If your home or business is nestled in the picturesque city of West Bloomfield, Michigan, you know the value of property that is well maintained. Keeping up with property maintenance is important if you want to ensure your home or company appreciates in value, because it is the largest investment you will likely have. Making sure your roof is in tip top shape is a priority, so if yours is looking less than stellar, be sure to give Twelve Oaks Roofing a call. We are a certified, licensed roofing contractor that has been serving your community for more than 20 years. All of our roofing professionals are trained in the latest techniques and use only GAF, CertainTeed roofing products. We are proud to be endorsed by these prestigious brands, and strive to be the very best in the business. We handle traditional roofing styles as well as flat and metal roofing, too.
In addition to serving West Bloomfield, we also take care of residential and commercial customers in Farmington Hills, Farmington, Walled Lake, Novi, South Lyon, and Wixom, MI. The owner of our company, a U.S. military veteran, is always on site for every roofing project, to answer any questions you have. Once you call us, we immediately schedule your customized roofing inspection and check for loosing and missing shingles, leaks, holes, and other imperfections that may be present due to storm damage, hail damage, snow damage, ice damage, or water damage. We also handle roofing repairs, roof maintenance, roof ventilation and upgrades, protective roof coatings, roofing replacement, skylight installation and repairs, and roof winterization services such as roof shoveling and roof ice dam repair.
It’s nice to know we offer a 100% lifetime warrantee and money back guarantee on all new roofing replacements. We also install most new roofs in just a day or two. And, if you’re a U.S. military veteran, ask about our discount that applies to those that have served our great country.
If you’ve got a roofing emergency, we have a 24/7 Emergency Response Roofing Team standing by to assist you, as well as walk you through the insurance claims process. Every year, we conduct customer satisfaction surveys, and have been consistently given top ratings for quality, affordability, and performance. Call our roofing technicians today at 248-525-6950 to schedule your free roofing inspection in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Water-related weather damage is one of the most common causes of residential property damage, making up 11 percent of insurance claims. Yet despite the prevalence of damage caused by rain, snow, and melting ice, many homeowners underestimate just how serious a threat water poses — or what they can do to reduce their risk level.
A home’s roof provides one of the important lines of defense against water damage. Unfortunately, poorly maintained roofs also account for a significant proportion of leaks. If you would like to learn more about roof leaks, and how to keep them at bay, read on. This article takes a look at how experienced roof contractors in West Bloomfield, Michigan can identify and repair problematic leaks.
The Dangers of Roof Leaks
Before delving into the specifics of where roof leaks occur — and how they can be repaired — it will help to take a closer look at some of the negative effects of roof leaks. Ideally, this information should motivate you to take leak prevention as seriously as possible.
Even a relatively minor roof leak can lead to serious forms of damage if it goes unrepaired for too long. Wooden structural components are especially vulnerable. Such components may either be located outside — think soffits, fascia boards, and exterior trim — or inside. Inside damage is even more problematic, since such components are often hidden from easy view.
As a result, rot and other issues may undermine the stability of things like ceiling joists, and rafters, and wall framing beams. More extensive leaks may also damage drywall, plaster, and ceiling paint. Many people never realize that they have a roof leak until unsightly stains have begun to appear on their ceilings and walls.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Wood that remains in a perpetually damp state will soon become a prime breeding ground for species of mold and mildew. Not only is such mold growth unsightly, but it can also lead to a range of health problems, including:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Throat irritation
- Coughing and wheezing
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Asthma Attacks
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Once mold and mildew have set in, they can be difficult and often expensive to get rid of. A better option involves heading off any roof leaks before they lead to the growth of these microorganisms.
Decreased HVAC Efficiency
Roof leaks often result in significant areas of your attic insulation becoming waterlogged. Wet insulation loses its ability to provide an effective thermal barrier. In other words, will make it easier for hot and/or cool air to escape from your house. As a result, your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain comfortable indoor conditions, driving up energy costs in the process.
Roof Leak Sources
Once you have identified the signs that you are dealing with a roof leak, the next step will be to determine the exact leak location. This can be trickier than you might think, since water often travels a good distance between the leak site and the visual symptoms. Here are some frequent culprits, along with the methods that roof contractors use to repair them.
As you can probably guess, damaged or missing shingles are one of the most common causes of roof leaks. Older shingles often develop cracks or lose so many of their surface granules that they can no longer provide an effective barrier against water. Alternately, water may be sneaking past the surface of your roof through nail holes.
In that case, the problem usually involves roofing nails that have worked themselves loose over times. In other cases, shingle holes may stem from the mounting brackets of satellites or antennas that have long since been removed. Shingle holes can be tough to find unless you have the highly trained eye of a professional roof contractor.
