Archive for suwanee roof leak repair

Stop Roof Leaks – Maintenance vs Repair

Posted in Roofing Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by HAPS

This is a long post, but with roof issues we want to educate homeowners on issues which occur on roofs.  Most people don’t climb on roofs; so we want you to have a good understanding of roof issues so you can decide if your contractor knows what they are doing.

Home Asset Protection Services, LLC (HAPS) is located in Suwanee, GA, and we specialize in roof leak repair and full roof replacement in the Gwinnett County Georgia and surrounding areas. Our leak specialist has over 25 years experience diagnosing and repairing leaking roofs; and we’ve just about seen it all.

Unfortunately, over the past several years a lot of the roofs replaced in the Metro Atlanta area have been built incorrectly, especially in the flashing areas.  Fortunately for us, we get a lot of work as a result. Many fly by night storm chaser companies rush into town during storm season, help homeowners get their roofs replaced through insurance claims, do the job, and then one of two things happen. They either leave the area to follow the latest storm in another city/state, or they go out of business. Trust us, we see it all the time. Homeowners are stuck holding the bag.

Let’s look at where most leaks occur.

  • Chimneys – siding, stucco, or brick
  • Flat roofs.
  • Bathrooms – exhaust vents.
  • Skylights
  • Ridge Cap – shingles covering the top of the roof
  • Improper Nailing – high nailing, below the line, or nail gun pressure issues.
  • Nail Pops & Toeboard holes.
  • Dead Valleys – where roof valleys run into a wall
  • Valleys – improper installation
  • Gutters – generally overfilled gutters or gap between decking & fascia.

Many of these leaks can be prevented by a simple roof maintenance plan if addressed in a timely manner.  After 3-5 years certain components of your roof need attention. We offer a service called a roof tuneup, and this service will prevent leaks and extend the life of your roof for years. Call us at 404-933-6610 to see if a roof tuneup is the best option for your home, and do it BEFORE the roof starts leaking.

What is  a roof a roof tuneup? 

Your roof has certain elements which deteriorate over time. A roof tuneup takes care of these issues, and this will prolong the life of your roof for another 3-5 years. Here are the things we do with a roof tuneup.

  1. Repair or Replace Pipe Boots.
  2. Seal Exhaust Vents.
  3. Seal turtle vents, power vents, & dryer vents.
  4. Paint All vents with rust preventive paint.
  5. Repair Nail Pops.
  6. Seal Toeboard holes.
  7. Seal exposed nails.
  8. Replace up to 10 missing or damaged shingles.
  9. Clean minor debris off roof.
  10. Inspect roof & flashing for major issues.

Explanations of the services listed are explained in detail below.

Repair Pipe Boots – Most bathrooms have vent pipes which are designed to remove the musty smell from the plumbing system. These exhaust type vents almost always go out of the roof.  The pipes are covered with a rubber pipe boot to seal off the area from leaking. (See photo below). These boots have a thin rubber elastic area designed to fit snugly around the pipe. After 3-5 years the rubber dry rots and cracks; and many leaks occur in this area.

If you have a roof leak in your bathroom, chances are very high that your pipe boots are cracking. With a roof tuneup, we install new rain collars and seal the exposed nails where vents are nailed to roof. This adds around 3-5 more years of life for this area of the roof.

Seal Exhaust Vents – These are the metal vents which carry exhaust fumes from your HVAC unit. When a roof is installed, these vents must be sealed with high grade roof sealant around joints and nails. Over time the sealant wears off. Also, these vents rust over time.  With a roof tuneup we reseal the vents with the highest grade of silicone roof sealant available in the market. We also paint the vents with rust preventive paint to extend the life of these elements.

Seal Turtle Vents, Power Vent, & Dryer Vents – Turtle vents are aluminum or plastic “boxes” found on the back of many roofs. These vents are used to ventilate the attic. This prevents heat buildup in attic which causes shingles to blister and increases heating and A/C bills. A blister is basically like a popped bubble on the shingles. Power vents are the big round fans found on many hip roofs, and dryer vents are vents which carry moist air out of the house from the clothes dryer.  These items need resealing over time to prevent leaks.

Paint All Vents With Rust Preventive Paint – Over time your HVAC vent will rust. We paint the vents to stop/prevent the rust from destroying your exhaust vents. We also paint other vents on the roof to prevent rusting and to improve the look of the roof.

Repair Nail Pops & Toeboard Holes –  Nail pops occur when nails on the roof loosen over time. When nails pop out they often cause indentations or holes in the shingle. A roof tuneup will take care of this issue. We nail down the loose nails and apply premium roof sealant to the affected area.  Toeboard holes are actual holes in the shingles when the roofing crew nails boards to the roof to stand on when installing the roof.  A good (and safe) roofing crew will rope & harness when installing the roof instead of using toeboards. With the roof tuneup we seal all toeboard holes on the roof to prevent leaks in these areas.

Seal Exposed Nails  – All roofs have exposed nails on the ridge cap and bottom side of all the vents. While sealed during installation (we hope), the sealant wears off over time. When this occurs the nails rust, and eventually lead to bigger problems. With the roof tuneup we seal all exposed nails with premium roof sealant.

