Many homes today have tricky areas on their roof that require special attention. If these areas are neglected they can quickly become problem areas. Educating yourself about these areas can help with your roofing purchase. The right roofing contractor and quality workmanship will ensure all areas of your new roof are taken care of correctly. Below we outline some common problem areas with roofing systems:
- Ice Dams
- Dead Valleys
- Roof Vents
- Antennas and Satellites
- Solar Panels
An Ice Dam is a buildup of ice on a roof that can force water under the shingles and into your home. Heat from the interior of the home warms the underside of the roof causing accumulated snow and ice to melt. When the water reaches the cold edges of the roof outside your interior warm walls (above your soffit) it re-freezes causing the ice dam.
Once the ice dam is created any additional water is forced up and under the roof covering. The building code requires that you protect yourself from ice dams using appropriate underlayments, but limit this requirement to roofs that have 8/12 slopes and below. The picture above clearly shows that no roof is immune from ice dams. Dayus Roofing and all shingle manufacturers recommend that you install appropriate leak barriers (ice and watershield) at the eaves and critical areas of your home to protect yourself against ice dams.
Home builders and designers do not always have the best interest of the roofing system and watershed in mind. A dead valley is an area on a roofing system created by the junction of two slopes, or a slope with a wall, where water cannot run off the roof easily. These areas are very low sloped and sometimes completely flat. Similarly to any low sloped roof, proper low sloped materials should be used that can handle slow water run off without premature deterioration occurring. Too often roofers will shingle over these areas without the proper underlayment which can cause homeowners hundreds of dollars. Protect yourself the first time by using a designated low slope material. It will cost more up front, but it is the right thing to do for the longevity of your roof.
SidewallsAnother common problem area on roofing systems is along sidewalls and finding the cause is sometimes very difficult. It is important when dealing with a problem along your sidewalls that you use a reputable contractor to help you. Many inexperienced contractors will simply rely on caulking or tar as the solution, which can actually cause more harm than good.
Brick and Stone walls require proper step and counter flashings, while siding and stucco sidewalls should have step flashings woven through the shingles and tucked under the wall protection. Click here to learn more about metal flashings.
3 Reasons chimneys often cause problems for homeowners:
|Improper Flashings||Brick and Stone walls require proper step and counter flashings, while siding and stucco sidewalls should have step flashings woven through the shingles and tucked under the wall protection. Many inexperienced contractors will simply rely on caulking or tar as the solution, which can actually cause more harm than good.|
|Brick or Stone Deterioration||Sometimes it’s not the roof at all, but the decay of your brick or stone causing the problem. Chimneys should be repointed every 50 years. Poor workmanship can drastically decrease this life expectancy. If you aren’t sure whether it is your roof flashings or chimney causing the leak we will be more than happy to send out a representative from Dayus to asses the problem.|
|No saddle to guide water||A chimney saddle slopes the water away from directly hitting the back of the chimney. The Building code of Ontario states that chimney saddles shall be installed where the upper side of a chimney on a sloping roof is more than 29.5 inches wide. A chimney saddle need not be installed if the intersection between the chimney and roof is protected by sheet metal flashing that extends up the chimney to a height equal to at least one-sixth the width of the chimney, but not less than 5.9 inches, and up the roof slope to a point equal in height to the flashing on the chimney, but not less than 1.5 times the shingle exposure. Contractors often overlook this detail which can cause big problems down the road.|
Anything that penetrates the roof deck can be the source of a problem and roof vents are no exception. Manufacturer’s recommendations for install must be strictly adhered to when installing roof vents and exposed nail heads should always be sealed to prevent corrosion. Many times contractors will use the wrong vents for the wrong purpose (i.e. exhaust vent as intake), will mix vent types, or create an unbalanced ventilation system that can draw moisture and even snow into your attic space. Click here to learn more about ventilation.
Antennas and Satellites
It may sound crazy, or like an excuse for a failed roof, but foreign objects such as antennas and hot stacks can cause your roof to deteriorate more quickly than normal. Take a look at the following images:
Pretty easy to spot the similarity (if you missed it we are referring to the antennas). Foreign objects create quite a predicament because they are often required to be located on the roof. Antennas, for example, get the best signal at the highest point of the home, but do cause problems with your shingles. If possible, it is recommended to keep foreign objects off of your roof.
The above images are all of organic based shingles. However, even the latest fiberglass shingles are affected by foreign objects. The biggest problems with foreign objects include:
- RUST that can corrode your shingles and leave streaks.
- BIRDS are attracted to antennas and other objects and tend to leave presents behind that can cause corrosion of your shingles.
- HOLES are created when fastening objects to your roof that can be the source of future problems and leaks.
Antennas, satellites, hot stacks and vent pipes all are known to cause problems, which are by no means limited to asphalt shingles. All objects are supposed to be installed using corrosion proof materials so that rust is not created. This does not keep the birds away. Contact a Dayus Roofing representative for more information.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular on homeowner’s roof tops. However, these should still be considered foreign objects and the same logic should apply. Solar companies make promises that their panels do not cause leaks, will protect your roof so that it lasts longer, are maintenance free and are sure to make you lots of money! Experience and a 94 year old history have taught us that regardless of the promises made to you, it is important to consult with a roofing professional before installing solar panels.
Many solar companies install their panels by driving large spikes with simple rubber fasteners through your roof and rely on caulking to keep them watertight. Time will tell what kind of effects having a large solar panel system on your roof will have.
If you are considering installing solar panels we encourage you to take these precautions:
- Make sure your roof is in good condition prior to installing panels. It is recommended that your roof be replaced prior to installing panels. Shingle manufacturers do not cover the costs of removing solar panels if there is a problem with your shingles.
- If replacing your roof prior, cover the roof slope where panels are to be installed with a high quality leak barrier or ice and water shield such as GAF StormGuard. These self-sealing membranes will help keep your roof watertight.
- Use appropriate mounting brackets that do not rely on caulking for water tightness
- Factor in maintenance and removal costs when estimating the returns on your investment into a solar panel system.
Only 3% of roofing contractors in North America are Master Elite Certified through GAF. Click Here to learn more about the Dayus Advantage.
Roofing 101 Topics
- Roof Design Types
- Early Deterioration
- Warning Signs
- Problem Areas
- Building Code
- Deck Preparation
- Material Options
- Metal Flashings
- Valleys & Ridges
- Common Mistakes
50 years materials defects coverage and a 25 year workmanship guarantee makes the GAF Golden Pledge one of the best warranties in the industry today! Click here to learn more.