An Ugly Mess
Roofing systems keep homes dry and waterproof. A proper cricket flashing around a chimney is critical to the integrity of a sound roofing system. You can see the shingle roof is relatively new. Somebody thought they were saving some time or money by constructing a cricket fast. They were wrong. The cricket leaks evidence the patching cements someone hopes covers for a structural problem in the cricket.
Get it done right the first time. Keep your deck dry, keep your insulation dry, keep your interior dry and well painted. There are an infinite number of ways to foul up roofing. You are seeing one here.
Bad Chimney Left Un-Repaired
This is a chimney flashing that might seem remote to the roofing system but in fact, this wood chimney frame forms the protective flanks to the actual roof flashing and shingles. If you don't solve the problem with this chimney flashing when you re- roof this house you have a built in problem that will cost the homeowner more money in the long run. The chimney is poorly designed in the first place. There is no crown to the metal flashing and so it does not drain well. It probably started out flat but the lightweight metal has bowed in the middle. Someone cheaped out during original construction. The roofer you want is not going to cheap out now and sell you a roof that does not solve this problem.
Poor Attention to Chimney Flashing
This roof area has a couple of problems. We are interested here in the chimney counter flashing and the condition of the chimney itself. It might have saved a few bucks on an estimate but the dollars saved passing over this poor excuse for a chimney flashing, will cost the homeowner much more through water penetration and deterioration. The counter flashing on the chimney needs to be replaced and the chimney itself needs attention from a brick mason. The shingle roofing is close to the elevation of counter flashing. It is likely that the visible shingle roof has been recovered over an original roof. This dooms roofing materials to an early grave in the intensity of the Texas sun. What was considered a right roofing decision will cost significantly more much sooner than expected.
Chimney Flashing Done Right
Here you see a roofing mechanic installing a proper counter flashing on a chimney. He is scoring the masonry so that a reglet joint can be sealed and the counter flashing will properly shed water over the step flashings. You can see the properly installed step flashing interlaced in the tile roofing. This roof will hold up well because the potential problems on the roof have been eliminated by proper construction techniques. You can afford nothing less on your home, if you are trying to save money.
Structural shifting has damaged this chimney. The preceding roofers have also not paid proper attention to the step flashings and the covering counter flashing. You can see sections missing here. Water is getting into the superstructure and is conceivably the reason that the chimney has shifted. Somebody saved some time and hard work by skipping over the installation
of roof flashing to a proper specification. Somebody is going to cost the homeowner a lot of money to solve the resulting problems. Get roofing completed with quality the first time. Save your hard earned cash for other better purposes that to make premature repairs.
Chimney Base No Cricket
Broad encumbrances to the flow of water need a roofing cricket. This point is emphasized on this roof because this is the eave of the roof so there is a maximum of water flow at this point. The cricket construction would have been extra work in this case so a short cut was created to save time and energy. The siding is rotted out now and the cure is much more expensive than the original savings.
Step flashings are missing along the rakes, or outside sloped edges, of the chimney. Deck could easily have been wet for some time. Shingles are pretty new. You can reasonably conclude that the existing roof was installed with this defective chimney flashing in place. Complete repairs were not made. Some money was saved on an estimate and a buying decision was made on price. Don't make this expensive mistake yourself. Make sure the estimate you choose solves the problems on your roof.
Don't Want An Overlay
Well, here we see one roof overlaying another. This saves the cost of tearing off the old roof. It also reduces the life of the roofing by more than half. It also throws off elevations of roofing and creates vulnerabilities to leaking. Several other problems are created. The extra layers of roofing are too heavy and the standing weight loading of the roof deck has been compromised. This overlay is also a violation of the roofing manufacturer's installation specifications. Homeowners have to watch out for themselves here. There are no cities with municipal roof inspectors on staff. This overlay did not save any money. These mistakes will cost more in the future. Don't make this mistake yourself. You don't want to afford it.
Get Skylights Right Or Create Damage
Skylights are a protrusion through the roofing just like a chimney. They need special attention paid to proper roofing procedure to make sure they do not leak into the superstructure. It is not rocket science to create a watertight roof. It just takes proper roofing knowledge and attention to detail. Unfortunately in this case, something went wrong and the result is rottted decking and wet insulation. Make sure your roofer understands proper roofing procedure and is committed to quality roofing. Don't buy on price along. That lower price can get you into a lot of extra expenses.
These skylights are improperly installed too close to the roof surface. Problems with them are likely even though these skylights are very high on the ridge. The power vents are not properly installed either. We get very heavy rain in Texas during which water can enter these defective flashing assemblies. Perhaps not enough to actually leak into the home's interior. Just enough to wet some insulation and destroy some decking and maybe grow some mold. Not a good bargain for the homeowner.
