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Leak Repair Service

1, The Field of Shingles

If your roof is older, it is possible that the leak is within the roof field. This means the expanse of shingles, slate, shakes, whatever. If your roof is asphalt, then you can walk around with ease. Other materials such as slate, concrete tile or clay tile may not be so forgiving. You can crack roofing if you walk on it, so be careful. With regular shingles, look at the tops of the vertical knockouts. Look for missing colored granules. Look for cracks. Possibly a nail has backed itself out of the roof sheathing. Simply take your time and hunt.

2, Valleys

A valley is a line where two roof planes intersect. Here in Cincinnati we use a metal flashing in the valleys. Some areas use rolled roofing. Other places simply lace the shingles together. Valleys can be big problems if you do not trim the shingles correctly. When you trim a shingle for a valley you end up with a chisel point on the end of the shingle. If a second cut is not made to make this point like an arrow point, then water can travel along the top of the shingle and find its way inside your house. The shingle wrapper tells you how to make this simple second cut.

3, Head Wall Flashings

Some roofs stop at a vertical wall. A metal flashing must be in place to direct water streaming down the wall away from the stopping point of the shingles. This flashing may be behind wood siding or in front of a brick wall. The flashing should extend over the shingles at least three inches. If the wall is brick or other masonry the flashing must bend and extend one inch into a mortar joint. Tar, caulk or roofing cement should never be used in conjunction with these materials. If you see them, it is a sign that someone tried to patch a leak!

4, Wall Step Flashing

Some roof leaks happen at step flashings. You find these flashings where a roof climbs alongside a vertical wall. As each row of shingles is laid, a step flashing is installed over the shingle next to the wall. Part of the flashing turns up on the wall and the other portion gets covered by the next row of shingles. Look for rust or holes in these flashings. In reality, if all is well, you will be able to see only the smallest portion of these flashings.

5, Chimneys

These devils are the source of many a leak. Chimneys contain four different types of flashing. All must be right or you will have a leak. Plus, the counter flashing that goes into the brick mortar joint must be right. A hairline crack above the flashing can allow vast amounts of water to run behind the flashings. Look for soldered corners of flashing that might have broken or have holes. Do not use caulk to repair these flashings!

6, Plumbing Vent Flashings

Newer vent flashings are a concern of mine. Many of these incorporate the rubber seal with an aluminum flashing. The rubber can fail in as little as 10 to 15 years. Look for cracked rubber around the plumbing pipe. The flashing should dive up and under the shingles that extend up roof from the middle of the plumbing vent. The bottom half of the flashing should be exposed and actually cover the shingles.

7, Furnace or B-Vent Flashing

These flashings are basically identical to plumbing vent flashings. However, they sometimes have a metal storm collar. These simply fit tightly around the vertical pipe that exits the roof. If they become loose, the storm collars can cause leaks.

8, Ice Dam Leaks

Ice dam leaks plague people in the snow belt. These leaks can happen even if everything on your roof is just fine! Ice dams block the natural flow of water down a roof. The water begins to back up under flashings, shingles, tar paper, etc. Once water begins to flow into the house, it can drip for days. The only means of prevention is to install membranes under the roofing. The membranes won't stop the ice but will stop water leaks if installed properly.

9, Wind Blown Rain Leaks

Wind driven rain can also be a major problem. Once again, you could actually have a good roof and wind will drive water up and leak into roof materials. The only lines of defense are tar paper and the ice dam membranes.
If you have metal valleys, you may want to hem the edges. This means that the hidden edges of the valley actual have a 180 degree bend. This creates a channel that directs wind blown rain back to the bottom of the valley.
Roofing cement under shingles on the edges of roofs that face the wind are also a good idea. Don't underestimate the power of a 70 mph sustained wind-driven rain.

Spring Roof Care Tips.

During the spring, conduct a bi-annual roof inspection. Ensure you are comfortable with heights before conducting a roof inspection. Otherwise, call a professional roofing contractor to schedule an inspection. 

Inspecting sloped roofs:

  1. Check for dark stains that may signify algae and fungus growth
  2. Clean clogged gutters
  3. Remove debris
  4. Repair any damage to flashing

Inspecting flat roofs:

  1. Check for cracks in roofing felt
  2. Check for any spongy spots that may signify a water leak
  3. Check condition of supports of air conditioners and other mechanical equipment secured to roof
  4. Repair any flashing damage

Don’t forget to check inside the building as well. Look for brown spots or rings on the ceiling or water stains on the wall. These signs might signify a roof leak. 

Inspect the Roof for Wind Damage 

Wind storms can seriously undermine a roof’s integrity. After strong winds, check the roof for missing or curled shingles and replace any damaged shingles. While inspecting the roof for damage, remove any debris that the wind may have placed onto the roof. 

