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Archive for the ‘leak repair’ Category

What you need to know about leak repair and rain

December 18, 2015

Leak 1It’s the moment every homeowner dreads, hearing that faint drip, drip, drip indicating a leak somewhere in your home. Or maybe it’s spotting a wet splotch on your ceiling that wasn’t there before. Whether it’s a drip in the attic the inspector caught, or the obvious Niagara Falls in your living room, no one is excited about a leak. We get it, no one has damaged sheet rock or wet floors on their Christmas list! However what homeowners want even less is unnecessary damage to the plywood and roofing materials. Therefore, we don’t recommend repairing most leaks while it’s heavy or steady rain. This view may leave you wondering why not in the rain, when can your repair be done, what can you do?

Firstly, the “why” we won’t do many repairs in the rain. The fact is that repairs on the roof, especially leak repairs, generally involve opening up a larger portion of the roof than just where the leak is. Whether it’s replacing the surrounding shingles or extending a patch of the protective underlayment, it exposes the framework and at times the attic. When there is steady water coming down while this exposure is happening it allows that water to freely access the otherwise protected areas and can cause way more damage in a short period of time than would be caused by the leak if left for a few days. Think of it like a leaky pipe. You recognize your pipe is leaking, and you know you need to replace a portion of the pipe to fix it. You don’t want to replace that portion of the pipe while the water is running though, this would cause water to get everywhere, and would cause the repair to be harder to complete because you would be battling an extra force. While it’s not an exact analogy, it’s an easy way to see the trouble of repairing leaks in the rain.

Which takes us to “when” can it be done. Rain doesn’t necessarily mean all repairs are stopped. If it’s on and off light showers, many field, skylight, and flashing repairs can still be done. Some repairs that are more surface repairs and are small can even be done in heavier rain. But for more complicated repairs or repairs in water vulnerable spots like troughs and valleys, or repairs in which you are replacing everything down to the plywood, it’s best to go with a completely rain free day to complete the work! Don’t stress about trying to figure it out on your own though. Listen to and trust your roofer to know when it’s safe to do the repair.

Lastly we come to “what” can you do. My first advice is DON’T panic! Being able to explain your situation calmly to a roofer, and being able to listen to any advice they have for you is going to be one of the most valuable things for you. Another thing you can do is take precautionary measures. Placing buckets to catch the drip can be helpful, especially if you are able to place them in the attic and catch the leak at the highest point, minimizing internal damage. Tarping can also help minimize the water getting in, however don’t tarp your roof if you have to nail or staple the tarp, as this can make holes in the roof and create even more leaks!

Hopefully some of those questions have been answered for you, leaving you more confident as a homeowner and ready to face any leak that comes your way!

Satellite dishes – How to deal with those holes in your roof

July 21, 2014

We live in a day and age where our lives may revolve around television and satellite TV has become very reasonably priced. As a result, the new, smaller dishes are mounted on roofs everywhere.

About half the roofs I see have a dish mounted somewhere on the surface. The downside to this practice is that this adds more weak points to your roof.  The fewer holes and exposed fasteners on a roof, the lesser the chance of damage from a leak developing in the future. If you are having a satellite dish installed, request that the dish be mounted on another surface, if possible. If that is not possible, make sure the technician installs the dish using gaskets and sealers, in order to reduce the chance of future leakage.

Another thing we often find are brackets and dish mounts that are left behind when a dish is removed. In these cases, we recommend removing the mount and replacing the shingles where the holes were left. Sealing the holes is a temporary fix, because the sealant dries out and cracks; it remains watertight only for a few years.

If you need us to remove a dish mount, repair damage left by an improperly installed mount, or seal up an existing mount, give us a call!


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The difficulty with low-slope roofs

March 27, 2014

Low slope roofs add a different challenge to the roofing profession. Many homes feature additions, dormers, or sections with low-slope roofs. In practical fact, a low-slope roof is any pitch lower than a 3/12 (3 inches vertical for every 12 inches horizontal). These roofs cannot be covered by the usual materials (composition shingle, tile, cedar shake, etc.) because water can get underneath the material easily greatly increasing the potential for leaks. We performed a repair on a poorly installed low slope dormer roof recently that had not been secured down properly.  There were ripples and small ponds forming and the wind pulled about half of the roof away from the plywood decking beneath, we removed the old material, built up one side slightly, installed new flashing and closely matched shingles. The roof has been restored to a leak free condition for a long time to come!


Chimney sidewall overlay (second-layer roof)

January 28, 2014


Most folks do their best to be efficient and frugal with their finances. One way they try to save some money is by hiring an economy roofer to install a second-layer roof (also called an overlay.) While this is an acceptable practice in most circles, be forewarned that it can lead to headaches in the long run. At Northwest Roof Maintenance, we’ve learned that the new top layer of roofing ages differently, because it is not designed to be installed over the top of another roof.

We inspected an overlay roof this week and found another problem that is fairly common with economy overlay installation. When the roofers installed the shingles around the chimney, they did not properly flash the new layer. If the new layer is not flashed under the existing counter flashing that’s set into the chimney, water that runs down the side of the chimney can funnel under the new layer and find all kinds of pathways on top of the old layer. In this case, the water was funneled under the new layer and found a path through the old layer onto an enclosed eave and down the siding.

While we don’t recommend second-layer roofs, if you do decide to go that route, make sure your contractor isn’t cutting any more corners to save a few dollars, or you will likely pay for it by needing interior and exterior repairs in the near future.

The new year–and a renewed mission

January 2, 2014

logoIMG_20130926_102622It’s the new year already! We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014.

In 2013, Northwest Roof Maintenance served more customers than in any other year in our history. We realized dramatic growth by dutifully living up to our mission statement: “To provide the most outstanding roof maintenance service every day.” Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are ready to serve you–for emergency leak repair, concrete tile power washing, gutter cleaning, skylight replacement, and much more. Regular care and maintenance adds years to the life of your roof, so be sure to call us for a free, no-obligation roof inspection.

We offer excellent value. Our warranty, service, and knowledge are second to none and add up to long-term savings. You’ll experience true peace of mind knowing that your roof is in the experienced hands of professionals who stand behind their work and do it right the first time.