Learn More About Roof Leaks
When you hear the statement, “West of the Pecos”, old westerns may come to mind. What we didn’t see, or experience, in those old westerns was the actual weather. West of the Pecos and all across the western part of Texas, the weather can be brutal on a roof. Leak repairs are a common request for roofing contractors after the various types of weather events that hit west Texas.
What are the most common causes of roof leaks?
The weather can create needs in roof leak repairs, often when coupled with these other causes:
1. Age of Roof
Asphalt shingles consists of petrochemical oils that allow them to contract and expand with the weather. Over time, that oil dries out, the shingles break, crack, and curl, and the granules wear thin. This leaves the roof susceptible to the weather, needing roof leak repairs.
2. Missing Shingles
As asphalt shingles age and become brittle, the nails come loose and when those west Texas winds come across, it pulls the shingles off, leaving a roof vulnerable to the other weather that comes through, resulting in roof leak repairs.
3. Clogged Gutters
All of west Texas isn’t desert-like, there are mountains and trees and those trees have leaves and limbs that fill gutter runs. When routine gutter cleaning isn’t done, the debris builds up and then the rain can’t flow through to the downspouts. It often ends up getting backed up under the shingles leaking to roof leak repairs.
4. Damaged Chimney
The high winds in west Texas can cause a chimney to crack where water can seep through, damaging the structure to your home and more, resulting in roof leak repairs needed around the chimney.
5. Roof Vents
The vents in your roof are necessary to let heat and moisture out. When the vents are clogged or there isn’t any roof, it can cause the condensation and roof leak repairs are needed.
6. Cracked Flashing
The roof flashing is necessary to redirect water away from vulnerable parts of the roof like the chimney, skylights, and valleys. As shingles become loose, the flashing comes loose and winds can rip them off, leaving the roof vulnerable to leaks.
How are roof leaks identified?
Roof leaks aren’t always where you see the water or water stains. These tips can help you locate the actual roof leak, repairs are easier to do when you know where they’re needed!
- Start where the water stain is because this is likely where water is buildup. If the drywall is soaked, go ahead and remove it to make it easier to locate the leak and make any roof leak repairs needed. Remember, the insulation can hold water too, so with care, remove the insulation in the areas of the water stain.
- Climb into the attic and with a flashlight, check the underside of the roof, along the rafters for moisture. Start low along the attic floor and inspect upwards, looking for moisture, stains, damaged sheathing, carpenter ant damage, look for rusted, loose, or missing nails coming through the roof decking, and other indications of where you may need roof leak repairs.
- Inspect the general area of where possible roof leak repairs are needed from the roof top. Look for obvious damage where you suspect the leak as well as around the area where the leak may be. This will visibly by damaged, loose, or missing flashing and shingles, structural damage, and other obvious situations that do not look right.
- Water down the roof if these other steps didn’t give you any obvious indication of where you need roof leak repairs. Do this by running water from your garden hose over the entire roof in different directions and spray the roof down for a few minutes. Have another person inside the attic and inside the house to watch for leaks.
Can roof leaks be prevented?
Yes, there are steps you can do that will minimize needing roof leak repairs, starting with keeping trees cut back from the roof. Keep other debris that ends up on your roof along with keeping the gutter clean and repaired.
Is roof leak repair a DIY job?
A temporary roof leak repair is a DIY job in most cases. This should only be done when a professional roofing contractor can’t get there in a timely manner. Follow up with the contractor after you have completed your temporary roof repair so that proper and permanent roof leak repairs or replacement can be completed correctly.
What materials are required for roof leak repairs?
For a temporary roof leak repair, you’ll the following materials:
- A plastic tarp
- A sheet of plywood
- Four 2×4 boards
- Waterproof sealant
- Extra asphalt shingles if available
What safety should be taken when doing temporary roof leak repairs?
You should have one or two other people with you to assist by holding the ladder and spotting possible problems from the ground. Wear proper PPE (personal protection equipment) including safety belt, eye protection, gloves, and rubber-sole shoes.
From The Roof Top
Never let even the smallest roof leak go without being repaired. The smallest leak can quickly become a major leak and cause extensive structural damage to your home. Once you have filed an insurance claim, you’ll need to get the roof leak repairs completed within a certain time frame.
Hartman Roofing helps with roof leak repair in Midland, TX. Call 432-522-1117 to learn more.