For many people, a home represents the most expensive asset that they own. Inside the home are additional assets, including furniture, decorative treatments, electronics, clothing and irreplaceable keepsakes. If the roof develops a problem, the home and everything within it can be placed at risk. Small leaks often remain undetected for several years, giving the water time to cause extensive damage. Fortunately, there are many warning signs that can be spotted from the ground with the help of a pair of binoculars. However, a reputable roofing contractor can conduct a rooftop inspection that may identify problems that are not as easy to spot.
Roofing Problems & Warnings | Austin, TX
Residents of Central Texas are certainly no strangers to hail. Large hail can crack asphalt shingles, but even relatively small hail can cause degranulation. The granules protect the asphalt from the damaging effects of UV radiation. If hail removes granules, the exposed asphalt will deteriorate; the shingle will no longer be waterproof. It may be difficult to identify hail damage from the ground, so if you feel that your roof has been damaged by hail, ask a reputable roofing contractor for an inspection. Most contractors will not charge you for a hail damage inspection.
Two issues involving chimneys are often overlooked by homeowners. The first is the lack of a chimney cricket, which is a saddle or small roof that is placed behind your chimney. The cricket channels debris and water around your chimney. Without a cricket, debris accumulates behind the chimney, moisture builds up underneath and the chimney flashing can rust through. The second issue is missing, damaged or incorrectly installed chimney flashing. Chimney flashing should include both step flashing, which goes up the chimney’s sides, and counterflashing, which covers the step flashing. Without intact, properly installed flashing, water running down the chimney’s face can enter your attic as well as rot your roof deck.
Missing or Improperly Installed Diverter Flashing
Diverter flashing, which is also known as kick-out flashing, directs runoff into the gutter. Diverter flashing should be installed at the intersection of the exterior wall and the roof, especially if the wall continues past the gutter and the edge of the roof. Without diverter flashing or if the flashing is improperly installed, water will run down the wall and will often penetrate into the wall. If windows or doors are present, the runoff can find its way behind door frames or window trim; because the damage is concealed, extensive rot can occur before the homeowner even suspects that there might be a problem.
Missing Gutter Apron
Gutter aprons prevent water from leaking behind your gutters as it dribbles off the roof’s edge. This can lead to rotted roof sheathing as well as rotted soffit and fascia. Gutter aprons are typically added or replaced when a new roof is being installed; it is often possible to install them later by slipping the gutter apron beneath your existing shingles and using roof cement to keep it in position.
Missing or Damaged Vent Flashing
Vent pipes are part of your home’s plumbing system, but like all roof penetrations, they are potential sources of leaks. Roofers use two different types of vent flashing. One is a boot that has a rubber seal; the second is lead flashing that is soft enough to be bent into and over the pipe. Vent flashing is economical, but if it is damaged or missing, the resulting repairs may be costly.
Roof cement has several uses, but inexperienced or unscrupulous roofers sometimes use it excessively and for purposes for which it was not intended. For example, some roofers will use a great deal of roof cement around flashing to conceal an improper installation of the flashing. This may provide a watertight seal for a time, but before long, the roof cement will harden and develop cracks, resulting in leaks.
Contact Alpha for Help
If you have issues with your current roof, you can count on Alpha Roofing for quality workmanship, professional customer service and competitive rates. We are an Austin residential roofing contractor and we offer an extensive range of roofing services, including roof repair, metal roofing systems, the installation of asphalt shingles, debris and moss removal, chimney repairs, hail inspections, attic insulation and flashing installation as well as siding and gutter installations. Alpha Roofing works with residential and commercial roofing customers in Austin, Tx and many parts of Central Texas. For a free quote, call (512) 777-1086 or fill out our convenient online form.