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5 Common Places for Roof Leaks

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Roof leaks are a major hassle for homeowners, and a costly one at that. Locating a roof leak can be frustrating if you try to tackle the problem yourself; fortunately, a professional roofing company is trained to find and repair leaks efficiently. Here’s what you should know about the five areas most likely to leak on a roof.

Chimney Leaks
A common location for roof leaks is the chimney. Some chimneys do not have covers and rain can fall directly into the chimney. Condensation in the chimney, cracks in the chimney crown and worn flashing are other causes of chimney leaks. Chimney flashing is metal that keeps the area between the chimney and roof watertight. Because flashing wears down over time and may be incorrectly installed, it is important to have your chimney inspected once a year to make sure that flashing is intact and secure.

Broken Shingles
Another cause for leaks is broken shingles, especially if your house is older or still has its original roof. Storms and strong winds can rip shingles from the roof and create exposed areas that you can’t see without the help of a professional. Your roof may have a few broken shingles or several. Leaks caused by a severe storm may require extensive shingle repairs, especially if hail or strong winds caused a lot of damage.

Improperly Sealed Roof Valleys
A roof valley is an area where two planes of the roof come together. If the valleys are improperly sealed, a leak may result. A roofing professional can detect this problem by carefully looking for wet areas near the seams of your roof. Due to the complexity of this type of leak, sealing roof valleys should be done by a professional. Findlay Roofing can provide a free roof analysis to determine the location of your leak.

Cracked Roof Vents
Another important part of your roof is the vents, which look like small pipes that protrude from your roof. Although these pipes might look strange, their job is to get rid of excess moisture from the inside of your home. A roof vent often has flashing around it and a rubber boot to help seal the top of the vent. Over time, flashing may become worn and can crack, causing a roof leak. Your roof professional will inspect the roof vents and may replace the cracked rubber boot to resolve the problem.

Ice Dam Leaks
Ice dam leaks affect people who reside in the snow belt, where cold temperatures and ice are common. Similar to icicles, ice dams are bands of solid ice that form along the eaves and block the normal flow of water down a roof. When this happens, major problems can result. Dams can rip off gutters, damage shingles and cause water to back up and flow into your home. They are rare in north Georgia, but if you own a vacation home or rental property in a snow belt state, you may want to consult a professional who can show you how to keep ice dams from forming.

Call Findlay Roofing to evaluate your roof leaks today.

What to Do About Roof Leaks from Storm Damage

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, thankfully a tropical storm by the time it hit metro Atlanta, countless area homeowners suffered damage to their roofs, though many of them may not know it yet. Here’s how to make sure that any leaks in your home don’t turn into much larger and more expensive problems and what steps to take to protect yourself from future storms.

Do a Visual Check

As soon as possible, access your attic and check the ceilings and drywall throughout your home (including closets) for any signs of water leaks–streaks, wet spots, drips or puddling. If your shingles are damaged or not installed properly, they are compromising your home by letting water below your roof deck and into your attic. As the water sits and seeps into the ceiling, it causes the brown ceiling stain you may recognize as the outline of a small puddle. Also be sure to check around your fireplace for any signs of water.

Outside your home, walk the perimeter to check for any sign of roof damage, including shingles that may have blown off or that look loose, as well as any displaced flashing around your chimney or damage to the chimney itself.

Contact the Professionals

If your investigation shows any sign that your roof has been compromised by Irma’s strong winds and heavy rain, please call a professional immediately for a thorough examination of your roof. We offer a free roof analysis to assess the extent of the damage and recommend repairs, and can help you communicate with your insurance company.

Beware of Storm Chasers

In addition to fallen limbs and power outages, storms can also bring predatory businesses to your home. Storm chasers are roofers–often unlicensed, unbonded and uninsured–who are looking for a quick buck from anxious and vulnerable homeowners. As a rule, it’s a bad idea to work with a business that shows up at your door, uninvited. Instead, it’s best to use only known, reputable roofing companies to work on your home.

Protect Your Shingles for the Future

Cutting down trees and trimming branches near your roof will help eliminate the proximity of shingle-damaging material near your home. But it can also limit shady spots on your roof that can encourage the growth of algae and moss, which can compromise the integrity of your shingles.

