roof leaks are more than just an inconvenience. They can be the cause of internal damage which is difficult and more costly to repair. Most roofs require periodic maintenance. Failure to address such maintenance can result in a leak. A roof can leak at any time. It is our recommendation to repair a roof system, rather than perform a wholesale replacement, when there is a small degree of accelerated deterioration (5%). By undertaking the recommended maintenance, you can prolong the life of the roofing system for a few more years.
CAUSES OF LEAKS IN YOUR ROOF
- Aging roofing materials (shingles).
- Defects in the flashing details around roof penetrations, such as chimneys and plumbing vents/valleys.
- Exposed nails, nails in the wrong place, or not set flush with the shingles underneath.
- Wind driven rain that enters through louvers, through unprotected chimneys, under curled or buckled shingles, through the siding and behind improperly caulked flashings.
- Broken, damaged or missing shingles.
- Ice damming in winter (see attic ventilation problems).
- Racoon or squirrel damage.
- Areas of premature wear on heavy drainage areas.
Remember, periodic maintenance of your roofing system is simple and relatively inexpensive.
NOTE: Roofing work can be dangerous and should be left to a professional roofing contractor.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS/HOMEOWNER ACTION PLAN
- Trim tree branches that hang over the roof and eavestroughs.
- Do not run downspouts from the eavestroughs onto a lower roof surface. Make sure they go directly to the ground onto splash blocks that slant away from the house, or directly into another eavestrough.
- Clean eavestroughs and downspouts in Spring and Fall.
- Caulk all roof joints and flashings and any areas that are damaged or worn.
- Inspect valleys for cracks and possible leaks and remove any leaves or debris that has accumulated.
- Inadequate number of vents.
- Proper ventilation of a roofing system is critical to its durability.
- Without adequate ventilation, heat and moisture build up in the attic and can cause rafters, trusses and sheathing to rot. The shingles can buckle, curl and become brittle.
- Ice dams most often occur when attics are improperly ventilated and insulated.
- It is important to ensure that louvers, ridge vents and soffit vents are not blocked by insulation, especially during the winter.
Copyright (2003) CBCG - Reprinted with permission