It has finally rained all over America, including Southern California. Did you know that now is the time to inspect the roof? You can do this by yourself or call a local roofing company to do it for you.
The first step is the exterior inspection. You should take a walk around the eaves of your roof. Check for any paint that is peeling or dry rot up under the eave in the soffit area. In case you don’t know, the Soffit is the underside of a part of a building (like an overhang or staircase). You can tell if it’s dry rot, by poking at it with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver goes in easily, you’ve most likely got a roof leak.
You next need to inspect the roof. You might need to use binoculars to help you to see. First, ensure that none of the roofing material, such as slate, shingles, wood shingles, wood shakes, tile or any flat roofing such as hot tar or torchdown has come loose, is curling, blistering or starting to flare up. If you have had a recent windstorm, this can be particularly important.
Thoroughly walk around inside your home. Make sure the lights are on and use a flashlight to check your ceilings and walls for discoloration. Check inside closets and particularly over the furnace, tubs, sinks, the stove, inside the water heater closet, around the chimney, etc.
Roof leakage is often caused by flashing, which is a strip of metal used to stop water from penetrating the junction of a roof with another surface. Vent pipes that go out through the roof have flashings sealed with mastic or tar and can be the source for a roof leak. Your chimney has a metal flashing, also a metal saddle or cricket that can also leak and all these things need to be sealed again and again for the life of a roof.
Skylights are often the cause of a leak. Sometimes it’s the skylight itself or it might be the skylight flashing that connects the skylight box or curb, to the roof. Skylights have a rubber gasket between the glass and the skylight frame and they often will last only 10 years.
If you have an open beam or cathedral ceiling area with exposed wood (meaning, you don’t have an attic or crawlspace over this room) check these areas when it is raining. Usually there is very little sign except faint drip lines unless you happen to catch the water dripping during the rain. If you hold the light at the right angle you can usually see these.
Once you have done this inspection, you can call your roofer to come handle what you have found. Just because you have a leak, you don’t necessarily need a whole new roof. Many roof leaks are able to be repaired, unless the roof is very old.
J and J Roofing offers a $155 Roof Maintenance Check and they will inspect the roof and it also covers basic maintenance and sealing of anything we find that looks vulnerable or open.