Keep Gutters Clear

If you can’t remember the last time you removed debris from your gutters and downspouts, it’s time to schedule a cleanup. Neglecting gutters can cause water to back up, soaking into eaves and other part of your roof and home. This inability to drain properly can eventually lead to a roof leak and can perpetuate water damage. If gutter screens and covers aren’t enough to keep debris out, routine gutter cleaning and repair can keep your home protected from water damage.

Being able to recognize any of these early signs empowers you to stop water damage from becoming a big problem. Contact Findlay Roofing for a free roof analysis today.

3-Tab Shingles vs. Dimensional (Laminate) Shingles

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Two of the most common types of residential shingles are 3-tab and dimensional or laminate shingles. If you are thinking about a roof replacement or similar job that gives you the option to switch the type of shingles on your home, it’s important to make a smart decision. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type.

3-Tab Shingles

3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles get their name from the three asphalt tabs on every shingle. They are designed in a single, flat layer, with the three tabs placed evenly apart on the lower edge. These tabs fit together like simple puzzle pieces when the shingles are installed. The result is a very uniform, flattened pattern of rectangular shingles.

  • Pros: 3-tab shingles have been around for a long, long time, and most roofers are very familiar with them. Their very simple design makes them easy to install and easy to repair. Because the shingle pattern is always the same, you know exactly what you are getting. These thin shingles are also some of the most affordable shingles on the market, so they are a good choice if you need to save money.
  • Cons: The 3-tab shingle option is falling out of favor in the residential roofing world. Also, these shingles are more easily damaged than other types of shingles, and may wear out faster. Their warranties tend to last 20 to 25 years.

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles are also known as architectural or laminate shingles. They are “dimensional” because the shingle tabs come in different shapes and sizes: When installed, this makes the shingles look more layered and interesting, a natural look with less of a clear pattern. These shingles are typically made with double layers that make them much thicker than 3-tab shingles.

  • Pros: Dimensional or laminate shingles are currently a very popular option for homes, and can even raise the value of your house if you are switching from 3-tab to dimensional. Not only do they look great on nearly any house, they are also one of the most durable types of shingles. This is why their warranties tend to last as long as 30-50 years.
  • Cons: While these shingles have a lot of advantages, they are also more expensive than 3-tab shingles, which can raise the cost of a roofing project. It’s also important to note that dimensional shingles weigh a lot more than 3-tab options, and a rooftop may not be able to support the weight without some structural changes.

Photo source: Flickr

Roofing 101: Twisting Defined

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

While there are many roof exterior problems worth noting, most can be attributed to excess moisture, poor workmanship or a combination of the two. Roof work that is twisting or curling in an abnormal way is no exception to this rule. Here is what you can expect when you notice shingles or shake that has become twisted.

Why Roofing Twists

When Cobb County roofers notice shingles that have twisted out of position, the first place they check is the attic. Moisture that has accumulated below shingles can cause your exterior roofing to twist upward. There are several reasons why water can reach the attic. Tiny holes in roofing (from poor installation) will allow droplets of moisture to enter the space, eventually leading to deterioration in shingles or shake. This, in turn, lets in more moisture from outside.

Other problems can be traced to poor ventilation in the attic or the production of the shake or shingles. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the grain appearance on shingles and shake may determine the long-term stability of the roofing. Wood that cups, curls or twists often comes from poorly shaped grain.

Consequences of Twisting Roofing

While distorted roofing is usually the result of excess moisture, any shift in your home’s protective covering will allow more moisture into the building. Roofers who diagnose the problem will attempt to replace damaged shingles while addressing the problem at the source. When caught before the damage is extensive, homeowners may able to have the roof fixed without a heavy repair bill.

When it comes to an older roof where twisting is widespread and moisture is creeping inside rapidly, roofers have fewer options. Damaged shingles are more likely to tear off and blow away in an intense storm. You may have large areas of roofing disappear in the coming months, especially if storm season is approaching. Roof replacement may be the best option left.

