When you think of roofing repairs, what comes to mind first? Often times, homeowners assume that damaged or missing shingles are to blame for roofing problems. In reality, many roofing issues (including leaks) are caused by bad flashing.
Specifically, flashing refers to the material that is installed around something that protrudes from your roof, such as a chimney or vent pipe. Flashing, when properly installed and maintained, prevents water from entering around these otherwise vulnerable areas of your roof. Over time, however, flashing breaks down due to exposure to the elements (including harsh UV rays), resulting in roof leaks.
By having a better understanding of what a flashing leak looks like and how to address it, you can keep your roof and home in better shape.
Signs of Flashing Leaks
Oftentimes, homeowners mistake a flashing leak for a leak elsewhere in the roof. That's because the signs of the leak (including damp or water-stained ceilings and/or walls) don't always show up directly underneath the flashing itself. As water leaks, it travels and follows the laws of gravity. Depending on the slope of your roof and the layout of your home's framing, then, it is possible that a leak from your flashing could show up in a totally different area of your home.
The best way to detect a flashing leak, then, is to have one person spray a garden hose over your roof while you keep an eye inside your home's attic. From there, you'll be able to see exactly where water is entering in relation to your roof.
Flashing Repairs and Replacement
If you have a flashing leak, you'll want to contact a roofing repair specialist sooner rather than later. From there, your roofing specialist can review your options with you. As a short-term repair, caulk or roofing cement may be used to stop leaks. However, the only way to prevent leaks from occurring again in the same spot is to have the flashing entirely replaced. For a long-term repair, consider replacing your flashing with a durable metal material, such as galvanized steel or copper.
Stay on Top of Roof Maintenance
Having annual roofing inspections done is another great way to stay on top of potential issues with your home's roofing system. By being proactive and making small repairs to your roof over the years, you can save yourself a lot of stress, hassle, and expense down the road.
For more information, contact a roof repair service.