A leaking roof vent can do serious damage to your home and property if it’s left unchecked. While any part of the roof is subject to leaks, the roof vents are among the most vulnerable. Heavy rains, extreme heat or cold, or simple aging can cause the roof vents to weaken and leak.
Even if the problem seems minor, it can quickly get out of control and lead to even more expensive repairs down the road. As with most problems in life, prevention is usually the best solution.
Here a few of our top tips to prevent a leaking roof vent:
Get to Know Your Roof
Knowing the different parts that make up your roof will help you diagnose problems with it before they become severe. You’ll also be able to communicate more easily with your roofer, knowing exactly what to tell someone when you do have an issue.
Beneath everything is the decking of your roof, which is usually made of a thick plywood and serves as the nailbed the shingles are attached to. The shingles of your roof can be made of a number of different materials; the most common, however, is asphalt and composition.
The roof edge, or fascia, as the name suggests, is the edge of your roof and is formed from all the boards that make up the roof. Roofs come in a variety of shapes; some are flat and some slanted. Most roofs, however, have valleys where water can pool. This is prevented by flashing, which are covers placed on parts of a roof that are vulnerable to leaks. Flashing is usually made from a rust-resistant metal such as stainless steel. Aluminum and copper are also occasionally used.
All of the parts of a roof are prone to weakening over time, which can lead to leaks; however, it is the roof vents that are the most vulnerable. Vents are openings in your roof which are required for ventilating your home’s attic; these openings can serve as weak points in the structure of your roof and begin to leak if not properly maintained.
Look for Signs of Leaking
Preventing leaks starts with making yourself aware. This means knowing how to spot the early warning signs and take immediate action before the problem becomes worse.
The first and the most obvious sign is an actual water stain. It will look like a large, brownish-colored puddle on your ceiling and is a sure sign water has leaked through your roof and is starting to cause damage.
Often, the moisture that’s leaking can spread beyond just the ceiling; if you notice discoloration on your walls, or even on the floor, that could be another sign of a leaky roof.
Unchecked water leaks can also cause mold growth, which will manifest as spots on your ceiling or walls. Mold and other growth can also appear on the roof itself or on the exterior walls of your home. The gutters can also become clogged, which can lead to mold or mildew buildup, which will weaken your roof.
By this point, the structural integrity of your roof could become seriously compromised; you’ll have to make immediate, costly repairs and may have to deal with other property damage as well. For this reason, it is critical that you perform regular inspections and search out any signs of leaks or damage.
If you are struggling to find the source of a leak, you can also use a hose to spray small, localized parts of the roof. Thoroughly wet each area and then move on if you see no signs of a leak. Eventually, this method should allow you to pinpoint the source of your leak.
However, if you know you have a leak, even if you’re not sure where it’s coming from, it’s best to call in a roofing specialist to check for a leaking roof vent and other issues and correct the repairs with haste.
Make Minor Repairs
In many cases, a leak can often be fixed rather easily. It may be as simple as replacing one faulty part. If a single nail works its way free of your vent boot, it can quickly begin to take on water. Often, vent boots are made from plastic or a combination of plastic and metal, and after a hot summer or a winter freeze, can become compromised.
The housings on the vents can also become cracked; even metal housing can become damaged as the seams crack after extreme weather.
While it’s possible to fix leaks temporarily by applying caulk to the affected area, it’s more effective to have the entire damaged parts replaced and it is highly recommended — and usually safer — if you retain the services of a professional roofer.
Call in a Professional
Many overzealous homeowners attempt to tackle roofing problems on their own. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make repairs yourself, the roof of your home is extremely complex and fixing one symptom of the problem may not actually prevent leaks.
Not only this, but moving about on the roof of your home safely requires training and, in many cases, specialized equipment. That’s why your best option is usually to call in an experienced, professional roofer.
But, even though it may be an urgent situation, don’t forget to do a little research first. Contact at least three or four roofers in your area. Read reviews online and look to see if the companies’ past customers have been satisfied. Find out how long each one has been in business, and don’t be afraid to ask for references and about warranties.
Then begin comparing prices; you should be wary of work that is too cheap because you will often get what you pay for.
Think you might have a leaking roof vent or another roofing issue? Reach out to our team today.