The problem of leakage of the roof is faced by almost all residents of the upper floors of high-rise buildings, as well as owners of private houses. Living in a leaky roof is completely uncomfortable: humidity rises in the house, spots appear on the ceiling, plaster crumbles, wallpaper goes away, dampness leads to fungus and an unpleasant smell of mold. Among other things, it is also dangerous, because the wiring may short circuit or there may be a deflection of the floor beams, collapse of the rafters. The roofs of private houses are being repaired by the owners themselves, and in the housing and communal sector the elimination of roof leaks is the responsibility of utilities. For what reasons this emergency situation occurs and what are the ways to resolve it – this will be discussed in this article.
- Types of Roof Leaks
- Search for leaks
- Causes of roof leakage
- Roof repair from different materials
- Bitumen roof
- Rebate roof
Types of Roof Leaks
To know how to deal with the problem of damage to the roof, you need to determine its nature and character. Types of roof leaks are also called precipitation, as a result of which they formed:
- Rain If the roof leaks during the rain or immediately after it, then, most likely, the roofing is damaged or places of vertical abutment are depressurized. Flat roofs often leak due to deformation of their base, which occurs due to the displacement of floor slabs as a result of natural movements of the foundation.
- Snow. They are associated with the process of melting snow on the roof. Melt water freezes on the eaves of the roof, in gutters, valleys – in these places the temperature is usually below zero. The resulting ice blocks the flow of water, which leads to leakage of the roof at the joints.
- Dry (summer) leaks are surprising residents, as they happen in the dry and warm season. They arise as a result of the formation of condensate in the under-roof space and the insulation getting wet.
- Flickering leaks are not associated with rainfall. They do not depend on natural conditions and time of year. Their cause is microcracks in the roofing material, as well as violations of technology made during its installation.
Search for leaks
To restore a damaged roof, you need to inspect the roof and find a leak. This should be done by specially trained people from the public service or repair organization..
Attention! All work on the roof should be carried out exclusively in dry weather, since it is unsafe to be on a wet pitched roof.
Inspection of the roof is carried out in the following order:
- Having risen to the attic, they assess the condition of the floor, waterproofing, rafters, probe the roofing material in search of wet and moldy areas that indicate places of violation of the integrity of the roofing carpet.
- An external inspection of the ridge assesses the state of fastening and insulation of the aprons, especially in the areas where the roof covering adjoins the vertical elements. At the same time, they inspect the wiring, if necessary, it must be de-energized.
- Then, descending to the lower part of the roof, they study the valleys, clearing them of vegetable debris, as well as the cornice board and the lower layer of the roof, the integrity of which can be impaired by strong winds and rains.
- Inspect the ventilation ducts, the entire drainage system – pipes, gutters, funnels, clean them of debris if necessary, check for mosses and lichens on the slopes, dents, holes, cracks and chips on the roofing.
In some cases, the place of leakage can be determined using ordinary tape measure, comparing the location of the wet spot in the apartment with the corresponding area on the roof, while focusing on ventilation ducts, sewer risers and other elements of the building.
It happens that an external examination failed to detect damage, although leaks continue. Then after the rain you need to go up to the attic and mark with chalk the place of moisture penetration, and then patch it in dry weather.
Causes of roof leakage
The roofing carpet, regardless of the shape of the roof, should form a continuous waterproofing. In case of violation of the tightness of its layer, water penetrates into the under-roof space and can moisten the insulation, while reducing its effectiveness, and may leak through the ceilings to the walls.
If mistakes were made when creating the roofing, then a new roof can leak, especially on the valleys, at the points where the roof adjoins walls, pipes, parapets and other vertical elements. Damage can be of various scales. Sometimes, to fix a leak, it is enough to carry out a light repair, and in some cases it is impossible to do without the help of specialists, as the entire roofing “cake” may need to be replaced.
Having found out where the leakage of the roof in the apartment building is located, it is necessary to determine its cause in order to proceed directly to the repair work. The main causes of roof damage include:
- excess roofing service life;
- damage to the roofing carpet during work and snow removal on the roof;
- biological violation of the tightness of the roof due to damage by mosses and fungus;
- a decrease in the elasticity of the roofing material due to sudden changes in temperature;
- natural aging of the roof under the influence of wind, moisture and sunlight;
- improper installation of the lawn on the roof, as a result of which the roof structure is destroyed by the roots of plants;
- the consequences of improper design of the roof device or technological violations of installation.
Finding the cause of the leak in practice is not always easy.
This especially applies to pitched roofs, where water flows in one place, and can drip in a completely different place. After all, even the most reliable roofing is not ideally sealed: raindrops and snow blow out under the gusts of wind.
Therefore, if there is a leakage of the roof, a full inspection of the roof with the involvement of specialists.
Roof repair is the responsibility of utilities. Therefore, you should promptly write a statement to the housing office on roof repairs.
Moreover, it is not enough just to write that a roof leak has occurred – the statement should reflect the whole picture of the problem, namely: who and when the leak was noticed, the number of the apartment in need of repair of the roof, the approximate amount of damage caused, the requirement to take measures to eliminate the leak. Representatives of the Housing Office must arrive and draw up an act on the leakage of the roof, and then the organization must eliminate the leakage during the day.
Roof repair from different materials
The procedure for repairing the roof depends on the nature and scale of the damage, as well as on the roofing material. If, for example, a bitumen roof is leaking, the repair can be local or capital..
Local repairs are carried out on relatively new coatings, where most of the roof still retains its performance:
- a piece of the roof is cut out around the damaged area, indenting at least 50 cm;
- the resulting hole is poured with liquid rubber, or with polymer mastic.
If the coating has lost its elasticity over time, patching will not be saved: leaks in different places will occur constantly. In this case, you need to clean the old coating to the base and completely replace the roofing carpet..
Leaks on the metal roof occur due to improper installation or violation of the technology of the device of the roofing cake. In this case, depending on the cause of the defect, it is recommended to carry out the following work:
- The resulting through damage should be sealed and then treated with an anti-corrosion compound. If there is a large amount of damage, the entire sheet is replaced..
- If the screws loose, they need to be replaced with new ones. It makes no sense to tighten old fasteners – the result will be short-term.
- Leakage due to improper selection of materials for the roofing “pie” is eliminated by a complete replacement of the underlay films
Defects on such a roof occur, as a rule, at the joints of the sheets. Leaks are eliminated by re-rolling the seams with a special tool. Additionally, the joints are sealed with silicone or bitumen sealants. Here, just as in the metal-roofing, you can completely replace the sheets, or you can make a patch, which is fixed by soldering or self-tapping screws for aluminum.
The main problem of this material is cracks resulting from expansion from temperature extremes and non-compliance with installation rules.
The types of repair work will depend on the cause of the defect:
- Strengthening the rafter structure will make it possible to avoid cracking during thermal deformations of roof sections.
- New joint cementing will reduce damage.
If the cause of leaks is the gap in the waterproofing between the rafters and the crate, then more complex work is ahead and they are carried out in the following sequence:
- from the repaired area remove the tiles;
- remove the necessary part of the rail and remove the damaged section of the waterproofing;
- put a patch, fix it with mastic or special roofing glue;
- set removed or new fragments of rails;
- restore the tile.
Performing such repairs requires great professional skills..
So, the inspection of the roof is carried out, the cause of the damage has been clarified and eliminated. In such cases, the main thing is to act promptly in order to prevent the spread of dampness in the apartment, spoiling the quality of life and general mood. Tenants should be aware that in order to prevent unpleasant situations with leaks, housing and maintenance organizations are required to conduct a scheduled inspection of the roof condition every six months..