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The 411 on Roof Leaks

18 May 2019

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226 or texting 81807.  Here’s must-know information from Barry Stranz (professional & educator) who has 30+ years in the home improvement industry shared on 5.18.19.

water stained ceiling

Torrential downpours can quickly expose underperforming aspects of your home.  Most often failing areas manifest themselves through water intrusion.  Complex roof styles with gables and/or hips meeting each other are particularly vulnerable.  This is because there are multiple surface areas that are prone to leaking if the flashing is not properly installed.  Flashing is metal that is installed on a roof to prevent water infiltration where an exterior component of your home meets a different surface.  This can include siding meeting a window or a roof meeting a skylight.  The goal of flashing is to make sure water has a way to move to the exterior without permeating a home’s interior.  There have been significant advances in flashing installation techniques over the past 30 years, as the necessity for flashing has become better understood within the home improvement industry.  When it comes to flashing, there is not a one size fits all option, making it necessary for several types to exist.  Kick-out flashing is a dedicated piece of metal that is installed where a roofline hits the sidewall of a house.  One scenario it is needed is where a two-story house connects with a one-story garage.  If the garage is set back a couple of feet from the face of the house, there will be a roofline running into the sidewall of the house.  Water naturally wants to run where roof joints meet walls.  Without proper flashing, water will run behind the siding and in between the framing of the wall as it comes down the roof.  Homes built in the 1950’s may have had calking in these areas, but often lacked flashing.  This leads to dry rot, which can cause minor repairs to become extensive, if the exterior of the home must be opened all the way to the wall cavity.

Time to Replace Your Roof?  Here’s What You Need to Know!

When water infiltrates a home through the overhang of the roof due to an ice dam, it will often back up underneath the shingles and run down the home’s exterior wall.  If it infiltrates through a house window, it’s a signal that the water is present within the wall cavity.  When it hits the top window jamb, it will leak out between there and the casing.  To correct the issue, the drywall must often be cut out and the wet window insulation must be removed.  The cavity must completely dry out to prevent mold growth.

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