What Can Cause Roof Leaks?

roof leaks

Do you have to go running for a drip bucket every time it rains? Roof leaks are often a sign of a larger roofing issue. Issues resulting from natural deterioration; storm damage; clogged gutters; design flaws; ice dams; or lack of long-term care and maintenance. If roof leaks are left unchecked it could mean an investment in both time and money. Here are some of most common causes of roof leaks.

The Roof’s Age

The life expectancy of a roof is dependent on several variables, including roofing materials and the climate you live in, as well as the quality of installation and long-term care and maintenance. Longevity can also be impacted by shingle color, roof slope, and surface orientation. Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. If the roof leaks and is older than this, you may need a new roof.

Clogged Gutters

Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof and foundation. When a blockage forms – as can happen after a storm – that travel stops. Rainwater or snow runoff can then backup, which can cause leaks or attract unwanted pests, and potentially lead to bigger problem.

How to fix it: At least twice a year (during the spring and fall), get up on a ladder, and pull out any debris using your hands. Flush the gutters with water until it runs clear. You can also purchase an extendable gutter cleaning tool kit or hire someone to do this for you.

Design Problems

Occasionally, roofs leak, sag or even collapse due to improper design and/or incompatible roof materials. A standard reroof is usually required to fix design-related problems. This is exactly why you should get three estimates with any home improvement project and be wary of choosing the lowest priced bid. Always hire a licensed and insured roofer.

Ice Dam Build Up

Icicles on your roof may look charming, but remember, looks can be deceiving. Typically, they are the calm before they storm; they are a sign that your roof is forming ice dams. An ice dam is a big, hard hunk of ice that forms when snow melts, runs off your roof and refreezes near the edge of your roof.

This only occurs when you have a problem with ventilation or air sealing – two issues that can also drive up energy costs. The best way to permanently stop ice dams is to have a professional evaluate your home’s attic ventilation, air sealing, and insulation. The ENERGY STAR program recommends that you insulate attic floors to R-49.

Additionally, if your ventilation system isn’t working or isn’t properly designed for the size of your home – a professional roofer should be contacted. Professional roofers can make repairs or install additional soffit vents without too much construction.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Be honest: How often do your look at your roof? If you’re anything like most homeowners, you run in and out of the house, only glancing up at the roofline as you back out of the driveway or when your kid’s frisbee gets stuck up there. Regularly inspecting your roof, however, can prevent costly repairs down the road.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year – spring and fall. You may also want to inspect your roof after big storms. Grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic to look for the following signs.

  • Natural light showing through the roof
  • Places where the roof deck is sagging
  • Signs of water damage or leaks
  • Trails of dark spots

Once you’ve inspected the roof’s interior, it’s time to move outdoors to look for damaged flashing; missing or buckling shingles; algae growth; an excessive amount of shingle granules in the gutters; and any other signs of damage. These all require immediate repair by a professional roofer.

Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Roof Now

 

protect your roof

Winter is one of the toughest seasons – especially for roofs. Protect your roof from snow, ice, and dips in temperature using the following advice.

Inspect Your Roof

Doing a roof inspection on your own is easy. According to GAF, the United States’ largest roofing manufacturer, you should check your roofing system twice per year. In the fall, you’re checking to make sure the roof is ready for the added weight of snow and ice, as well as BIG temperature swings between day and night. Those temperature variations can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, stressing the materials.

There are five key things to look for while doing a roof inspection from the attic:

  1. Water leaks or staining
  2. Outside light coming through
  3. Sagging decking (between rafters)
  4. Proper ventilation – make sure vents are clear
  5. Measure and calculate adequate attic insulation levels

If you don’t have an attic, an outdoor visual inspection is the next best thing. You can do this from the safety of your yard without the risk of going up on a ladder. However, for a more comprehensive roof inspection, consult with a professional roofer.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters are an integral part of your roofing system. Made up of a series of interconnected troughs, they help channel water away from the house, but only if properly maintained. A clogged gutter, on the other hand, can result in backed up/stagnant water that can cause water damage and/or attract unwanted pests. If you haven’t already, you should clean your gutters before fall transitions to winter.

Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams form as heat rises from a home, causing accumulated snow to melt, which travels down the roof until it reaches the eave line and gutters where it refreezes due to colder temps. Ice dams have destructive effects, including drenched insulation, rotting joists, the formation of mold, and collapsed rain gutters.

Proper insulation and ventilation of the attic space helps to keep heat from reaching the roof, thus preventing snow melt in the first place. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation to an unheated attic will have the greatest impact on energy consumption, saving you money on heating and cooling bills.

Replace Your Roof

While built for durability, the life expectancy of your roof depends on several additional factors, including design, installation quality and the material used to cover it. Local weather can also influence lifespan – and potentially cause premature roof failure. Lack of long-term care and maintenance or if your roof is not properly ventilated can accelerate the aging of most materials.

Potential signs that you roof needs to be replaced:

  • Moss
  • Dark streaks
  • Cracked shingles
  • Curling or cupping shingle edges
  • Bald spots where granules are missing
  • Your neighbors are having new roofs installed
  • Your roof is more than 20 years old – few roofs last longer than this

We want to hear from you. What are some ways you prepare for winter?

How To: Prevent Roof Damage

prevent roof damage

We see it too often. Homeowners ignoring their roofing system until something drastic happens. That “something” could be number of things, including a recent storm that’s pulled off some shingles, or a leak caused by clogged gutters. By this time the chance to prevent a major problem has passed you by. It shouldn’t be that way. There are several things you can easily do to prevent roof damage and save yourself the cost of repairing or replacing your roof.

Here are 4 ways you can prevent roof damage:

Ignoring debris

Twigs, branches, and leaves can cause water to dam up and leak inside your home. This is easily avoidable. We recommend trimming trees and removing dead branches so they won’t damage your home should they fall because of wind, ice or snow. Additionally, clear gutters and downspouts of debris, ensuring water flows freely. Clearing your gutters in the fall and spring will eliminate the potential for damage. If you notice something isn’t right with your gutters, don’t ignore it; contact a professional roofer.

Skipping maintenance

By keeping an eye on how your roofing system is functioning over the years, you can catch small issues before they become major problems, saving hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars. It’s always recommended to have your roof inspected annually by a professional roofer, but in the meantime, there are certain signs you can be on the lookout for including: ponding water, damaged shingles or masonry, discoloration, leaks, sagging ceilings, mold and/or mildew, and loose granules.

Power washing your roof

Did you know? Power washing is one of the worst things you can do for your roof. In fact, too much pressure forces water under your shingles, which can result in mold and mildew growth on shingle and masonry roofs. Power washing can also wash away the granules that help to protect your home from water leaks. If your roofing material is sporting algae lines, you can hire a reputable roofing company that uses a “soft wash” cleaning method, approved by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Hiring an unqualified roofer

Avoid being stuck with an unqualified roofer by doing your research; asking around to your friends, neighbors and relatives for referrals; checking references; and ensuring that the contractor you are interested in hiring is licensed and fully insured. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to no less than three local contractors, collect bids, also known as estimates or quotes. Remember to avoid choosing based on price. The adage “you get what you pay for” often holds true of the lowest bids.

Fortunately, roofs are designed for longevity – with some materials featuring a lifespan of 50 years or more, provided you care for them properly. At Jenesis Roofing, we can assist you with preventative maintenance to prevent roof damage. Our licensed, residential roofing technicians have years of experience, making them highly skilled at what they do. Our services include residential roofing repair, commercial roofing repair, new roof construction and remodels, gutter installation, ridge vent installation, and more. Insurance claims are welcome.

Contact us today at (303) 789-1505 for a free estimate.

Fall Bucket List

fall bucket list

Please find below a list of fall bucket list activities that you and your family can enjoy in, and around Denver, Colorado this fall season.

[] Go apple picking at a local orchard

What better way to celebrate fall than picking your own apples at a local orchard – such as can be found at Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Longmont. Don’t forget to press your own apple cider while you’re there!

