There is nothing more frustrating to a home owner than a leaking roof; the only good thing about this problem is that if you live in an old house, you can actually predict where leaks are likely to occur. You only need to know what areas of the roof are likely to develop this problem so as to take the necessary steps that can assist you deal with the issue in a cost effective way. If you want to check for roof leaks, the following areas are the ones most prone to developing them:
Next to penetrations: Among the most common trouble spots are sealants and flashings where there are penetrations. In most single ply roofing systems, the material used for the roof membrane and the penetrations flashings are always the same and they are normally bonded with the filed membrane. You need to constantly inspect seams, laps and sealants found on these locations. One way of addressing field installation problems is using factory assembled boots; you have to ensure that a technician does a good sealing job at the field membrane since this is where problems are likely to occur. Another important area to be aware of are points where roof drains enter the roof membrane because they can easily let rain drops penetrate the drain’s seals. It is important to have the drains cleaned on a regular basis in order to prevent any blockage on the screen.
On the perimeter: It is true that leaks will almost always occur next to roof edges as a result of the transition from membrane flashings to sheet metal flashings. The problem could occur where installing technicians did not make sure that the sheet metal flaps will actually shed water as they are supposed to. Most problems with water will occur adjacent to expansion joints at the roof perimeters. It is therefore important for you to check areas where contractions and expansions are likely to take place.
Condensation: There may be times when a roof will appear to leak during winter when temperatures are at their lowest when in actual sense the roof is not actually leaking. This is most likely as a result of condensation because the warm moist air found inside the house gets into contact with a cold surface or at other times there is cold air leaking through the exterior skin of the building. The main reason why this occurs is almost always inadequate or a missing air barrier or a vapor retarder on the walls or the ceiling of the house; don’t forget matters to do with insufficient ventilation and insulation as well. It is important to ensure that cold areas on top of insulation on attic spaces and joist cavities are properly vented. If for any reason you find it hard or expensive to install natural ventilation, you may want to ask a technician to install a fan that will gently push moist air away from that cold space. Doing the simple act of checking these three areas can ensure you have a leak free roof and also detect problems before they become gigantic.