Top 10 Roof Problems
Obvious or unforeseen, roof leaks are always a painful and significant expense.
This is not a self diagnosis, but mostly a informative list of the problems most
building occupants find themselves fighting.
Roof Leaks - Moisture Peaks
With any type of roof, no matter what type, it is going to leak someday. Leaks
occur for a number of reasons. Interrupting the continuous membrane of the roof,
metal flashings, usually results in the ability of water to penetrate the
structure. 95% of roof leaks are found to originate in these areas..
Blow offs and the uplift resistance
Leaks are not the only thing that can happen from improperly installed
flashings. Hot Roofs cause blow offs and other issues. Seams made with a cold
adhesives do not have the same integrity that a cured adhesive. If the roof
experiences adverse weather conditions before the adhesive cures, then uplift
can damage the roof membrane.
Poor Installation and unsatisfactory workmanship
A faulty installation can dramatically decrease the ability of a roof to shed
water. These common problems will crop up at some point in the life of the roof.
Life expectancy can be a overall result of clean, dry and primed areas during
installation. Torch applied roof rarely have the materials relaxed before
installation causing tension and system performance failures over time. This
will result in wrinkles, leaks, fish mouths, and blisters.
Lack of Maintenance
Many reasons can be cited why not to neglect your roof. By ignoring a series of
easy and preventative steps you put yourself and your family in harms way.
Perform routine inspections on you home. You do not have to be a professional to
inspect a roof. If you notice ponding water, clumped debris, of improper
pitching, then you may be in at the cross roads of minor home repair and
increasing the life expectancy of your roof.
A problem associated with the improper drainage of water on a roof top, known as
ponding water. This 'incidental ponding water' can occur to all types of roofs.
Pro-active steps should be taken when roof installation occurs. Ponding water
mainly affects hot mop roofs that have an additional membrane(s) applied. If
inconsistent application occurs, then ponding will occur as well as a voided
warranty. HVAC units installed without condensation drain lines could be the
culprit of ponding water. Always inspect thoroughly. Check drains, rain gutters,
and run off making sure that they are free of debris.
Punctures - Post Installation
For all building owners, but especially poly-urethane foam and single ply, foot
traffic is damaging and problematic. Heavy foot traffic can cause scrapes or
tears in the membrane and damage the substrate below. In addition to leaks, this
can cause premature aging of the entire roof. Limit traffic on the roof and
always perform cursory inspection after work or maintenance have been completed.
Roof system performance is always compromised when adding new components to an
existing roof. Eventual problems will occur if scheduled maintenance issues are
Application of a hot mop roof requires strict adherence to safety procedures.
Over heating the asphalt can result in burns and fires in the kettle and on the
roof top. Fire extinguishers should be present.
Using materials that are not intended for roof repairs can cause long term and
or permanent damage to the roof. On of the most common improper roof repairs is
associated with metal roofs. People go to the roof with caulking and plastic
roof cement, not knowing that the materials are intended for a different
purpose. You have the small problem made worse by improper repair. Follow the
manufacturers repair guidelines to extend the life of your roof top.
Single ply roof types are all unique. Chances are if you walk up on to a single
ply roof top you will find evidence of shrinkage. Two highly observed
occurrences on single ply roof tops are the pulling of flashings due to the
shrinking membrane and the surface cracking and associated with the perimeter
and perimeter flashing.
Blistering, ridging, splitting and surface erosion can eventually lead to bigger
problems. Hot Mop Roof tops can be over heated and cause blistering along with
the slipping of felts and accelerated aging. If the membrane is not attached
properly then the delamination of the building materials will occur. During the
installation of spray poly-urethane foam systems, application over a wet
substrate can cause severe blistering.
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