The Worst Roof Leaks May be the Ones You Don’t See…

By Tiffany Lacey

Winter can be tough on roofs

Wind: Wind-blown debris not only accumulates to clog drains and down spouts, but it can also cause damage to the roof. A misconception is that wind damage would typically tear a roof off or force it loose. However, it’s also critical to investigate what may have blown onto or across the roof, potentially harming it.

Snow: It’s common knowledge that 10-12 inches of new snow is roughly equal to 1 inch of rain or ice, and weighs about 5lbs per square foot. Additionally, that is also equivalent to 3-5 inches of packed snow. Over the course of winter, the amount of snow that can accumulate could stress the limits of even the best designed roof.

Freeze/Thaw: Obviously, water is always a problem for roofs, especially so when it freezes and thaws. Water can get into the tiniest of spaces, and can expand greatly when frozen. Once it thaws, it leaves an even bigger penetration, which results in even more damage. This is a key issue for roof flashings.

As we look fondly toward spring, it’s the perfect time to plan to get up on our roofs, and truly examine how they’ve survived everything that winter has thrown at them. Interior leaks tend to be very apparent, but what about leaks that haven’t yet been spotted? Leaks begin, in flat roofs, by saturating the insulation below. This moisture diminishes the insulation’s R-value, and will eventually compromise the integrity of the roof system. If small issues aren’t noticed and remedied, they can quickly develop into major problems. It’s imperative to have a qualified professional inspect roofs semiannually, not only to maintain warranty compliance, but to uncover leaks and issues that may be unseen by the naked eye. By using an Aerial Infrared Roof Scan to compliment a Visual Roof Survey it is like a doctor using an MRI and can help remedy current or future roof issues. These inspections are very affordable and cost effective especially with a qualified consultant such as RAM USA. Typically, the advanced diagnostics and infrared services cost mere pennies per square foot, versus the dollars per square foot, of roof replacement.

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