Spot Checks 

Check tar and gravel roofs for any surface bare spots. Cover exposed tar and gravel with pea gravel. Also check for any blisters or spongy spots on the roof that might signify a need for professional roof repair or replacement.

Summer Roof Care Tips.

Clean Out Your Gutters 

The warm weather makes this an ideal time of the year to clean out gutter debris. Practice caution when walking on the roof and follow manufacturer’s instructions when using a ladder to reach gutters. Use a shop vac or your hands to remove debris from the gutters. 

While cleaning out the gutters, check for an accumulation of asphalt shingle granules. Granule accumulation in the gutters could signal it is time to replace the roof. 

Remove Moss and Algae from Your Roof 

Remove moss and algae from roof to prevent moisture damage and rot. Brush down the roof, using a scrub brush attached to a telescopic pole to detach the moss and algae from the roof. Use caution when moving on the roof; moss and algae can make the roof extremely slippery.

Fall Roof Care Tips.

During the fall season, conduct a comprehensive roof inspection. Ensure you are comfortable with heights before conducting a roof inspection. Otherwise, call a professional roofing contractor to schedule an inspection. 

Inspecting sloped roofs:

  1. Check for dark stains that may signify algae and fungus growth
  2. Clean clogged gutters
  3. Remove debris
  4. Repair any damage to flashing

Inspecting flat roofs:

  1. Check for cracks in roofing felt
  2. Check for any spongy spots that may signify a water leak
  3. Check condition of supports of air conditioners and other mechanical equipment secured to roof
  4. Repair any flashing damage

Don’t forget to check the inside of the building as well. Look for brown spots or rings on the ceiling or water stains on the wall. These signs may illustrate a roof leak.

Winter Roof Care Tips.

In most cases, there is no need to remove snow from a roof. But after an abnormally heavy snowfall, especially a heavy snowfall followed by rain, it would be wise to remove excess snow to prevent roof damage and, in extreme cases, roof collapse. 

For sloped roofs: 

Homeowners with sloped roofs can use a ladder and a specially designed roof rake to remove excess snow from the roof. Do not strike the roof with the rake or attempt to remove all of the snow from the roof’s surface. Striking the roof or attempting to scrape all of the snow off the roof could damage the shingles. 

For flat roofs: 

Before removing snow from a commercial, flat roof building, it is a good idea to consult a professional roofing contractor. Most flat roofs are designed to carry heavy snow, but if the snow load is more than the building was designed to carry, hire a professional to make sure the snow is removed without damaging the roofing material and property or endangering lives. 

During periods of freezing temperature, check your roof for frozen ice dams. Ice dams are caused by melting snow that refreezes as it works its way down the roof, trapping other water runoff behind its frozen wall and forcing up into the roof. Trapped water on a roof is never a good thing for a roof. It can lead to moisture damage and shorten a roof’s lifespan. Contact us if you need help with winter roof maintenance, including snow removal and ice dam prevention.

Terms You Should Know.

Rafters 

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Wooden beams in attic designed to create a slope on a roof surface and support decking and roofing materials. 

Common problems - warping or deflection which is usually caused by a lack of ventilation. Can cause dips on the roof surface. 

Decking 

Solid part of roof attached to rafters that supports the roof system. Usually plywood or wooden lumber in older home construction. 

Common Problems - lack of ventilation can cause decking to warp. Water leaks will rot the wood material. 

Underlayment 

Water barrier of the roof system. This part of the roof can either be a tar felt, or an upgraded synthetic material. 

Ventilation 

The purpose of this roof component is to vent heat out of the attic space. Aside from cooling your homes interior it also prevents heat from dry rotting rafters and decking. 

Shingles/Tile/Metal 

Part of roof that creates a covering of overlapping elements of a roof system. This part of the roof can be asphaltic shingles, metal panels, tiles, or wood slats. This part of the roof system serves to protect roof against weather.

3 Reasons Homeowners Need to Get a New Roof

Homeowners with a 20-year-old roof: 

If you maintain your roof and keep your gutters cleaned then you should have no problems with your roof. However, when you have the original roof and you have not done anything to the roof but you notice a little something leaking in the house. You probably need to have it inspected. Most inspectors when seeing a roof of this age will tell you to replace it. Homeowners are better safe than sorry. You want too protect your most precious investment. 

Homeowners selling a home: 

It is important to go through a home inspection when you sell your home. Normally it is the purchaser responsibility to get a home inspection. When we come to the roof, it is just good business to tell the purchaser the last roofing issues you have with the home. If you have owned it and there has never been and issue, let them know that also. Nine times out of ten, We have seen new home owners say "I just bought this house and the warranty just ran out and the previous home owner did not mention any roofing issue". 