Contact the professionals when you have concerns about any abnormality on your roof. They can diagnose the problem and outline your best options.

Tips for Hiding a Crooked Roofline

Monday, July 25th, 2016

A crooked roof: This is something many older, Cobb-area homes have. Why? As a home settles over the years, foundation can shift. This causes walls to buckle and the roof to appear crooked. Age is often the reason for crooked roofs, however there are other causes as well.

Here’s a closer look at what could be creating a roof’s crooked appearance:

  • The soil may shift, causing one side of the home to sink into the ground. In these cases, the roofline may look crooked when in reality, the issue is the foundation.
  • The foundation can crack.
  • Gutters may become loose, making the roofline appear as though it’s crooked.
  • Shingles may have been improperly installed, contributing to an uneven look.

What Should You Do?

When you notice a crooked roofline, you should hire a roofing expert. The professional should assess your entire home and look for signs of foundation issues or gutter problems. The pro should also carefully inspect the roof for problems (such as faulty shingles, a sagging roof, a problem with the ridges, broken collar ties, issues with trusses or warping in general).

If the issue stems from the roof, the expert can address those problems. If the problem is minor (such as sagging in one area of the roof), you should be able to get away with a minor, less-costly fix. However, if there are multiple issues (with the rafters, for example) you may need to replace the entire roof.

Hiding Trouble Spots

If you’re not able to invest in a roof replacement or a simple fix, you can attempt to adjust the gutters so that the roofline appears even. If the foundation is the root of the problem, it’s best not to leave this issue unchecked. Fix the foundation right away, and you’ll ensure an even roof at the same time. It’s also possible to remove siding and install wood, brick or cement board to overcome odd angles in an older home.

There’s not always a simple fix for a crooked roof. The most important thing to remember is that an uneven roofline is often the sign of a serious problem – either with the foundation or the roof. Always consult a roofing expert for help with a problematic roofline.

Image Source: Flickr

Roofing 101: Warping Defined

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

The condition a home’s roof is in is crucial. Whether you are house-shopping in Alpharetta or hoping to maintain your property investment for the long term, it’s important to ensure that your roof stays in tip-top shape. If you notice warping or any other irregularities in the structure, be prepared to fix the problem or factor that cost into the home’s purchase price. In addition, if you have problems with your roof—like warping— use the following to identify and alleviate issues:

Defining Terms and Causes

Roofing is described as “warped” when there is visible sagging in parts of the structure. You may notice an unevenness in the shingles, blistering sections of the roof, or parts that seem to curl up from the ends. The causes of these distortions are various, but can often be traced to the technique used during installation. Common causes include:

  • Uneven Rafter Levels: If a roofer installs a roof deck without ensuring the rafters are even, warping often occurs. Poor spacing between roof deck panels can also lead to the same problem.
  • Underlayment Issues: Underlayment must be dry and flat for roofing to stay in place. Otherwise, wrinkling of the materials can create a warping effect.
  • Poor Ventilation: Without proper ventilation, moisture will accumulate in a home’s attic, where it will reach your roof deck and distort the materials underneath the roofing.
  • Water Damage: Plywood in a roof deck creates a warped effect when holes in the exterior allow water inside your home. Poor installation may also create movement in the plywood.
  • Multiple Shingle Layers. InterNACHI describes some of the effects multiple layers of roofing can have on a home. These include weaknesses in the overall structure. In addition, having several layers of shingles creates ventilation problems as well as structural issues.

Solutions for Warped Roofing

While a poorly installed roof can plague a home for years, professionals may be able to take care of the problem without doing a full replacement. Through a diagnosis (i.e., roof analysis), contractors can determine whether local repair is possible. In some cases, the removal of sections and installation of new shims and chips can fix most of the trouble. Warping caused by water damage is typically more problematic. This may require a costly solution.

Either way, damaged roofs do not go away on their own, as they threaten a home’s stability from the top down. Contact a professional to diagnose and correct any warped sections of your home’s roof as soon as you notice the issue.

