Every house needs regular maintenance for its upkeep. Despite regular maintenance work, most homeowners find that their roofing is a major cause of trouble.
Most of the time, the flashing in the roof is a problem. The flashing is a protective metal sheet that is spread on the roof. It is used in areas where two or more panels of the roofing material join. So if you, too, are a homeowner who is suffering from problems with a leaky roof, you can contact a roofing Contractor in Lincoln, NE.
What Is A Flashing?
Flashing is usually made up of metal; it is impermeable to water, and it protects the joints of the roof against leakage. So depending on the structure that it intends to protect, it can be of the following type.
If they protect the valleys(meeting two slopes) of the roof, then it is known as valley flashing. Likewise, if it is meant to protect the chimney, the counter is called chimney flashing, counter flashing, and so on.
The metal usually has a covering of shingles on top of it. So the metal sheet is the second from the top surface of the roof.
Damage to the metal sheet at vulnerable positions is the usual suspect of a leakage.
This is because flashing is applied in areas that are structural joints and such areas are notorious for the accumulation of snow and water. Moreover, joints are subjected to greater strain than flat surfaces, so they get damaged more frequently.
So damages to joints are frequent, and they are also urgent. So if you see early signs of leakage like ramps or growth of fungus, then you must take immediate action.
Steps To Fix A Damaged Flashing
Locate The Exact Spot Of Weakness
The first step to repairing something is to locate the exact site of damage. If you see leaks near your chimney, you know where the problem lies. But you need to know the precise location. A chimney has four walls/ sides, and it is wasteful to RIP off the entire metal sheet.
So if you have direct access to your roof, go for a visual examination. If you have a strong source of light and if you look carefully, you should be able to spot big cracks. However, if the crack is not visible easily, then you can look for secondary signs of damage. Any area that has grown blackish in color or which has an overgrowth of moss could be the problem area.
If you still cannot locate the damage, then try pouring water on the place where you expect the damage to be. Pour water and monitor which area of your ceiling eventually shows a leak. The area which shows the greatest amount of leakage on pouring water is the spot that needs immediate attention.
If pouring water does not help, you may have to start removing some of the shingle covering to locate the actual point of weakness. However, if you are not very confident, you can contact a roof repair expert at this stage to take up the job.
Repairing A Tiny Patch
At times a tiny patch may be corroded, and in this case, you need not fix the whole sheet of metal.
In order to repair a tiny patch, you must first clean the sides of the hole with an abrasive material like sandpaper. The sandpaper will smoothen out the edges, and this will make the patchwork easy. Get a metal flashing of a size slightly larger than the size of the hole.
After covering the hole, fix it in place with cementing material. After this, apply the layer of shingle that you had removed to get to the leak.
Repairing Bigger Leakages
However, if you need to repair more than a tiny patch, then you will have to remove the flashing from the mortar first.
Carefully remove the mortar from the metal sheet. You will also have to remove the caulking material. The caulking material is like a sealant that protects against water leaks.
Depending on the type of flashing that you are repairing, you may need to remove some screws also(step flashing).
Replace the new flashing and then seal it properly at the edges with the right caulking material. Depending on the location, urethane cement or silicone caulking can be used.
Each type of cement and caulking material has a distinctive advantage. So if you want your roof to be durable and easy to maintain, use urethane. Silicone caulk also has several advantages. So if you want your sealant to be UV resistant, stable at high temperatures, and highly flexible, go for silicone.
Try To Protect The Flashing Of Your Roof
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so try to protect your roof from damage.
The biggest threat to your roof comes from water accumulation. So try to prevent standing water on the roof. Ice dams are a major cause of concern.
They occur when the accumulation of ice acts as a dam/blockage for water. Since there is a blockage, the water remains stagnant. And stagnant water slowly seeps in and damages the entire masonry of the roof.
House maintenance costs are quite a burden and if you want to save on the additional expenditure, take good care of your roof.
Rainwater accumulation or snow accumulation is a leading cause of damage to your flashing. But these are not the only causes. Improper installation, corrosion, etc., can also cause problems. So if you are inexperienced, it is better to consult an expert so that the exact cause of damage is known and the repair work proceeds smoothly.
However, if you want to manage minute problems yourself, you can go ahead with it. If you have spotted the exact location of damage, half of your job is done. After this, all you have to do is replace the flashing in the damaged regions and seal it with cementing material.