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March 2024

The Troubling Causes Behind Leaking Roofs

As a homeowner, few things can cause as much anxiety and frustration as a leaking roof. Not only can it lead to costly repairs, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of your home and potentially cause extensive water damage. Understanding the common causes of leaking roofs is the first step in addressing the issue and preventing further damage. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most prevalent reasons why roofs start to leak and what you can do about it.     Age and Wear and Tear  One of the primary reasons roofs develop leaks is simply due to age and natural wear and tear. Roofing materials, whether they’re asphalt shingles, tiles, or metal, have a finite lifespan. Over time, exposure to harsh weather conditions, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations can cause these materials to deteriorate, crack, or become brittle. As the roofing components age, they become more susceptible to leaks, especially during heavy rain or storms.     Improper Installation or Poor Workmanship  While a well-installed roof can last for decades, improper installation or poor workmanship can significantly shorten its lifespan and lead to leaks. Common mistakes include using incorrect nailing patterns, failing to properly overlap or seal shingles or flashings, and not adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions or building codes.      Damaged or Missing Shingles or Tiles Extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, hail storms, or fallen tree branches, can cause shingles or tiles to become cracked, dislodged, or entirely missing. These damaged areas create entry points for water, leading to leaks and potentially more extensive damage if left unaddressed.     Clogged or Damaged Gutters and Downspouts  While gutters and downspouts may seem like a minor component of your roofing system, they play a crucial role in diverting water away from your home’s foundation and roof. When these components become clogged with debris or damaged, water can back up and seep under shingles or tiles, leading to leaks and potential water damage inside the home.    Addressing Leaking Roofs  If you suspect your roof is leaking, it’s essential to act promptly to minimize further damage. Here are some steps you can take:     Identify the source of the Leak: Carefully inspect your roof, paying close attention to areas around vents, chimneys, skylights, and valleys. Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracks in flashing, or other visible signs of deterioration.  Temporary repairs: If the leak is minor and you can safely access the affected area, you may be able to make temporary repairs using roofing sealant or tar. However, keep in mind that these are temporary solutions and a professional inspection and repair may still be necessary.  Hire a professional roofer: For more significant leaks or if the source is challenging to identify, it’s best to hire a reputable and experienced roofing contractor. They have the expertise and equipment to thoroughly inspect your roof, diagnose the underlying issue, and provide a long-lasting solution.       Conclusion  While leaks are sometimes unavoidable, regular preventive maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your roof and minimize the risk of costly repairs. Schedule annual inspections with a professional roofer to identify and address any potential issues before they escalate. Additionally, keep your gutters and downspouts clear of debris, and ensure proper attic ventilation to prevent condensation buildup.  By understanding the common causes of leaking roofs and taking proactive measures to address them, you can protect your home from water damage and maintain the structural integrity of your roof. Don’t let a leaky roof dampen your spirits or put a strain on your wallet – stay vigilant, prioritize maintenance, and seek professional help when needed. 

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TPO Roof

Signs Your TPO Roof Needs Repair: How to Spot Common Issues

As a home or business owner with a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof, it’s essential to recognize any warning signs that your roof needs repair. Catching TPO roof issues early allows for smaller fixes before significant leaks and damage occur.   Since TPO roofs are still relatively new to the market, their failure points remain unfamiliar to many building owners. Inspect your commercial or residential TPO roof twice a year and look for these common problems:   Punctures and Holes    Assess your TPO roof for any punctures from hail damage, falling debris, foot traffic accidents, mechanical units being dropped during servicing, or other impacts. Even tiny punctures expand into leaks, so inspect closely around HVAC systems, skylights, vents, chimneys, and other roof protrusions. Note cuts, scrapes, or holes where animals may have accessed the roof as well. Any punctures demand prompt welding repair patches.     Seam Failure  On TPO roofs, separate sheets of the membrane are sealed together with hot air-welded seams. Failed seams become visible as gaps between membrane sheets from inadequate bonding during installation or seam tape deterioration after years of expansion/contraction stress. Water easily penetrates these seam openings. Have an inspector probe all seams for soundness and re-weld any identified weaknesses.     Standing Water   Small rain puddles dissipate fairly quickly on properly sloped and drained TPO roofs. Persistent standing water beyond 48 hours signals drainage issues. Flashing failures, clogged drains/scuppers, and debris accumulation prevent water runoff. The pooling moisture causes seam looseness, seals around roof protrusions to detach, and rust to form – accelerating roof leaks. Identify and eliminate sources of inadequate drainage.       Discoloration and Chalkiness    White TPO membrane grays slightly over time with typical weathering. More pronounced dark streaks indicate ponded water, leaves/debris accumulation, or UV damage which degrades roof integrity. A powdery white chalky texture also demonstrates advanced weathering breakdown. Discoloration and chalking limit reflectivity to magnify heat damage plus require seal rejuvenation and protective coatings.     Cracking/Crazing   Extreme cold, significant hail, or chemical exposure can create small cracks and crazing throughout thermoplastic polyolefin roof expanses. Less common on TPO than blistering, cracking still allows water seepage and reflects brittleness requiring reinforcement. Inspect for crack openings wider than 1/16th an inch which demand sealants for preventing tear spread or wrinkling failure.       Rust Formation   TPO can’t corrode but roof fasteners, screws, nails, pipes, vents, and mechanical supports underneath often contain iron content susceptible to rusting from water exposure. Rust expansion loosens attachments, compromises seals, and sparks leaks. Check areas around flashing anchors, seal termination bars, and HVAC bases for rust spots. Address corrosion issues promptly before water migration to structural decking.     Don’t ignore TPO roof warning signals which amplify into costly fixes if left unaddressed. Catching problems early better protects your property and assets from severe damage tied to uninhibited leaks. If multiple roof repair needs emerge, full replacement may become the most prudent long-term financial decision. By regularly inspecting and recognizing common TPO failures, you can optimize roof lifespan through timely care. Your diligence rewards you with sustained protection from the elements. 

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