How Detailed Roofing Stops Roof Leaks

There are many good reasons to be careful in selecting your roofing contractor – and one of them is to ensure you get a truly “detailed” job. The details are often much more important than you think and can be determining factors in whether a roof leaks or acts as an effective water barrier.
There have been too many nightmare scenarios in Central Florida where a poor roofing job led to water stains and worse in profusion within days or weeks of installing a new roof. Choose a reputable, experienced local roofer and all that can be avoided.

Roofing Details Matter!
It’s not enough to just slap some shingles onto a roof decking if you want a superior quality roof job that lasts for decades. It’s the detail work that makes a roof “work” like it is supposed to. Basic to good roofing is choosing high quality shingles and other materials. But here are some other factors to watch:

  • Shingles must be overlapped by several inches in accord with manufacturer’s instructions and each course must be offset to break up water flow.
  • Shingles must be cut accurately around vents and other penetrations, and they must be carefully positioned in valleys, near dormers and roof-wall connections, and at peaks and ridge rakes.
  • Nails must be nailed down straight and at the proper points in each shingle. Roofing nails of the correct size and a durable material should be used.
  • Plumbing vents need boots to cap them rather than just smearing roofing cement (tar) around them, as in “black jacking.”
  • Using high quality felt roofing underlayment and covering the full roof deck with it.
  • Ensuring that all areas of the roof deck are stable and free of mold, mildew, serious cracks, or weakened wood.
  • Properly installing all flashing and drip edge – more on this point in the next section below!

Detailing Metal Flashing & Drip Edge
A huge part of preventing future leaks through detailed roofing work is related to how the flashing and drip edge is installed. It’s not enough that it merely be there, but it needs to be wide enough, strong enough, fastened properly, and over- or under- lap other materials in a way that creates a solid water barrier.

Step flashing (layered flashing) needs to be integrated with the adjacent shingles. Counterflashing and kickouts also need to be utilized to direct water off the roof quickly and into the nearest gutter.

Metal drip edge is also key to preventing roof leaks. Drip edge needs to cover all of the eaves and direct water straight into the gutters. It should also be installed along the gable rakes if you want to have optimal protection, even against rain blown sideways by winds that could get it under the shingles otherwise. Drip edge should be installed atop the underlayment for best results.

Metal or stick-and-stay materials also need to be installed flat to the roof in all roof valleys since that is where the bulk of the rainwater runoff is going to move. Flashing and/or roof tar and roof sealants around vents and chimneys and solar panels is also key.

The bottom line is simple: the tiny details of how shingles, flashing, drip edge, and other materials are attached to your roof makes a huge difference in the way it functions to keep your indoor spaces dry. To learn more or to schedule a job, contact Sheegog Contracting today!


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