Homeowners with a two layers Roof: 

We have heard people in the industry say that, you can have 3 layers of shingles on a roof before you have to replace them. In fact, We have heard some people repair roof jobs in patch work just replacing a few shingles. This can be effective if the ply board under the roof is still in good condition. We have seen a roof with 3 layers of shingle (the third layer just recently placed) cave in because of the weight. The roof didn not simply fall in, but the roof sagged in an area allowing water to seep in through the ply boards causing damage to the board and drywall in the ceiling. 

A roof is your home first layer of protection. It is best to care for your first layer of protection properly or you will have major challenges in the future. 

What Are the Main Reasons Causing Roof Damage?

The type of damage a roof sustains is typically caused by moisture or weather. Seasonal changes play a role in the deterioration of roofing materials, and the roof begins aging immediately after it is installed. 

Weather Damage and Fatigue Water Damage 

Water damage is the most common cause of roof problems. Research has shown that an inadequately ventilated roof area prevents air movement, which increases the moisture content in the air. Moisture causes corrosion, deterioration of insulation materials, and expansion and contraction of the wooden support structure, which impairs the performance of shingles or other roofing materials. The resulting gaps cause the roof to leak, which results in more damage. 

Extreme weather incidents such as severe storms, high winds and heavy rain can dislodge shingles, but even everyday weather has a negative effect on a roof. Summer sunshine reflected off the roof can cause the roof’s temperature to rise, and the arrival of a cold front or a thunderstorm causes it to drop rapidly. The shock of such expansion and contraction places a strain on the support structure as well as the cladding, causing fatigue and deterioration.

What Are Low Slope Roofs?

Roofs that have slopes of 4:12 or less are considered to be low slope roofs. (4:12 means a vertical rise of 4 inches for every 12 inch horizontal run, or 18.4°). Never apply asphalt shingles to slopes that are below 2:12 (9.5°). Shingles applied on low slope slopes do not last as long as shingles on steeper roof pitches, due to the increased exposure to sunlight and other weather conditions. Generally, laminated/architectural shingles are better suited to steep roofs, where their enhanced aesthetics are more readily visible.

General guidelines of roof maintenance

A. Semi-annual inspections need to be performed (usually before or after the rainy season) to check the asphalt shingles and all flashings surrounding such roof projections as chimneys, skylights and vents, etc. and make sure that they are not deteriorated or loose.  This can be done with the aid of a telescope. If it needs to be repaired, call a local qualified contractor to perform the work. (Try to avoid climbing onto the roof yourself.)

B. All fallen leaves and debris gathered in the eaves gutter need to be cleaned annually and make sure that the downspouts are draining properly.

C. Check if you need to trim back any tree branches overhanging the roof.  Overhanging branches may fall to the roof to cause damages or block out sunlight with too much shade formed, which prevents moisture from circulating out and promotes the growth of moss, thus the service life of the asphalt shingles could be reduced.

What are the main types of roofing materials in Canada?

asphalt roof shingles

roofing tile

wood shakes

torch down roof

metal roof

composition shingles

From the perspective of cost performance, which type of material is the best?

The biggest drawback to tile can be its heavy weight. The roof truss built with it is easy to suffer from deformation. Moss easily grows on it. It needs to be frequently cleaned since leakage would be a hidden problem.
A wood shake roof usually costs more. Small animals can also be a problem to it. A short service life is another drawback.
The main disadvantages to metal roofing are the sound proof problem and poor heat shielding performance, which results in much heat in summer and high rate of heat loss in winter.

From the perspective of cost performance, we recommend that asphalt shingles are the best option.

Why asphalt roof shingles are the most popular choice for roofing material?

A. Asphalt roof shingles are characterized by their long service life, light weight, safety and aesthetic appearance.
B. All asphalt roof shingles are guaranteed for 25 to 30 years of service life by manufacturers. (Partly under certain conditions)
C. Asphalt roof shingles are light-weighted, so that they may not produce much pressure on the roof structure. 
D. Asphalt roof shingles can minimize casualties during an earthquake.
E. Asphalt roof shingles of higher quality versions can create a strong dimensional effect.
F. Asphalt roof shingles may contain a portion of copper or tin materials to discourage moss growth on the roof.

Why composition shingles are the most popular choice for roofing material?

A. Composition shingles are characterized by their longer service life, lighter weight, safety and aesthetic appearance.
B. Compared with other roofing materials, composition shingles require lower maintenance cost yet own higher strength.
C. Compared with asphalt roof shingles of the same size, composition shingles are lighter.
D. Composition shingles can minimize the injury to the human body in case an earthquake occurs.
E. Of all roofing materials, composition shingles creates the strongest dimensional effect.
F. Composition shingles can be cleaned with high strength cleaning equipments (high pressure water cleaner, for example).

