Columbus Roofing: Article About Rooftop Penetration Inspections
When Columbus roofing professionals arrive for a maintenance appointment, homeowners expect them to concentrate on shingle and gutter care. Although this assumption is true, contractors also focus on rooftop penetrations. Any item extending out of the roof is referred to as a penetration and can include pipes, skylights and chimneys. Each item must be properly sealed to surrounding shingle materials to create a leak free surface.
Contractors normally inspect flashing for proper installation techniques first. Along a chimney, step flashing can't be the only protection at transition points. Counter flashing that functions to shield the step flashing must be installed to help water flow right down the chimney, onto the rooftop and into gutters. Without counter flashing acting as an umbrella, water seeps between the chimney and the metal to leak directly into the home. Roofers will add and adjust flashing as necessary to make each penetration watertight.
Flashing fasteners are hidden as well as possible, but some areas are simply exposed to the elements. Both fasteners and metal sections may need to be replaced over time if severe rust and other decaying processes set in. Flashing around skylights is particularly vulnerable to weathering.
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Contractors will inspect wood curbs and metal sections to ensure leak free transition points. If fasteners are left to decay, they become instant leak points into the structure.
Rust spots occur on any flashing piece regardless of sealants or coatings. It could be several decades before rust sets in, but it does eventually spread. If contractors find tiny rust spots on flashing that's otherwise solid, they'll use roofing cement to cover up the area. This repair tactic encourages longer life out of the material until it degrades enough for replacement. Replacing all metal with just a hint of rust isn't cost effective for homeowners.
Contractors will use the attic as an inspection point for flashing leaks, especially if ponding is a problem on the rooftop. Roofers look for any yellowing along ceilings and walls indicating old water stains. The penetrations above give workers visual cues of where leaks could originate from for accurate repair quotes. Some leaks are difficult to pinpoint through all the structural layers.
Some inexperienced roofers may not be well versed in penetration care. Interview several roofers to understand their skill levels, including shingles and penetrations. The roof is an intricate collection of various parts that must culminate into a cohesive unit. Preventing leaks into the home is the overall goal for any contractor and rooftop design.