Replace Missing or Damaged Shingles – While obvious, we replace up to 10 shingles which are missing or damaged on your roof. Missing shingles could be a major issue which is described below; however, in many cases a few shingles fall off from loose nails, improper nailing, or even wind damage.

Clean Minor Debris Off Roof – Most often, this involves removing pine straw in the valleys. Pine straw will stop water flow during rain, and this can often cause leaks. It also causes algae to grow on the roof, and eventually leaks to leaks and rotten wood below the shingles.

MAJOR ROOF ISSUES 

Below are major roof issues which involve much more extensive repair.  These are the most common areas for leaks due to installation issues and/or rot over time.

Chimneys – Probably the biggest area for leaks we find are around chimneys.  A lot depends on the type of chimney, and where the chimney is located. The main problem we find around chimneys is flashing related.  Flashing is metal which redirects water away from the walls of the chimney so it can properly drain the the gutters (or edge of roof).  The section on the roof above a chimney needs a cricket (framed & shingled diverter), j channel flashing, and  a properly installed chimney pan.  Water pounds this area, and if flashing is not installed correctly…you will have a leak.  On the sides of the chimney step flashing or J-channel flashing is used to channel water down the roof. If installed improperly, the water will run under the shingles or behind the flashing causing water stains on your ceilings.

Additionally, on homes with wood or hardie plank siding, we often find leaks from rotten or broken siding, worn out sealant on joints, or rotten corner boards.

On homes with brick chimneys you not only need properly installed chimney pan & flashing, you also need counter flashing over the step flashing to prevent water from running down the chimney and behind the flashing.  Properly flashing a brick chimney is a specialty, so if you have brick chimney leaks…make sure the contractor knows what they are doing.

Dead Valleys – Dead valleys is a term to describe sections of roof that run into a wall.  Here the rain water slams against the wall, and often runs up over the flashing and down the walls into your home.  These are delicate areas, and extensive repair needs to be done to properly repair these areas. Inspection of the area needs to be done to determine best course of action, but basically the repair needs to run up the wall so water can get behind the flashing.

Valley Repairs – Roof valleys are installed one of two ways. A weave pattern is when shingles from intersecting roof sections are woven together; and a French cut pattern where shingles are cut in a straight line down the valley.  Obviously water runs down the valleys. If the water gets under the shingles, you have a problem.  Valleys should have metal flashing or ice & water shield installed to keep any leakage from getting to your ceilings. We install ice & water shield on an roofs we build.  It’s not cheap, and many roofing contractors do not use this extra product to save money.  If you have a valley leak, we will most likely need to tear out the valley, install ice & water shield, replace rotten decking, and re-shingle the entire valley.

Improper Nailing – We see this quite often. The biggest issue we see is nail gun pressure issues. If the roofing crew sets the nail gun pressure too high, the nails often go through the shingle too far. As a result, the shingles eventually fall off. If you see entire shingles fall off your roof, chances are the nails were installed improperly. This is actually a big problem. We repair up to 10 missing shingles with a roof tuneup; but if shingles were nailed too hard…the problem will continue. We can repair the shingles which have fallen off, but we may have to come back over the years as the shingles fall off.  It’s cheaper than replacing the entrie roof, but eventually your roof will need to be replaced. We advise making the repairs until shingles have lived their life; and then replacing the roof with a company who knows what they are doing.

Gutter area leaks – We often find leaks due to gutter issues. Gutters full of debris cause water to go behind the gutter and down the wall into your home. This causes interior leaks as well as soffit & fascia damage on the exterior of your home.  You may want to consider installing gutter guards to keep debris from building up in your gutters.

 

 

We also see loose gutters, shingles not hanging over edge of roof enough, and gaps between the plywood decking and fascia. This is also the area of the roof where squirrels or other rodents enter your home. We can diagnose the issue and offer a solution to the problem.

Flat Roofs – If a roof is less than a four pitch, it should be considered a flat roof. Four pitch means the roof rises 4″ in height per foot of roof.  Water pools on flat roofs, so a special type of roofing is needed to prevent leaks. We get a lot of work from homeowners who have shingles installed on low slope roofs. Think of it this way. If sideways rain occurs, the water is going under the shingles.  There are many types of low slope and flat roof components, and please consult a qualified professional when dealing with these areas of your home.

And finally, the big one. Your roof has lived it’s life.  It is what it is.  If your shingles have lived their functional life, you need to replace your roof.  An inspection will determine if roof needs replacement. Signals incluce major granule loss, brittle shingles, and major wear and tear.

Home Asset Protection Services, LLC is a full service roofing contractor serving Atlanta, Buford, Chamblee, Dacula, Duluth, Dunwoody, Flowery Branch, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Sandy Springs, Snellville, Suwanee, Sugar Hill, and surrounding areas for roof repairs.

For roof replacement we work in all of Metro Atlanta and surrounding counties.

Call HAPS at 404 933-6610 to discuss your roof issues; and you will get honest answers and service at a competitive price.