Roofing 101: Pinpointing Exterior Roof Problems

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Whether shopping for a new property in Marietta or looking to maintain your home, taking a look at the house’s roof is a must. Many exterior roof problems are easily fixed if they’re identified early and repaired by experienced professionals. Here are seven common roof issues for you to pinpoint.

  1. Missing shingles. Storms can tear individual shingles off a roof. Likewise, shingles that were not installed properly may eventually peel away and disappear. Leaving waterproofing exposed to the elements may create a leak in your roof. Roofers can replace shingles one-by-one and address the issue that led to the missing ones in the first place.
  2. Rotting materials. Holes are usually a sign of rot, especially when the shingles are made of organic material. The problem begins when moisture gets into the mat at the base of the shingle as this leads to a deterioration of the materials.
  3. Damaged flashing. Roof flashing refers to the metal protection around a chimney or other object protruding from a home’s attic. Poor installation or dry materials can cause flashing to break down, which leaves a roof exposed to leaks and, eventually, mold.
  4. Algae stains. Some exterior roof problems are worse than they look. If there are black marks covering part of a roof, the problem is actually algae. In humid climates like Atlanta’s, algae collects in roof sections but will not threaten the integrity of the structure. A simple cleaning and adjustment in roof stripping will solve this problem.
  5. Buckling and curling shingles. Downward buckled shingles are typically related to felt that was not applied properly at installation. Shingles curling upward also have a felt issue— most likely in the under-saturation of the materials.
  6. Blistering shingles. Shingles that show blisters (also known as blotches or holes in the material) indicate an excess of moisture. Roofers who used too much plastic cement during installation may have contributed to this problem as well.
  7. Missing granules. New shingles shed a few granules as a matter of course, so do not be alarmed if you notice this happening after a roof installation. If your roof is over 15 years old and you start seeing granules turn up in your gutter and on the ground below, you are most likely in need of a new roof.

Most of these exterior roof problems can be handled quickly and inexpensively when identified early. Contact Findlay Roofing to let them do some preventive maintenance to protect your home.

Photo Source: Flickr

Leaking Roof? Ridge Vents Could Be the Culprit

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A leaking roof is no laughing matter. If your Coweta home experiences water problems, don’t assume that you need to replace the roof due to faulty shingles. Often, bad ridge vents can contribute to the problem and can lead to moisture issues. In either case, don’t ignore a leaking roof – or you’ll end up paying more to remedy the issue down the road.

What are ridge vents?

Critical to the attic’s health, ridge vents are part of the attic’s ventilation system. Installed at the peak of the attic, along the top ridge of the roof, the vents help to circulate air in the attic. They also usher moisture (in winter and summer) and hot air (during the summer) that would otherwise lead to damage.

Why do the vents leak?

With proper installation and care, ridge vents should not leak. However, improper installation leads to leaky vents. In some cases, installers will use the wrong nails or shorter nails to secure the vents to the structure. The loose connection allows the vents to shift in windy conditions, and eventually they will pull right off of the decking. The ridge vent sections should also overlap by about 1 ½ inches. When a shoddy or inexperienced contractor fails to overlap the pieces or doesn’t extend the sections enough, the vents will eventually leak. Another problem that can lead to leaking roof ridge vents involves sealant. A bead of sealant should continuously run along the sections of the vent. Without sealant, rain will access the space between the shingle and vent. The rain will eventually make its way into the attic.

Repairing leaking ridge vents

Avoiding problems with ridge vents is easy when you schedule an annual roof inspection. During the evaluation, the roofing contractor will not only assess the condition of the ridge vents, but he will also identify issues with shingle wear, damaged flashing and more.

Be confident about your roof’s performance. Get in touch with the experts at Findlay Roofing today and ask about our free in-home consultation.

Image Source: Flickr

Roof Shingles: Granules and Granule Problems

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Have you seen piles of small granules around your downspouts? Are your shingles looking a little grayer and emptier than they used to be? You may not like what this means for your roof shingles– but it is a problem that needs your attention before it gets worse.

Shingle Granules and Their Role

No doubt you have noticed the rough surface of asphalt shingles – very different from the relatively smooth surface of asphalt roads. There’s a reason for this: During the shingle manufacturing process, before the asphalt has fully set, granules are adhered to the surface of the shingle, giving it this motley, rough appearance.