[] Enjoy a Fall Beverage like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or hot apple cider

[] Take a fall foliage drive into the mountains

That’s right – road trip! The most amazing views of fall foliage can be found in Colorado’s mountain ranges. Plan on heading out early in the day to avoid crowds at the better-known mountain passes.

[] S’mores anyone?

[] Make leaf art

Bring nature’s beauty indoors with DIY leaf art. Simply gather some of your favorite leaves and/or flowers, flatten them under a heavy book, copy with a color photocopier, then glue the prints onto inexpensive canvas boards.

[] Decorate your home for the season

[] Find your way out

Make this fall season unforgettable. Head on over to the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms and get lost in their 8-acre Corn Maze. The farm offers activities that are fun for all ages including: mini-mazes, hayrides, jumping pillows, and pony rides.

[] Create a Jack O’ Lantern

[] Get your fright on

For those who enjoy feeling spooked, there is no shortage of haunted houses in, and around Denver. In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into family by day and fright by night, complete with all your favorite theme park rides.

[] Bake pies

[] Take part in the zombie crawl

For more than a decade, Denver has a celebrated tradition in which residents from all over Colorado share in the excitement of the Zombie Crawl, which takes place on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from noon to 6:00 PM at Skyline Park.

[] Have your roof professionally inspected

[] Clean your gutters

If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to remove leaves, sticks and other debris from your gutters. Cleaning out debris-ridden gutters eliminates the risk of overflow and water damage.

Home Maintenance: Prepare Your Home for Fall

home maintenance

Fall is one of my favorite times of year (second after winter!). There are so many wonderful things that come with the changing of the seasons: leaves changing color, pumpkin spice everything, and crisp fall air. As we say goodbye, sweet summer, it’s wise to start preparing our homes for the season ahead. Here are a few home maintenance projects you can complete in preparation of the fall season.

#1. Clean Your Gutters: It is a good idea to remove leaves, sticks, and other small objects from your gutters once in the fall and again in the spring. Cleaning out debris-ridden gutters eliminates the risk of overflow and water damage. If your gutters are clogged, it can cause water to accumulate in areas of your roof, leading to an increased risk of decay, moisture and leaks. You can have your gutters professionally serviced or clean them yourself.

#2. Seal Air Leaks: Caulking or weatherstripping will help seal leaks around leaky doors and windows – helping you stay warm, save energy, and reduce heat loss. Other sources of air leaks include knee walls, attic hatch/opening, wiring holes, plumbing vents, and recessed lights. The Department of Energy has some useful tips on how to select and apply the appropriate caulk for your windows and doors. You can also learn how to choose and apply weatherstipping.

#3. Do a Roof Check: The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends a biannual roof inspection. An asphalt shingled roof has a lifespan of up to 20 years, whereas, a slate roof can last 50 years or more. While you can replace roof shingles without going through the hassle and expense of replacing the entire roof, it is important to take the time to really look for signs of deterioration, damage, and missing/loose shingles. If you’re unsure, hire an expert.

#4. Spring for a Chimney Sweep: If you have a wood-burning fireplace that you plan on using come winter, fall is the perfect time to make sure its chimney is inspected and cleaned. A clean chimney will also ensure that your fireplace is operating at its most efficient. Hire a professional chimney cleaning company, typically called a chimney sweep, for a clean and efficient fireplace. You can find certified chimney sweepers at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

#5. Install a Programmable Thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature settings while you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save up to $180 per year in energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR®. WiFi and smartphone controlled models, while more expensive, generally tend to pay for themselves in just one season.

#6. Ensure Your and Your Family’s Safety: As fall turns to winter, you will want to be diligent, making sure you and your family remain safe. Before winter hits, replace the batteries in your home’s smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors. Test each one to make that they are working properly. Now is also a good time to draft or review a fire safety plan with your family. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a good resource for information on fire safety/escape plans.

Extend Roof Life with These Tips

extend roof life

A new roof is no small investment – $20,142 on average for fiberglass asphalt shingles, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, now in its fourteenth year. That is not to say, however, that it is without its rewards. A new roof can net you a return on investment of $14,446 or 71.7%.

