How to Identify common roof leak problems.

Missing Shingles

Missing Shingles

Missing Shingles

It is no secret that missing shingles could cause a roof leak.  Most homeowners can view the majority of the roof from the ground.  It is a good idea to keep an eye out for areas that may look out of place or have shingles missing.  

Limbs Touching The Roof

Limbs that actually contact the roof surface pose a roof leak concern.  Ensure your trees/shrubs stay pruned back away from your home. When a limb is contacting the shingles it may wear down a bare spot.  During windy days, the limbs will scrape back and forth causing shingle damage.
Limbs Touching Roof

Limbs Touching Roof

Roof Debris

Leaves On Roof

Leaves On Roof

Roof debris commonly collect in areas on the roof called valleys. This accumulation of leaves will hold in moisture long after a rain.  As time progresses, the debris will actually compost on the roof! If this goes without correction, it will soften or even break down the shingles causing a roof leak.

Unsealed Pipe Collars

A pipe collar (or storm collar) is a component commonly found on a chimney or a gas water heat pipe. This flashing intersection is two separate metal pieces usually bonded together using a sealant (caulk). Expansion and contraction along with time in the sun may cause the sealant to fail. This will allow water to directly enter your home.
Leaking Pipe Collar

Leaking Pipe Collar /Storm Collar

Pipe Boot Leaks

Pipe boots are a very common source of roof leaks. There are two types which are pictured below. The lead type will virtually last forever.  The leak problem comes when rodents (squirrels) chew on them.  This can leave open holes for water to enter. The other type of pipe boot is rubber (EPDM) based.  This style rely’s on a stretched-to-fit rubber collar to keep water out.  After years in the sun (usually 10-15yrs) they wear out and leave an opening for water to leak.
Rodent Damaged Boot

Rodent Damaged Lead Boot

Faulty Rubber Boot

Faulty Rubber Boot

Shingle Granular Loss & Fiberglass Showing

Here are a couple of easy to spot roof problems which can be viewed from the ground.  Granular loss and visible fiberglass are signs that a roof system is on its last leg. Granular loss to shingles can be evident by looking in the gutters.  You may also find large amounts of granules near downspouts on the ground. Visible fiberglass is pretty easy to identify.  Often times you can see a shine or glare around the edges of shingles (depending on the sun direction).  Both granular loss and visible fiberglass could also be a sign that someone used a pressure washer to clean the roof.  High pressure washing (especially using harsh chemicals) is a good way to kill otherwise good shingles.  A roof cleaning for removal of algae/discoloration should only be done by a low pressure method.
Granular Loss

Granular Loss

Fiberglass Showing

Fiberglass Showing

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