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Cause of Roof Leaks
If you missed the first part of this story, feel free to catch it here: Roof Repair Overview | Cincinnati, Ohio Case Study 1 of w.
The short story is that even a 4-year-old roof can fail quickly if improperly installed.
To salvage the roof, we first had to identify all the defects and potential weakness where the roof might fail.
We then repaired each issue individually so that the shingles will withstand their intended 25 to 30 year lifespan. Targeted roof repairs are still far less costly than replacing a section of the roof. In this case, they were less than the insurance deductible on this home.
Roof Repair Video
How to Prevent Expensive Roof Repairs
Repair Roof Shingles
Most roofing experts agree that you should inspect your roof at least twice per year. I suggest that one of those two inspections should be a physical inspection where a roof repair technician actually walks the surface of your roof, looking for the following abnormalities.
- Unsealed Nail Heads: Lazy roofers leave a nail head exposed. In time, that nail works loose and creates a pathway through the shingle.
- Misaligned shingles: Sloppy installation of shingles causes the adhesive tabs on the underside of the shingles not to touch. This prevents the shingle from adhering to the roof—making them easy prey during a windstorm.
- Failed Vent Boots and Flashing: Roof flashing installation is commonly installed incorrectly and does deteriorate over time. I’ve written an entire article and a video on this topic in particular: Roof Leak Diagnosis and Repair
- Missing Shingles: Sometimes missing roof shingles can be hard to spot with the naked eye because a dark color roof shingle may blend in with the dark colored tar paper used for roofing underlayment. Missing shingles must be replaced immediately. If you need help identifying wind damage to your shingles, read this: How to Spot Wind Damage to Your Roof
- Cupped, Cracked, Curled shingles: A sign of improperly installed, sealed or damaged shingles. Have these evaluated by roof repair professional.
One of your two yearly roof inspections can be visual, performed from the ground using a set of binoculars. You can see most of the major problems on your roof from the ground and determine if you need to place a call to a roof repair company for further investigation. This will save you time and money while helping spot roof problems before they result in a roof leak.
Continuing Reading this Cincinnati Case Study on Roof Repair
Need Help with a Roof Repair?
Maintaining your roof is one of the most important home repair chores to reduce unnecessary expense resulting from water damage to your home. Unfortunately, most roof repairs aren’t for the average Do-It-Yourselfer. Danger of working off of ladders, heights and steep inclines make roof repair something most homeowners should leave to the professional. If you have any questions, give us a call at 513-724-0539, visit us at www.MasterMyList.com and check out our new Facebook page, keyword “ProMaster Craftsmen.”
Roofs of any age can suffer from leaks and roof damage. ProMaster of Cincinnati shows how roof maintenance and periodic roof repair can extend the life of your roof. In this four part series, Don Kennedy, President of ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati uses his own roof repair story as an example.
Roof Repair Video
My Roof Repair Story
The other day I woke up and noticed several rows of shingles lying on my back deck. Upon further investigation, I discovered that an entire section of my roof shingles had departed the house. I was surprised, as my roof is only 4 years old!
Broken Roof Shingles
Nevertheless, I thought this incident would make for a great roof repair video. Little did I know I would discover more problems with my roof than just a few missing shingles. While my wife and I aren’t happy to learn that much of our four year old roof was installed incorrectly, at least my problem will provide some excellent instruction and help for you!
My roof illustrates three critical principles to follow to prevent a major roof leak or expensive roof repair. I’ll cover each of those these principles in future articles here:
Roof Repair Causes
Roofing is one of those home improvement purchases that I find homeowners errantly treat as a commodity. Often times they will get multiple bids, attempt to compare type of shingle and warranty, then go with the cheapest price. Such buying behavior lends itself to headaches and higher total cost to the homeowner over the lifespan of the roof.