If replacement is your ultimate goal, you may want to consider installing either a metal roof or tile roof, as they can last twice as long. Preventative maintenance measures, such as those that follow, will extend roof life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely. Here’s what you need to do to extend roof life.

Catch Problems Early

One of the best preventative maintenance measures you can do to extend roof life luckily costs no money at all. You should routinely look for any obvious signs of damage – especially after every big wind, rain, hail or snow storm. Here’s what you should train yourself to look for:

  • Moss growth
  • Torn, cracked, or missing shingles
  • Detached gutters and downspouts
  • Damaged flashing around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other openings

Clean the Gutters

A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris can cause the roof’s raters or sheathing to rot. Fixing that type of damage can be costly, but you can avoid it by thoroughly cleaning your gutters each fall and spring, or as needed. You can either hire someone to clean your gutters or do it yourself.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Trimming any trees in close proximity to your home goes a long way towards keeping leaves off your roof, and out of your gutters, as well as keeping your roof free from damage. Overhanging branches can cause abrasion, which can later lead to damaged shingles, especially in high winds. Branches should be kept 10 feet away from your roof.

Have the Roof Professionally Inspected

Homeowners should have their roof professionally inspected annually. Why? Even the most durable roof can have some weaknesses or become damaged due to extreme weather conditions, such as, wind, rain, snow and hail. A professional can provide you with an accurate assessment on the roof’s condition. They will:

  • Perform a thorough interior roof inspection.
  • Perform a thorough exterior roof inspection.
  • Create a course of action, if any repairs are required.
  • Provide a written detailed estimate with recommended solutions.

8 Must-Do’s for Winter Maintenance

winter maintenance

Fall is here which means winter is near! As the cold weather nears, now is a good time to prepare your home for the shift in weather conditions with these essential winter maintenance tips, no matter where you live.

  1. Tune Up Your Heating System

Brrr…it’s going to be a cold one. Make sure your heating system will get you through the winter months by scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. A technician will inspect your furnace to be sure the system is clean and in good working order. If you act now, you’ll minimize your risk of needing emergency repair services during freezing temperatures.

  1. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

Adjust your ceiling fans so that the fan’s blades run in clockwise direction. Do this after you’ve turned on your heat. Energy Star states that this will produce an updraft, which pushes heated air down from the ceiling. Set your thermostat down a few degrees. This simple task affords you both energy and monetary savings.

  1. Prevent Icicles & Ice Dams

Winter brings snow-packed roofs to Colorado residents. That’s a given. As the snow starts melting damaging icicles and ice dams can occur. Take steps to prevent potential damage this year by ensuring that there is adequate roof ventilation as well as sealing gaps that allow warm air to pass into the attic from the house.

  1. Inspect Your Roof

Inspecting your roof is one task that’s easy to overlook. Don’t! With a pair of trusty binoculars in hand, scan your roof for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Look at the condition of the flashing too. Back inside, check for daylight peeking through cracks or worn spots in your roof {Tip: the attic provides the perfect vantage point}.

  1. Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are clogged, water can back up against the house, potentially damaging your home’s roof, siding, and trim. Clogged gutters can also result in leaks and ice dams. Using your gloved hands or a trowel, carefully remove any detritus from the gutters, and any residue from the roof shingles. Follow up by thoroughly flushing the gutters out.

  1. Clean Your Fireplace & Chimney

You should make sure your fireplace, chimney, and vents are clean prior to burning the Yule log. This will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide poisonings. Search for a certified chimney sweeper at Chimney Safety Institute of America. A professional will inspect and thoroughly clean your fireplace and chimney.

  1. Caulk Around Your Doors & Windows

Caulking around your windows and doors are small projects that can have a big impact on how much energy and money you save. It’s a project that rewards you throughout the year; not just during the winter. Do-it-yourselfers of any skill can easily caulk and weather-strip their entire home in a short amount of time.

  1. Restock on Winter Essentials

Don’t delay – restock on ice melt or ice before the first winter storm hits. If you have one, check to make sure your snow blower is properly maintained, and ready to go. Replace damaged or worn shovels, sleds, and winter toys well ahead of the crowds {if applicable to your situation}.

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