What is the most common cause of roof leaks?
There are eight common causes of roof leaks which include:
- Nail Pops
- Old Metal Ridge Vents
- Chimney Damage
- Poor or Improperly Installed Flashings and Skylights or Chimneys
- Storm Damage (wind or hail)
- Old Age
- Misinstalled Shingles
- Missing Drip Edge or Starter Shingles
Can a misinstalled roof cause leaks?
- Improperly Nailed Shingles
- Wavy Shingle Rows
- Incorrectly Installed Flashing
- Exposed Nails
- Improperly Installed or Missing Starter Shingles
Can you replace flashing without replacing a roof?
Yes. You can reflash skylights, valleys, chimneys, walls, and pipe boots without a complete roof replacement. Replacing flashing without replacing a roof depends on the roof age and condition of the surrounding shingles.
It’s also important to note that if your shingles are discontinued you may have trouble finding the correct sizes to mate new shingles to old, please read the manufactures recommendations for the shingle on your roof. Even if the shingles on your roof are not discontinued, they may not match. Be more aware of shingle match in more prominent and visible areas of your home.
Are roof leaks covered by homeowners insurance?
Yes, roof leaks are covered by homeowners insurance if caused by storm damage such as wind or hail. Check with your insurance policy to make sure there are no exclusions regarding your roofing.
Interior damage to things like drywall or flooring is always covered by insurance, but roof damage is only covered if caused by a storm.
Can you caulk a roof leak?
Yes. You can usually seal a minor roof leak by caulking over the top of shingles or by gently removing the shingle and then sealing holes or penetrations underneath. Many of the adhesives can be face seal the shingles as well.
You can typically select either a polyurethane or silicone roofing caulk, but first, check your shingle manufacturer's specifications as some discourage using silicone caulking to seal leaks.
Should I repair my roof or replace my roof?
In many instances a roof or its components can be repaired. Holes, failing flashing around chimneys, gutter problems, and bad pipe vent boots are often the cause of a leak. And they can all usually be repaired.
Every roof has a "life." The life of your roof is "how long it should last under normal conditions." If you have an older roof, OR if your shingles or metal are failing in several places, your roof probably needs to be replaced.
And then there is the case of storm damage. Wind, rain, debris, trees can all cause major damage to a any roof. Knowing whether to repair or replace a roof with catastrophic damage will require a professional evaluation. If you choose us, we'll also help you with communicating necessary technical details to your insurance agency.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of each type of roofing?
The most common types of roofing are asphalt shingles, metal roofing, and tile roofing. Asphalt shingle roofing is the most popular type of roofing because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but it is also more durable and can last for many years. Tile roofing is the most expensive type of roofing, but it is also the most durable and can last for centuries. Another roof type is slate roofing, which is a premium roof system made primarily out of natural slate tiles. The most inexpensive is roll roofing, which works well for utilitarian structures such as sheds, shops, barns, garages, and most types of outbuildings. Wood roofing is perhaps the oldest type used. It is a very good insulating material, but is high-maintenance and also flammable. Other roof materials involved include flashing, sheathing, roofing paper, roofing felt, tar, and nails.
What are the best methods for repairing a roof?
There are a number of methods that can be used to repair a roof. The best method will depend on the type of roof, the extent of the damage, and the budget. For minor damage, such as a few missing shingles, repairs can be made by simply replacing the damaged shingles. More extensive damage, such as large holes or cracks, may require patching or sealing.
How do I know if my roof ventilation is adequate?
There are a few key things you can look for to determine whether your roof ventilation is adequate. One is to look at the amount of soffit vents installed. If you have few or no soffit vents, it's likely that your roof ventilation is inadequate. Another thing to look for is the condition of your shingles. If your shingles are curling or buckling, it's a sign that your roof isn't being properly ventilated.
What are the most effective ways to prevent roofing problems?
There are a number of ways to prevent roofing problems, but some are more effective than others. One of the most effective ways to prevent roofing problems is to have your roof inspected regularly by a professional roofing contractor. This will allow them to catch any problems early on and prevent them from becoming bigger issues. Another effective way to prevent roofing problems is to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear and free of debris.
Who offers the best roofing services?
There are many companies that offer roofing services, so it is difficult to say who offers the best services. However, there are a few things you can look for when choosing a roofing company. First, you want to make sure the company is licensed and insured. This will protect you in case something goes wrong during the roofing process. Second, you want to read reviews of the company online to see what other customers have said about their experience.
What should I do if my roof is leaking?
Locate the leak and place a bucket to catch the water. Remove any valuables from the area to prevent further damage. Contact a roofing company to tarp the affected area and assess the repairs.
