Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage

Recommendation points

Damage to the roof covering manifests itself in the form of local leaks, which in general threatens to damage other elements of the building structure and finishing materials. In most cases, it is possible to identify the cause of the leak and repair the roof without the help of specialists..

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage

When the snow melts in spring or after prolonged rains, damage to the roof makes itself felt – leaks are found. In this case, immediate repairs are necessary, otherwise other structural elements of the house will suffer, mold will appear, there is a risk of a short circuit in the wiring, which threatens a fire. Before starting the repair, you should understand the cause of the leaks..

Causes of pitched roof leaks

On a pitched roof, it is not easy to find out the cause of the leak: the damage may not be at all where the water is flowing from. To determine which element of the roof needs repair, the following observations should be considered:

  1. If a leak is found during heavy rainfall, the problem must be looked for at the place where the roof joins with the vertical structural parts of the house, for example, with ventilation pipes or a chimney.
  2. Leaks due to snowmelt or prolonged rainfall indicate that the drain holes or pipes are clogged. It can be ice or fallen leaves. Excess moisture finds a way out in problem areas of the roof.
  3. If moisture appears on the inner surfaces of the roof in dry, hot weather, the moisture absorbed into the insulation is to blame. As it evaporates, it expands and seeks a way out, which manifests itself in the form of wet spots. The reasons for the moistening of the insulation are different: it can be microcracks in slate or ceramic tiles, narrow aprons.

How is the roof inspection performed?

Having found a leak, it is necessary to start looking for the place of damage. It is necessary to carefully examine the roof outside and inside. In the attic, the floor is examined: the presence of mold and black spots indicates dampness. The leak may be directly over this area. Signs – yellow spots and streaks on the inside of the roof.

In the event that there are no obvious signs of a leak, you should wait for the rain and inspect all the surfaces of the attic again. Wet spots are sure to show up. In order not to lose these places, they are marked with chalk..

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage Inspection of joints of the roof with vertical surfaces

An external examination of the joints of the roof with vertical surfaces is performed using a roof ladder according to the following method:

  1. They inspect the ridge: it is necessary to establish whether the metal sheets have been torn off and whether the waterproofing layer is damaged.
  2. Check the protective aprons: they must ensure tightness at the junction of vertical surfaces (chimneys, ventilation outlets) and the roof.
  3. The valleys should be free of leaves and debris. Funnels and pipes should also be cleaned.
  4. The edge of the roof is inspected for cracks: the wind often breaks and tears the material.
  5. The slopes are cleaned of moss: it expands cracks with roots and retains moisture. In places where it grows, damage to the roof is also likely..
  6. If it is possible to use an infrared camera, it can be used to detect damage to the roofing cake and identify areas of poor thermal insulation.

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage We inspect and clean the drainage system

Roof damage that can be repaired on your own

Cracks in slate roofs and shingles can form due to thermal expansion-contraction. To reduce the influence of weather changes, the rafters should be lined with boards by connecting several legs together. Found cracks must be cleaned and treated with a cement-sand mortar with the addition of liquid glass.

The restoration of the waterproofing layer under the tiles, which is most often violated at the junction of the rafter legs and battens of the sheathing, is performed as follows:

  1. In the place of damage, the roofing is dismantled. To do this, first strengthen the above tiles with wooden wedges. Then, using a trowel, pry off the tiles to be removed.
  2. Nails are taken out of the rails.
  3. Above the place of damage to the waterproofing, a section of the rail must be cut. To do this, lay a piece of plywood under it (for protection) and work with a hacksaw, removing everything that interferes with the repair.
  4. The damaged fragment is cut out, and a patch of the same material is applied over this place and fixed with glue.
  5. The slats are restored: the edges of the remaining parts are cut off at an angle (the bevel should be directed upwards), and the corresponding part is cut out to install in a free space. The edges are coated with wood glue and connected with self-tapping screws. The restored rail is treated with an antiseptic.
  6. Tiles are laid on top of the lag.

Repair of roofing from soft tiles

Shingle shingles are often pulled up and torn by the wind. Repair of the damaged fragment is possible at a temperature not lower than + 5 ° С, otherwise the roofing material may crack.

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage The most vulnerable places are the valley and the edge of the roof

It is better to glue tiles with small cracks with a special tool and cover them with a layer of glue. Degraded tiles need to be replaced.

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage Instead of damaged tiles, a new one is laid

The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. The tile from the upper (above the damaged fragment) row is lifted with a trowel or trowel.
  2. Removing the deteriorated tiles.
  3. Remove the nails with pliers from the battens of the crate (with which the tiles were attached).
  4. The new tile is coated with glue and laid in its place, after which it is nailed down with roofing nails.
  5. Adhesive is applied to the edges of the adjacent tiles.

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage The edges of the shingles are fixed with roofing nails

We repair metal tiles

There are two reasons for the leakage of metal tiles: non-compliance with the laying technology and violation of the tightness at the installation site of the screws. Often the rubber liner of cheap fasteners breaks down after two years of use. You cannot tighten them more: such screws must be replaced with better ones.

Roof leaks: causes and elimination of damage Self-tapping screws with damaged gaskets must be replaced

Installation errors cannot be resolved on your own. We’ll have to completely redo the entire roof. Often the reason for leakage is that cheap perforated films were preferred to expensive and high-quality anti-condensation films. They accumulate moisture, which, without having time to evaporate, manifests itself in the form of leaks. Such waterproofing material should be replaced.

To repair the roof, you need to wait for warm and dry weather, preferably in spring, when there is no heat. It is easier to work and, in addition, roofing materials will not deform or melt from high temperatures.

Using the recommendations indicated in the article, you can independently find out the cause of the roof leak and carry out repairs. This will save time and money..

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