As a homeowner, one of the most significant concerns you may have is a leaking roof. A roof leak can cause extensive damage to your home, leading to catastrophic structural damage, potential mould or mildew growth, and electrical problems.
Roof penetration is one of the leading causes of roof leaks. Let’s explore further what roof penetration is, why it’s a concern for homeowners in Australia, the risks of a leaky roof, and how you can prevent leaky roof penetrations.
What is Roof Penetration?
Roof penetration refers to any object that protrudes through your roof, such as small penetrations like vents and pipes, and more significant penetrations like a skylight, or a chimney. These building elements require builders to cut into roofing during construction, effectively creating holes that need to be sealed. These openings can allow water to enter your home if not properly sealed. Even a small gap around a vent or pipe penetration can cause water to seep through your roof and cause damage to your home’s structure and insulation.
Roof Leak Causes
Plenty of potential culprits can cause water to penetrate your roof. Here are a few of the most common:
- Damaged or missing shingles can create openings that allow water to seep through your roof. It’s crucial to regularly inspect your roof and replace any damaged or missing shingles.
- Flashing is a thin material used to seal and protect the areas where your roof meets other structures, such as vents, chimneys, and skylights. If the roof cladding is not installed with proper flashing around roof penetrations, it can create gaps that allow water to enter and cause leaks.
- Vents and pipes that penetrate your roof require special attention to prevent water infiltration. Gaps around these penetrations can allow water to seep through your roof. Even if there is only a small, seemingly insignificant leak, that you are unable to see, this trickle can cause damage over time.
Reducing the Risks of a Roof Leak
A leaking roof is more than just an inconvenience. If left untreated, it can cause extensive damage to your home’s structure. Besides the structural integrity of your home, moisture leads to various mould issues that can harm you and everybody else living in the home.
This combination of potential building damage and health risks is why you should employ various methods to prevent roof leaks.
Many of the solutions involve combating the roof leak cause I identified earlier:
- Inspect your roof at least once a year and after any significant weather event, such as a storm or heavy rain. Look for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles or flashing.
- Replace any damaged or missing shingles as soon as possible to prevent water infiltration.
- Properly install flashing around all roof penetrations to ensure a watertight seal.
- Use a high-quality sealant to seal any gaps around vents and pipes.
Wakaflex as a Solution
Wakaflex is one of the best lead-free flashing options on the market.
Prior to Wakaflex bursting onto the scene, lead flashing was a popular material used in roof flashing. Wakaflex is now the frontrunner as an alternative flashing material that offers similar durability and flexibility without the health and environmental risks associated with lead.
Wakaflex is a versatile and durable flashing solution that can help reduce the risk of roof penetration. Unlike traditional metal flashing, Wakaflex is a self-adhesive polymer-modified bitumen flashing that is flexible and easy to install. It has a long-lasting durability that can withstand harsh weather conditions and UV exposure.
How to Install Wakaflex
Installing Wakaflex is a simple process that most homeowners can do themselves. Here’s how you can install Wakaflex around a roof penetration:
- Before installing Wakaflex, make sure to clean the area around the pipe, vent, or chimney to ensure that it’s free of debris and other materials. This will help to create a clean surface for the Wakaflex to adhere to.
- Measure the circumference of the penetration and cut a piece of Wakaflex to fit. Leave a little extra material on either end to allow for folding and forming.
- Apply a small amount of adhesive to the back of the Wakaflex. You don’t need to use too much, as the Wakaflex will stick well thanks to its natural adhesiveness.
- Carefully wrap the Wakaflex around the penetration, forming it neatly and tightly around the edge. You can use your hands to mould it into place.
- Once the Wakaflex is in place, use a few roofing nails or screws to secure it. Make sure to space them evenly and not too close to the edge of the Wakaflex.
Alternatively, if you’re uncomfortable installing it yourself, a roofing professional can help. Wakaflex is designed to be easy to use, but sometimes we all benefit from a little extra help.
Generally speaking, if flashing isn’t the issue causing your roof leak, a roofing professional can be handy to professionally diagnose your specific problem and recommend a solution.
Roof penetration is a significant concern for homeowners in Australia, especially during the rainy season. You should keep an eye on your roofing system with regular inspections to see if there are any signs of water damage.
If there is any damage to roof shingles or roof tiles, you’ll need to repair or replace those to protect your home. However, often, you can blame the leak on poorly installed or damaged flashing.
If you need to replace or install flashing, consider Wakafelx as a solution.
If you want to learn more about Wakaflex and how it can help protect your home from roof leaks, visit our website or contact us today. We’re always happy to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your home’s roofing system.