Roof leaks caused by an aging roof or incorrect installation typically do NOT lead to insurance claims. Unless you have had a recent storm, a professional roofer should be your first call, not your insurance company.
Does a leaking roof need to be replaced?
Not necessarily. Minor roof leaks can be repaired without having a new roof installed. Leaks can be repaired without replacement. Old ridge vents, valleys, nails, flashing, boards, and shingles can all be fixed without completely replacing a roof. Leaks from improperly installed or missing underlayment, failing components, starter drip edge problems, or incorrect nailing pattern are instances that require a full roof replacement.
Can roof leaks cause plywood to rot?
How much does it cost to replace wall flashings?
Replacing wall flashings typically starts at $1000 and can be as expensive as $80-100 per linear foot. Usually to reflashing a wall only requires restep flashing it, but some jobs require counter flashing as well. Step flashing a wall requires tearing off all shingles against the wall, adding back a leak proof barrier ice and water shield against the roof deck (and up the wall if possible), and new step flashing on top of every new shingle that meets the wall.
Is it common for ridge vents to leak?
It is common for older style metal ridge vents to leak. Metal ridge vents require more face screws or face nails causing them to be more susceptible to leaks through fasteners securing them to the roof. Also old metal ridge vent are narrow, barely covering the opening created for hot air to escape from the attic, usually 4 in for the ridge cut, the old style metal ridge vents are only 5 in or 6 in wide. Modern ridge vents are plastic with shingles over the top and when properly installed should not leak.
What keeps ridge vents from leaking?
Modern ridge vents consist of a 4-foot plastic ridge vent which is then covered by shingles. The roof opening that is cut in a ridge is 4 inches wide for hot air to escape. Modern plastic ridge vents are between 10 and 13 inches wide so there is plenty of coverage over the openings in the roof. Also newer ridge vent styles do not have any exposed nails or screws like the old style metal ridge vents did.
How do you fix a leaking roof in the valleys?
Before completely replacing a leaking valley it is best to have a professional roofer ensure that it is not a localized issues like nail pop causing the leak. localized leaks are usually easier and cheaper to fix. Inspect the nails securing the valley, the nails should not be within a foot of the center of the valley (or as manufacture suggest) this will keep the valley from leaking through these nails.
Inspect the valleys to check for signs of wear or improper installation, and to confirm shingles aren’t getting crushed or broken by foot traffic in the valley. If any of these are present it might be necessary to replace the valley.
If valley replacement is necessary, remove everything around the surrounding the valley, install an ice and water barrier on the roof decking. Install the shingles with one of 3 options, a california cut, an open metal valley, or woven valley.
What causes roof valleys to leak?
Roof valleys can leak due to several reasons which include:
- Incorrect nailing (nails too close to the valley)
- Improper installation of underlayment or ice and water shield in valleys
- Damaged shingles surrounding the valley
- Nails popping thorough shingles near a valley
- Excessive foot traffic of shingle breakage
Can a roof leak be repaired from inside?
No, a roof leak can not be repaired from the attic space. Even if you were to caulk the space around a nail coming through the roof, the water would go further into the roof system, causing the leak to move elsewhere.
How do you fix a leaking roof around the chimney?
First, contact a roofing professional for a service call to ensure your leak isn’t a localized problem, such as a nail pop, missing sealant, or lifted shingles.
If your chimney flashing is too short causing a cap, the flashing needs replacement. The wood around the chimney should also be inspected for rot, with any rotten wood needing replacement.
Fixing a chimney leak typically consists of removing old shingles and flashing, replacing rotten wood, installing new ice and water shield around the perimeter, adding a new cricket if necessary, reinstalling step flashing, and installing counter flashing.
Are chimney leaks covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance covers interior damage caused by chimney leaks, but not exterior damage to the roof, unless the roof damages are caused by wind or hail damage from a storm. Misinstalled roofs and chimeny flashings are not covered by homeowners insurance.
Will storm damage cause roofs to leak?
Yes, hail can cause holes and craters in your shingles. If your roof is leaking due to storm damage, contact a roofing professional immediately, as it will need to be tarped or shrink-wrapped as quickly as possible. Insurance will typically pay for this since they want to protect the property from further water damage.
Does hail damage cause a roof to leak?
Yes, hail causes holes and craters in your shingles or knocks off granules or shingles, exposing roof felt and leading to leaks. If left unrepaired, water can spread throughout the roofing system and cause further damage. Contact a roofing professional immediately to have your roof tarped or shrink-wrapped.