I’m secretly hoping you don’t listen to what I’m about the say here. For roof repair companies like mine make their living off of small jobs like fixing roof leaks and water damage from poor quality roof installations. (More on this subject in my article, Home Improvement’s 7 Deadly Sins)
If you want to avoid the nightmare of a troublesome roof, consider the following thoughts.
Why Roof Repairs are Common on New Roofs
Roofing is hard work and it doesn’t pay well. It requires little training and skill and is generally performed by low-wage labor. Like some other manual labor trades, it attracts transient workers, or individuals not normally employable in other places. Many of these workers have criminal backgrounds or drug addictions that make roofing the only available means of employment. While I’m not intentionally criticizing these people for earning a living (it is better than stealing or not working) the simple reality is that they aren’t a demographic of folks who demonstrate high standards for themselves or what they do.
ProMaster of Cincinnati Performing Roof Repairs
In addition, the roofing industry is highly commoditized because it is easily priced on materials and square footage. The building boom of the last 20 years combined with the rash of insurance-related disasters increasing demand placed tremendous pressure on roofing contractors to emphasize production over quality. Consequently, while many of the roofing materials have improved, most modern residential roofs are inferior in both water protection and longevity due to the poor installation quality.
Consequently, price pressure in roofing drives down product quality. While a roof may look fine from the ground and even pass a visual inspection, the precision and technique with which the roof components are installed is critical for the performance and longevity of the roof. Sadly, new roofs today are riddled with installation defects that lead to leaks and roof failures well before their intended lifespan is up.
My roof is one such example. Despite having a poorly installed roof, it isn’t feasible to tear it off and start over. It is only 4 years old and at this point, can be salvaged with targeted repairs and maintenance. In the video embedded in this article, I’ll explain what is wrong with the roof and how we’re going to fit it. But there are three principles we can learn from my roof that apply to your roof, so read the following articles to learn more.
Continue With Roof Repair Series:
Common Causes of Roof Leaks
After the severe winter we recently experienced here in Cincinnati, roof leaks are becoming a common problem. It is likely that you may wake up one morning and notice spots on your ceiling or water coming in through a ceiling fixture or fan, like the two pictures below. Maybe you have never experienced a roof leak before… so why now?
Ceiling Drywall Damage from Roof Leak
Bathroom Ceiling Drywall Water Stain
Worn Roof Components Can Cause Roof Leaks
Roof components are like any other part of your home. They wear out in time, especially when exposed to the elements.
While there are many causes of roof leaks, I thought I’d focus on the top two that I commonly see this time of year. The first cause is some sort of metal flashing malfunction and the other is rubber vent boot failure. OK, I apologize… let me define those two terms.
Roof Flashing: Roof flashing is simply thin sheets of aluminum or steel used in places to cover holes and gaps that shingles can’t.
Vent Boot: Combines roof flashing with a large rubber collar that seals protruding vent pipes from the roof.
These two components are particularly susceptible to storm damage and exposure over time to the elements. When they fail, they allow water to enter the home, thereby destroying your drywall, insulation, and framing and sometimes causing mold to grow. Ensuring that these roof components are maintained and/or repaired quickly if they fail, will ensure you avoid any roof leaks before they can damage your home.
Here is an example of some flashing that has failed. Notice all the gaps where water can get in. During the winter, water freezing and the subsequent expansion of ice only widens these pathways, exacerbating the leak. You can see in the picture where someone has attempted to seal this flashing with mortar and caulk. While this picture looks like a mess, it is actually easily repaired.
Roof Flashing Needs Repair
Here is a common example of a failed vent boot. Notice the rubber collar surrounding the vent pipe has cracked.
Roof Vent Boot Needs Repair
Often times the rubber vent collar has deteriorated to the point you can actually poke your finger through them. Consequently, water travels right down the pipe and into your home, since that collar is the only barrier between you and the sky.
Don’t Ignore the Roof Leak
Roof leaks are like cancer—they don’t typically get better with time. Acting quickly can ensure you avoid a major home repair bill from the subsequent damage a roof leak may cause. Better yet, proactive maintenance to ensure your roof flashing is properly attached and vent books are in serviceable condition will spare you the heartache of waking up one morning and discovering water stains on the ceiling, as in the pictures above.
