Spring Maintenance: 4 Issues That Can Cause Roof Damage

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A healthy roof protects a building’s inner contents, increases building value, saves money on heating and cooling costs, and protects the building against costly hidden damage. Often roof issues aren’t addressed until there’s a problem. However, finding and addressing roof issues early can save money by preventing further issues and interior damage.

When in comes to maintaining a healthy roof, there are 4 major issues that you need to be on the lookout for, especially if you want to get repairs made before any deterioration can occur. Below, we outline issues with chimney flashings, ponding, ventilation problems, and the damage that can occur from hailstorms.

Chimney and Brick Flashings (Counter Flashing) – If you have a leak-free chimney and a stain-free ceiling, you more than likely can thank the counter flashing for preventing water from entering where the chimney or wall meets the roof. There are, however, a few issues that can cause your counter flashing to be working on a less-than-stellar level, including improper installation, failing or old materials, and not having the flashing being ground into mortar or brick.

Tuckpointing can cause frustrations as well; it does focus on the mortar joint between the brick or stone in your chimney, but it does not address the masonry itself. In addition, a lack of a cricket behind a chimney that is larger than 30 inches can cause leaking. To keep your counter flashing’s integrity intact, you should get it checked every 2 years. If you notice any staining occurring near the chimney, a flashing issue is almost always the culprit.

Ponding – Ponding can occur on a flat roofing surface that has not been properly installed or where obstructions have changed the drainage path of the roof. Ponding – where water forms small pools on the surface and cannot drain – is a very common cause of water intrusion and leaks and can be caused by blocked drains or drains not functioning properly. It is important to have the roof evaluated periodically to ensure that it is performing as designed and to diagnose issues proactively before tehy become a stain on the ceiling.

Ventilation – When it comes to ventilation in your roof, it needs to be “balanced” in that the intake should be equal to exhaust. Additionally, if your business has an attic, the attic temperature should be within 10-15 degrees of the temperature outside. Often, the vents’ placement can cause the ventilation to be off-balanced, and it can even create dead zones in the attic. If your roof isn’t ventilated properly, condensation can form inside the attic, which can cause mold, staining, and issues with the roof’s sheathing. In short, a ventilated roof is a happy roof.

Hailstorm Damage – When it comes to hailstorm damage, there are several factors at work that can harm your roof including wind, the size and density of hailstones, and the building materials that comprise your roof. Wind direction and velocity can change unexpectedly and vary during a storm, which can affect the location and severity of the damage. Hailstone size can affect your roof’s damage, as hailstones range in size from pea-size to softball-size and typically do not have smooth edges. In addition, large hailstones have the potential to puncture the roof, depending on the roof’s age and condition and the velocity and density of the hailstones.

Thanks to our friends at Signature Exteriors for their help in putting this article together. We recommend Signature Exteriors for all of your commercial building’s roofing needs.

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