A roof leak is a homeowner’s worse nightmare. It can come out of what seems like nowhere and cause significant damage to a home. For most people, their home is the biggest investment that they will ever make, so it’s important to them to protect this invest. The best place to start is with the roof because it’s the first line of defense against the elements. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know much about roof leaks. Below is an ultimate guide, including what causes leaks, why homeowners should hire a professional and what to look for in a roofing contractor.
Having Roofs Inspected Bi-Yearly
Although most homeowners believe that roof leaks come out of nowhere, there are early warning signs that indicate a leak is forming. Unfortunately, it’s hard for people who aren’t trained to spot these early signs. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to hire roofers to inspect their homes at least twice a year. The best times to have a roofer do an inspection is during the spring and fall when general maintenance performed. While there is a fee for a roofer to inspect a house, it’s cheaper than paying for leak repair.
Most Common Causes of Leaks
Although there are many factors that cause roof leaks, a few are more common than others. Below is a quick look at these:
• Age – As roofing materials age, they starts to deteriorate and becomes less effective at maintaining a watertight seal. Fluctuations in temperature and a failure to have a roof serviced hasten the aging process.
• Roof Vents – Roof vents are a necessary element of any roof. They help keep it cool, so they prolong the life of the roofing material. Unfortunately, roof vents require holes to be cut into the roofing deck, and these must be sealed and covered with flashing. The flashing and sealant break down quicker than other roofing materials, making roof vents key areas for leaks to start.
• Slopes – When a roof has a slope that is too shallow, wind can lift the shingles right off the deck. The slope of a roof is measured by its vertical rise over its horizontal distance. According to the International Building Code, the slope must be at least 2:12, which would be a 2-inch rise, over a 12-inch distance. Homeowners should have their roofs inspected to make sure that they meet this requirement.
Always Hire a Professional to Do Roof Work
Performing roof work is dangerous, especially for people who aren’t professionally trained or who lack the correct safety equipment. Homeowners are often tempted to perform their own roof work to save money, but this can void their roof warranties and put them in danger. Hiring a professional roofer is much cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.
What to Look for in a Professional Contractor
When hiring professional contractors to fix roof leaks, it’s important for homeowners to take into account a few key factors. First, ensure that the roofers are certified and insured. Also make sure that they offer a workmanship guarantee and use materials that come with a manufacturer warranty. Additionally, homeowners should study some roofing terms so that they can ask intelligent questions during the interview process. This is a great way to determine how experienced and knowledgeable roofers are.