Roof Leak Repair Tips
If you have experienced a roof leak, wait to repair the drywall damage until you are certain the leak has stopped. There is no sense paying to have something fixed twice!
And finally, if you haven’t had your roof inspected recently, invite one of our craftsmen to take a look at it for you while he’s there. It only takes a few minutes and solving a minor problem now can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repair bills in the future.
Let ProMaster Do My Roof Repair
ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati is a great choice for those who don’t have the time or inclination to perform their own roof repairs. Whether you notice a leak or missing shingle, ProMaster has a skilled team of professionals who understand that attention to detail and thorough analysis are the keys to success in solving any roof leak.
Keep in mind that our craftsmen aren’t just pros at roofing; they are skilled at other home repair tasks like drywall repair, concrete & masonry, drywall & paint, electrical, flooring & tile, and plumbing. Our multi-skilled craftsmen represent a distinct advantage over other repair contractors due to their ability to perform numerous tasks associated with a roof repair repair project.
Call (513) 724-0539
If this winter proves to be particularly nasty, specifically with the amount of snowfall deposited upon our homes in a short period of time, the issue of snow load capacity might become cause for concern.
For those of us in the Cincinnati Ohio area, snow storms in excess of 8 inches are rather rare. Combined with the relatively mild winter weather, we are typically assured some, if not all of that snow will be gone prior to the next storm.
But what if this winter is different?
If any of you begin to experience a large blanket of snow build up on your roof, you’re likely to ask: “How much snow can my roof take?”
Well, like many such questions, the answer is: “It depends.”
So I thought it might be helpful to share with you this quick, 2-page article on the subject that will guide you through the measurement of snow and ice on a roof. Upon such measurement, you can determine if there is cause for concern, or if it is time to go back inside and put on another pot of hot coffee.
Link: University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture – Ice and Snow Accumulation
While every home is different, the latest International Building Code (IBC 2003) for Ohio and Kentucky indicates snow load requirements in the 15-25psf range. This means the weight of the snow or ice (determined largely by its water density) can be measured then compared to the load for which the structure was designed to support.
Homeowners can use the chart provided in the handout from the University of Arkansas engineers to compare against their measurements to determine if action is required to remove the snow from the roof or merely let it melt off.
For example, if we get 6 inches of wet snow this week, I can see from the chart that I’ve only surpassed just about half of the snow load design capacity of my 20psf (pounds per square foot) roof. Should we get a foot of snow or more, it is probably time to get out there with a roof rake to remove it.
For more home repair information articles, view our blog.
If you have a question or need a hand, give us a call (513) 724-0539 or visit us at www.MasterMyList.com .
Following a strong wind storm, it is critical for homeowners to inspect their roof for damage. I’ve included a link at the bottom of this article to quickly educate you on what to look for. Spotting even minor damage to shingles and other roof components can save major headaches for you down the road. Even minor failures in these roof components can leave your home unprotected from the elements, leading to costly repairs from water damage, mold and rot.
Even if you aren’t a home repair expert or have the physical ability to climb up on your roof, there are some obvious signs that your roof has sustained damaged that may be visible from the ground. As a homeowner, spotting these irregularities quickly and reporting them to your home repair service like ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman can often result in a simple repair. Or in cases where the weather event has significantly damaged the roof, can substantiate an insurance claim for a replacement roof.
Either way, take a peek at your roof today. Many areas of Cincinnati experienced winds in excess of 50 miles per hour in the last few days and it is possible that your roof has sustained some damage. Here is a great article from inspectapedia.com on how to spot wind damage to your roof.
Asphalt Roof Shingle Wind Damage Causes & Evaluation
If you need someone to inspect your roof in the Cincinnati area, contact ProMaster at (513) 724-0539 or visit them at www.MasterMyList.com .