Act Now to Prevent Roof Leaks Developing

Act Now to Prevent Roof Leaks Developing

Act Now to Prevent Roof Leaks Developing

Many home and business owners neglect roof maintenance until a leak is encountered. The problem with this is that by the time a leak is apparent, the damage is much more difficult and costly to repair. Therefore, knowing a little about what causes leaks to develop can be a real help in stopping the issue before it becomes serious, and can save property owners a lot of money in the long-run.

The first step in learning about roof leaks is to know a little about roofs themselves, with the built up asphalt roof being a good example as it is the most common type of roof. The built up asphalt roof is made up of 3-4 layers of asphalt sheeting bonded together with hot mopped tar that ideally form a waterproof barrier. The cover sheet, or top roof layer, of most built-up asphalt roofs is covered with a fine mineral granule that is embedded into the asphalt during the manufacturing process. This colored mineral serves as a protective barrier between the cover sheet asphalt and the weather.

The service life of a typical built-up asphalt roof is about 8 to 10 years. Regular maintenance is required during this time, as areas such as roof vents, vent pipes and skylights are susceptible to becoming un-sealed. The normal maintenance for these areas involves the application of plasticized cold asphalt. The problem with these treatments, along with other petroleum based roofing products, is that they rapidly out-gas into the atmosphere over the course of a few years. What is left behind is brittle, non-flexible and most often permeable by moisture.

When this happens, the protective mineral barrier on the top layer starts to come off. Once the asphalt is exposed, it is subject to deterioration from UV rays, weathering elements and rapid out-gassing. Weathering elements such as rain, hail, snow, dust and, most commonly wind, promote the breakdown of built-up asphalt roofs. It is around this time that property owners will start to notice that their roof is not as it should be.

So, what can home and business owners do to prevent their roof getting in this state? Firstly, it is advisable for them to perform an annual inspection of the roof and coating. Lots of information regarding where to look and what to look for can be found online. Secondly, they should regularly (every 12-18 months) apply a non-petroleum based protective treatment, which will prevent the need for any wide reaching repairs suddenly arising. As for which type of treatment is best, the expert in roof coating are able to recommend a suitable brand.

If a roof leak should have already developed, and a property owner is faced with expensive repairs, the it may be worth their while to change their roof coating system to a solar reflective one. This may be slightly more expensive than going through with the repairs, but in the long term money will be saved as the roof will be more durable and will require less maintenance.

 

 

Source: Artipot

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