How to care and maintain the wood shake and shingle roof?

According to some professionals of Ontario Roofing Association, wood shake and shingle roofing had better be cleaned with broom and normal water pipe. High pressure water cleaner is not applicable. Repainting should also be avoided. High pressure water cleaner and repainting can only maintain the appearance of roof for a short period of time, typically one to two years. After that, wood shakes may continue to become darker and cracks may appear.

Many people ask how much it costs to replace a roof?

Our bid will be based on square footage, the pitch of roof (The higher the inclination is, the more it will cost), the height of the house (The higher the house is, the more it will cost) and the complicated conditions of the roof etc. (such as the alteration of the direction of skylights, chimneys or the whole roof) In simple terms, the simpler the roof is, the lower the price will be.  The price also varies according to different types of roofing material opted for.

How do we know the roof needs to be restored?

Most people think that if a roof doesn’t leak, the maintenance and replacement work will be unnecessary. But it is probably mistaken. Similar to our family cars, roof should be regularly maintained and cleaned. Especially moss, if left untreated, it will block the water path and trap water which will result in a hidden problem: water leakage. At the initial stage of leaking, you can hardly notice it since the small amount of water would be absorbed by wood and heat-insulated foam. If this situation persists, the roof structure will be deeply affected. When leaking has become more serious, water will drip through the ceiling. At that time, the ceiling, even the floor, furniture and the kitchen utensils will need to be replaced. Consequently, the loss caused by the leaking will be greatly increased. Therefore, roof should be regularly maintained and cleaned. As for replacement, we need to make a concrete analysis of a concrete situation. When the wood shakes are out of shape and warped, or crack and rot, you may have to consider replacing the wood roof. If you find your tile roofing covered with large quantity of moss and there are cracks on the surface of asphalt, the tile roofing may need to be replaced.
A pitched roof is usually covered with asphalt shingles. This sort of roofing contains asphalt and fine gravels. These gravels are there for two reasons. The primary reason is to protect the shingles from the sun. In inland areas of Ontario, sunlight is the biggest enemy of roof since the sun's UV rays are very damaging to asphalt and cause it to deteriorate prematurely. While in western areas, especially in Vancouver, too much rainfall is the biggest reason for roof leaking.  When you observe your roof, you will find the most terrible condition usually exists in the northern part and shaded places (e.g. the place sheltered by a tree). The condition of such places is also the decisive factor whether the roof should be replaced or not.

How do we notice a roof leak?

A. Check whether there are some visible yellowish water stains on the interior wall below the skylight.

B. Check whether there are some visible yellowish water stains on the ceiling of the second floor.

C. The yellowish water stains on the indoor wall of the chimney may serve as a sign of a roof leak or a leak resulted from aged chimney.

D. There exist some abnormal peeling wallpapers.

If you find yourself in such situations mentioned above, please contact us as soon as possible. We will send professionals over your place to make a free–of–charge analysis on the condition of your house.

Frequently asked questions on torch down roof?

A. The hot melt oil felt is usually torched down on a flat roof during the installation process.  Compared to pitched roof, flat roof tends to collect water, which is attributable to improper operations during roof construction process or the subsidence of the house resulting from the sediment of soil.

B. Many drainage pipelines of the torch down roof enter through the indoor area. When replacing the roof, particular care should be given to the installation and water proofing of the drainage pipelines.  Sometimes it is essential to cooperate with a professional plumber.

C. Some torch down roof is not installed in accordance with the three layer standard, which can cause a shortened service lifespan of the roof.

An attempt to explain the service life of roof

When considering replacing the roof, many people would be faced with different versions of the roof service life which ranges from 25 to 35 years. The service life of roof is closely associated with the quality of asphalt roof shingles which is determined by their own weight.  Asphalt shingles we may see in the market range in weight from 210 to 320 pounds per 100 square feet. The most common type that contractors usually opt for is 210 pounds per 100 square feet. In accordance with the construction code, the 210 pounds per 100 square feet is considered a minimum standard for asphalt shingle roof.

When roof begins its aging process, the gravels will fall from the asphalt shingles, which encourages the sunlight to melt the asphalt more easily, thus causing the bending and deformation of the asphalt shingles. Such asphalt shingle roof usually has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

320’s (three hundred and twenty pounds per square) are usually provided with a 20-year warranty by the manufacturer. But few people use them; therefore they are rare in the market.
Finally, the layers of asphalt shingles are also the factors that influence the cost. Some people will shingle a new roof to an old roof, which will reduce the service life of the new one. However, tearing off the old shingles will increase the cost by 10 - 15%.