Understanding and Figuring out Roof Leaks

Leaking roofs are a quite common downside recognized in residence inspections. Residence inspections present that there are three important points to contemplate when diagnosing and fixing leaking roofs:

    • The situation of the roof masking. This contains cracked, damaged or dislodged tiles or slates, broken or corroded roof sheeting, weathered thatch. Incorrect set up can render any sort of roof coverings ineffective.


    • The pitch of the roof. Typically solely “flat” roofs are water-proofed; most pitched roofs are “weather-proofed”. Which means that the roof is designed to shed water rapidly to forestall rain water from penetrating the roof masking. Typically talking, the steeper the pitch of the roof, the much less probably it’s that the roof will leak.


  • Weak factors as regards potential leaks are the areas the place roof surfaces intersect with partitions, chimneys or different roofs. These intersections are normally weather-proofed with “flashing” of 1 form or one other.

Tiles The house inspector will verify for cracked, damaged or dislodged tiles or slates. Poor set up methods which may end up in leaks embrace: Cracked mortar on ridge or barge capping tiles; lack of mechanical fixing of tiles in susceptible areas alongside eaves and ridges and a roof pitch which is just too low.

Slates Slates are normally put in over a waterproof underlay – usually bituminous felt (malthoid). Leaks come up from damaged or dislodged slates and from a perished underlay. If gentle metal, somewhat than copper or aluminium fixing nails, have been used then corroded nails may additionally result in slipping slates. Ridges on slate roofs are usually completed with going through ridge slates over a “double soaker” – that is an overlapping layer of underlay extending over the ridge. If this double soaker turns into broken or perished then leaks can happen alongside the ridges.

Roof sheeting Metallic roof sheeting usually corrodes alongside the overlaps and across the fixing screws. Too-short end-laps and insufficient side-laps which face the prevailing climate are frequent set up errors. Cracked and weathered fibre-cement or plastic roof sheeting may also be an issue.

Thatch The highest layer of grass in a thatched roof, which is uncovered to the weather, slowly rots and must be periodically combed out and changed to protect the weatherproof qualities of a thatched roof commercial roofing.

Semi-flat roofs These will be both concrete slabs or board – usually surrounded by parapet partitions. These roofs should have ample drainage. The highest floor of the semi-flat roof must be successfully waterproofed – normally with heat-applied torch-on bituminous felt topped with UV ray resistant silver aluminium paint. If the waterproofing is outdated or has been badly put in with insufficient overlaps or poor bonding to the substrate, then leaks might happen. The answer is to both patch or take away and re-install the torched-on waterproofing.

Roof pitch The South African Nationwide Constructing Laws prescribe minimal pitch ranges for roofs – relying on the roof masking.

Flashing Flashing, which is normally both steel flashing or acrylic membrane waterproofing, is put in the place roof surfaces intersect abutments. The flashing is designed to waterproof these weak factors within the roof. Correctly putting in steel flashing and counter-flashing is a tradesman’s artwork which is quickly turning into scarce in South Africa. An increasing number of fashionable roofers resort to flashing roofs with acrylic membrane. Acrylic membrane flashing is commonly untidy, however in all fairness efficient assuming that the acrylic is of fine high quality and assuming that the flashing is recoated each few years. If the acrylic flashing is just not correctly maintained then the tough South African solar quickly causes deterioration and debonding and leaks are prone to happen.

Discovering the leak Roof leaks are principally observed from inside the home – damp patches on the ceiling or on partitions. As a result of water usually tends to run down the roof timbers earlier than manifesting itself in a visual damp spot, detective work contained in the roof cavity is commonly helpful in figuring out precisely the place the roof is leaking. Damp staining on the highest chords of the roof trusses and generally spots of daylight seen by way of the roof masking are sometimes the perfect indication as to the place the leak originates.

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