If the shingle is otherwise still in good shape, nail holes can be repaired. Inexperienced contractors may attempt to do so by filling the hole with caulk. In most cases, this solution doesn’t last long before the leak recurs. Instead, a true professional will install a thin piece of metal flashing beneath the hole, then seal the edges of the flashing with roofing caulk.
While shingles may the most prominent component of a roofing system, they are far from the only one. That’s because shingles alone cannot provide watertight seals in places where the surface of a roof is broken — for instance, around chimneys, skylights, and other through-roof features. Likewise, places where one plane of a roof intersects with an abutting wall present cracks where water can easily penetrate below the shingles.
Such places are protected by the category of roofing components known collectively as flashing. Many different types of flashing exist, with each particular variety being especially designed for use with certain structural features. Common types of flashing include:
- Kick-Out Flashing
- Chimney Flashing
- Valley Flashing
Roof contractors install kick-out flashing anywhere a roof intersects with a. wall. These L-shaped pieces of metal attach to both the wall and the decking of the roof. Shingles are then installed such that they overlay the edge of the kick-out flashing. Chimney flashing, as you can probably guess, is used to protect the edges of a chimney. Meanwhile, valley flashing is used in places where two sections of roofing meet at an angle.
Most flashing consists of one of two types of metal: aluminum or copper. Aluminum flashing is prized for its low price point, as well as the fact that it can be painted to blend in with your overall exterior décor. Copper, meanwhile, offers unparalleled durability. Copper also inhibits the growth of moss and algae on your roof.
While copper flashing costs more than aluminum, it also boasts a longer lifespan. Unlike aluminum, sections of copper flashing can also be soldered together, increasing its resistance to water penetration. That said, all types of flashing will eventually reach the end of their service life, whether as the result of corrosion or damage. At that point, the flashing must be replaced or water damage will soon ensue.
Plumbing vents are another ubiquitous penetrating feature of a roof, and are sealed using a component known as a vent boot. Technically speaking, vent boots are also a type of flashing. In addition to a circular piece of metal flashing, however, a vent boot also contains another important component known as the rubber gasket.
Installed beneath the metal vent boot, the rubber gasket ensures a water-tight seal between the edge of the pipe and the inside wall of the boot. Unfortunately, rubber gaskets are a common source of vent-related leaks. Over time, the rubber will degrade, eventually cracking and crumbling away. In such cases, the problem can usually be fixed simply by installing a new gasket.
Other vent leaks occur as the result of boots that have worked loose as the result of their constant exposure to wind, rain, and other natural forces. If the boot no longer sits tight against the roof, water can easily trickle underneath the edges. Missing nails are usually the cause of loose boots. Smart contractors remedy the problem using rubber washer screws, which are far less likely to come loose.
Michigan winters typically involves many months of below-freezing weather, along with significant amounts of snowfall. All of that snow on your roof often leads to roof leaks caused by ice dams. Ice dams form as snow melts and runs down your roof. That water often refreezes once it reaches the edge of the roof, forming a literal wall of ice.
As this cycle continues, the ice dam allows pools of water to form behind it on the roof. This water, in turn, leads to roof rot, leaks, and other serious problems. Roof contractors can prevent ice dams from negatively impacting your roof using three main strategies.
The first approach involves shoring up your attic’s insulation. Ice dams often form as the result of uneven snow melt across the surface of a roof. In particular, the parts of your roof that lie above your attic often reach higher temperatures as the result of insufficient attic insulation. By adding insulation as necessary, you can ensure that your roof stays cool enough to prevent unwanted snow melt.
The second approach to preventing ice dams involves increasing your roof’s ventilation. Better airflow reduces the change that your roof will develop unwanted “hot spots.” Chances are your roof already contains ridge vents and other structural features meant to encourage outdoor air to flow beneath your roof. These vents often become clogged, however, and require periodic cleaning to ensure that they do their job.
The third approach to preventing leaks caused by ice dams involves installing a protective device known as an ice and water shield. Ice and water shields are installed below the shingles on your roof. They provide a completely waterproof barrier. In other words, instead of ice dams entirely, ice and water shields simply won’t let that pooled water work its way through to your vulnerable roof deck.
Roof leaks can lead to serious repercussions for your home, your health, and your wallet. For that reason, homeowners must be proactive about having their roof regularly inspected for potential problems. To learn more about important roof maintenance tasks, contact West Bloomfield, Michigan’s expert roof contractors at Twelve Oaks Roofing.