These granules are typically made from minerals or mineral fibers, but some are also made from metals like copper. Traditionally, these granules are applied to shingles to protect the asphalt because prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to damage. Also, the granule layer on the shingles looks much better on a roof than streaks of black asphalt. Metal granules are added to help kill off algae growth.

Granule loss and warning signs

While the granules on your shingles are adhered to the asphalt layer, they might become unattached over time. This is generally bad for your roof–it makes it more difficult for your shingles to protect roofing materials and prevent sun or water damage. It is also associated with damaged or broken shingles.

If you are losing granules, you will probably know it. There are two major warning signs. The first is finding granules around your house, especially in gutters or where water runoff from your roof spills to the ground. Piles of granules come from somewhere, and it usually means your shingles are losing them. The second sign is being able to spot bare shingle spots just by looking at your roof, a sure sign that granule loss has been going on for some time.

Causes for granule loss

There are several reasons that roof shingles lose their granules. Common causes include:

  • Age: Shingles don’t last forever, and granule loss is one of the most obvious signs of aging. Old shingles tend to be bare shingles.
  • Poor Shingle Quality: A bad batch of shingles may quickly lose granules, even when new. This is why a quality installation is so important.
  • Bad Storms: Thunderstorms, especially storms that include hailstones, can be rough on shingles, knocking granules loose and creating other problems.

Replacing shingles

There is no easy solution for losing granules on your shingles except to replace (not cover up) those shingles with new versions. Depending on the type of granule loss you are experiencing, this may include replacing a patch of shingles, or replacing an entire rooftop. Ask your local roof and building professional for a closer inspection and more advice.

Image Courtesy of: Flickr

Recycling Roof Materials: Tips and Facts

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Do you have rooftop scrap or extra roof materials left over after a big project? Before you consider clean-up, think about recycling possibilities: there are many ways to recycle materials like shingles that benefit both you and the environment!

Recycling the top layer of your roof

Out of all roof materials, the top layer is the most suitable for recycling and environmental sustainability. Materials like metal or stone are easy to either recast or grind down to use as filler. You may even be able to find a purpose for these extra or old roofing materials in your own landscaping and yard work.

Even asphalt shingles can be recycled. Recycling organizations can take these shingles and use them as an ingredient when mixing other types of asphalt, like the material used to create pavement for roads. Instead of going to landfills, the shingles are ground up and added to road maintenance products.

Steps toward recycling

If you have unwanted shingles left over from a project, do not hesitate to look in your area for recycling options. Not all recycling companies will accept shingles or other materials, so contact them first. There are simple online methods to look for nearby shingle recycling centers that can make your search much faster.

While you may have to separate out shingles from other connected materials, you don’t have to do much to the shingles themselves to prepare them for recycling. Don’t worry about removing the nails or any similar work, as the recyclers that work with shingles use large magnetics to separate the nails during the recycling process. However, you should ask about any other requirements.

Recycling shingles may or may not require an extra fee. This depends on the recyclers available, the associated costs in your area and whether or not the recycler has to pick up the shingles.

Other roof materials

Generally, shingles are the primary roofing material that a recycler will accept. There are some efforts to recycle other kinds of roof scrap, like felt underlayments, but these are few and far between.

However, if you are a dedicated recycler yourself and are willing to identify and separate out all roofing materials from your project, there may be other hidden opportunities for recycling. TPO, EPDM and PVC membranes left over from underlayment projects, for example, can often be recycled when sorted into the right plastic groups. Polystyrene insulation, composite foam insulation and other types of insulation materials may also be recycled.

Fortunately, many construction companies offer clean-up services of their own. Ask your roofing professional what recycling services they offer and what scrap can be successfully recycled. Not only are professionals more likely to know where to take materials for recycling, they often have trucks that can hold all your scrap in one trip. If professionals offer their own recycling services, there is rarely a fee included.

If you are looking for a new roof and want to make sure your scraps go somewhere better for the environment, contact the professionals at Findlay Roofing today!

Photo Source: Flickr