The #1 Dumb Mistake Creating Roof Problems
Rubber Vents Crack Not Properly Installed
The number one mistake that creates roofing problems all relate to the placement of vents in roofing. The roof assembly must accommodate pipes and metal chimneys to vent plumbing, to vent gas water heaters. Placing proper vent flashings are easy.
You just need to know what you are doing, use proper components and construct the roofing materials and flashing components in a manner to properly shed water.
However, for a variety of reasons, roofs leak around vents. Lets look at some of these problems and learn from other's mistakes so that these types of dumb mistakes are not allowed to damage our roofing systems and our homes.
Rubber vents are cheaper than lead flashings. Unfortunately they don't last well under the intense Texas sun. These cheap rubber vents are the #1 cause of leaks in the industry. Rubber vent flashings are a poor investment. Don't let a roofer underbid by a few dollars and stick you with rubber vent flashings. All roofers are not created the same. Make sure you understand the estimate and make sure it addresses the problems on your roof. Make sure your roofer is not installing a future roofing problem on your roof.
The second photo gives away the fact that the flashing is not properly installed into the layers of shingles. The shingles and all components must be layered together to shed water off the roof. This figure shows that the vent is cut down through all layers of the shingles. This is a problem. The nice messy application of roofing cement just might be someone trying to stop a roof leak through the area. Whatever, this dollop of goo has no useful purpose.
Pipe Not Cut
This lead flashing would appear to be properly placed into the layers of shingle roofing. Unfortunately, no time or effort was taken to either cut the pipe off to a proper length or find a lead pipe flashing to fit the length of the pipe.
Pipes move inside the lead sheathing by the coefficient of expansion of the material in the pipe, the length of the pipe and the change in temperature. Asphalt-based mastic is not flexible. Pipe movement causes a crack to form in the mastic between the pipe and the vent flashing. The mastic becomes a water funnel directing the water into the crack. Water entering the crack is entering the home.
Every drop of rain that hits the exposed section of pipe runs inside the house. Now in some climates, this might not be a big deal but in Texas, we get serious rain- several inches at a time. The vertical surface area of exposure on the pipe translates to an equivalent area on the flat roof. A mathematical function can be created to define this area. Now you will have to come by the office to see the math, but just understand that several inches of rain hitting the pipe translates to cubic inches of rain in the structure. The leak may not generate enough water to create visible damage inside the living space, but still leak into the structure enough to wet insulation, wet the roof deck, and create paint problems on the ceiling. Get the roof vents installed right the first time, by hiring a roofing company that does not skip over the minor details- like long vent pipes. Call Joe Hall Roofing and relax. We don't cut corners to low-ball bids. We get it all done right at the right price.
Poorly Flashed Vent
This photo shows another example of a pipe flashing that is not properly installed into the layers of shingles. The shingles and all components must be layered together to shed water off the roof. This figure shows that the vent is cut down through all layers of the shingles. This is a problem. You want your roofers to know what they are doing. Roofing is not difficult but poorly trained or poorly motivated roofers find an amazing number of ways to mess up the installation of basic roofing components.
This simple photo also raises suspicion that this roof might be an overlay of an existing roof. We talked about overlays earl ier. Overlays don't work, don't meet building codes, don't meet the manufacturer's specifications, but do create excessive weight on the roof structure and cost you money later to solve the problems created by an overlay.
Vent Not Covered Correctly
This photo is an example of a gas vent flashing that is not properly installed into the layers of shingles. Instead of being cut down through all the roofing shingles, this vent sits on top of all the layer of shingles, except for the very top exposed layer of shingle. The shingles and all components must be layered together to shed water off the roof. The gas vent flashing is to shed water around a large hole in the deck to vacate a gas venting duct. This flashing will not shed water properly. Water is entering and wetting roof members and insulation and doing a variety of bad things. This is a problem. You want your roofers to know what they are doing. Roofing construction is not rocket science. But it continually amazes us of the ways found to mess up the installation of basic roofing components.
Vent Not Right
This picture makes a conscientious roofer shudder. Someone has basically cut a whole right through the roof and installed this pipe vent and instead of doing any roofing work at all just spread out some kind of asphalt-based patching material instead. This vent is leaking. This vent looks really ugly. Someone did not know what they were doing, or did not care. Whatever type of contractor you hire, make sure they work in your community and that you check references. See our list of criteria for picking out a contractor. We meant this list to help you pick out roofers, but the same principals exists for every kind of contractor.
Friendly and glib talkers sell you stuff by making promises to you. You need to substantiate what they promise or you may just be cheated out of your hard earned investment.