Why Are Gutters So Important To My Roof System

Why are gutters so important to my roof system?

When it comes to your roof system, don’t overlook the importance of gutters. Your gutters provide an essential function – channeling rainwater off the roof and away from your home’s foundation. Without gutters, misplaced moisture can cause serious issues, from mold infestation and roof leaks to structural deterioration.

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Posted in Exteriors

Questions Answered: Commercial Roofs: How To Know If A Leak Requires A Simple Repair Or A Roof Replacement

A leaking commercial roof can be a property owner’s worst nightmare. Moisture infiltration can impact your customers, employees, inventory, and business hours. Whenever you notice your roof is leaking, it’s important to take immediate action to mitigate damage.

But one the most common questions we get from commercial property owners and managers is: Should I repair or replace my leaking commercial roof? Well, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether a quick repair job is sufficient to get your roof back to where it needs to be or if a roof replacement is more appropriate. A commercial roofing contractor can help you decide which option is best for your property.

Signs of Commercial Roof Leaks

A commercial roof leak is when snowmelt or rainwater penetrates the roof of your commercial property. Water can seep in through even the smallest holes in your roofing membrane and cause widespread damage inside the building.

Knowing the signs of a roof leak can help you identify that something is wrong before the problem gets out of control. Here are the most common signs of a leaking commercial roof:

  • Dripping water: The most surefire sign of a commercial roof leak is the sight of water droplets or rivulets overhead or unexplained puddles on the floor.
  • Odor/Mold: A strange odor in your building could be a red flag for mold growth in the walls or ceiling. Mold grows in moist environments.
  • Staining: Extended exposure to water will cause discoloration on your ceiling or walls.

Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks

Unsealed Penetrations

There are various roof penetrations which you cannot avoid, including vents, HVAC units, gas lines, pipes, and other systems that come through the roof membrane. These are vulnerable areas for leaks and water damage if the seals aren’t applied properly during installation.

Damaged Membrane 

A commercial roof membrane is a waterproof layer. The roof may leak if the membrane is damaged by harsh weather, foot traffic, dropped equipment, and excess water buildup. Flat roof membrane damage often includes worn seams, blistered sections, tears, and ponding water.

Aged Materials

Most flat roofing materials last between 15 and 20 years, even with routine maintenance. If your roof has a decent pitch and is not covered by typical flat roof membranes, the lifespan may be around 30 years. Repeated weather events break the seal and expose the roof to leaks.

Poor Drainage

A commercial roof should be able to tackle water with things like gutters, scuppers, and internal drainage pipes. Any problem with the roof drainage system can prevent it from working adequately. Poor drainage can result in roof leaks.  

The Dangers of Commercial Roof Leaks

It can be tempting to ignore a roof leak or put off repairs over and over again, especially when your facility is large enough that it doesn’t cause any immediate problems. However, it is key to keep in mind that ignoring a leaking commercial roof can lead to extensive and more costly problems.  

If you notice any signs of a commercial roof leak, think about the following hazards before you ignore the problem and think it’ll be fine.

Interior Damage 

When moisture gets through the layers of your roof, the roof decking and structure will rot and become weaker over time. As a result, the structural integrity of your entire roof system becomes compromised, increasing the risk for a partial or full collapse. Too much moisture may cause discoloration and damage to the walls, floors, paint, and ceiling.

Interior damage caused by roof leaks is more expensive than regular roof maintenance or prompt repairs.

Electrical Shorts 

While electrical wiring is cased in moisture-proof coating, this is only true within reason. They protect against accidental spray or mild dampness. Also, keep in mind that the coating becomes brittle over time, cracking with movement and exposing the wiring underneath.

If the leak is bad enough and left for long enough, electrical wires and electronics may short out. Worst case scenario, they spark up and cause a fire.

Health and Safety Hazards 

It’s your responsibility as a business owner to provide your employees and customers with a safe environment. A leaky roof can hurt your efforts to do so in numerous ways. When mold travels via the HVAC system and spreads to other parts of the building, it can cause respiratory issues. 

Leaks can also trigger slip and fall accidents, exposing you to liability claims and lawsuits.

Repair or Replace Your Leaking Commercial Roof? Here’s How to Decide

Various factors come into play when determining whether a leaking commercial roof needs repair or replacement. To know for sure, it’s important to have your roof inspected by a reliable roofing contractor. However, here are some things to be aware of when it comes to fixing your leaky roof.

Leak Size

If roof damage is only minor, a replacement might be a costly, unnecessary expense. Roofers can usually repair and patch up small, isolated leaks.

If the leak is extensive and appears in multiple places, a total roof replacement may be necessary to ensure adequate protection moving forward.

Age of Roof

A newer roof is less likely to need a complete replacement. Repairs may be enough to keep it in functioning condition for as long as it is meant to last.

If your roof is approaching the end of its expected lifespan and is leaking, it may be a good idea to consider replacing it, instead of repeatedly paying for repairs.

Cause of the Leak

Your commercial roofing system is made up of many components. A leak could arise from problems with cracked sealants, flashing, or punctured membranes. Individually, these items can be repaired. But if most of these components are failing and causing leaks, you’ll, unfortunately, need a replacement.

Trust Red Diamond Roofing to Fix Your Commercial Roof Leaks

Now that you have the scoop on commercial roof repair vs. replacement, we encourage you to schedule an inspection with Red Diamond Roofing. We can thoroughly assess your roof, determine its condition, and offer the best approach to fix the leaks and their root cause. Contact us today for your free inspection. We proudly provide commercial roofing services to those in and around the Denver and Fort Collins area.

Posted in Commercial

Roof Decking And Sheathing: What Is It? Are There Potential Hazards For Your Home If It Isn’t Properly Installed?

Your roof is made up of several different layers of materials and components that work together to protect your home from the elements. While every material is required for a healthy and complete roof system, one of the most crucial is roof decking. It’s the foundation for your entire roof system.

At Red Diamond, we like to take the mystery out of roofing and walk our customers through a thorough explanation of their roof so they can make informed decisions and feel secure in their roof. Here’s everything you need to know about roof decking.

Roof Decking – What Is It?

Roof decking, also known as sheathing, is the wooden boards that make up the foundation of your roofing system. It lays on top of the structural components of your attic (joists and trusses) to cover the rafters and support the weight of all other roofing materials. Roof decking provides a flat surface to which roofing shingles can be fastened.

In residential roofing, sheathing is typically made from flat sheets of wood, usually plywood or OSB. Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is the most common type of roof decking used on residential roofs today. It is made up of intertwining wood chips or strips that manufacturers bond together using a waterproof resin to form a flat 7/16” sheet. OSB is more popular because it is readily available, durable, and relatively inexpensive.

Construction-grade plywood is made of thin layers of wood glued together. While a bit more expensive than OSB, plywood is much denser and provides better protection against moisture.

What is the Purpose of Roof Decking?

Although you can’t see it, roof decking is an incredibly important part of the roofing process. It provides the foundation for all other materials and protective membranes, such as shingles, underlayment, and flashing can be applied.

Roof decking, therefore, must be strong enough to hold the weight of other roofing materials and durable enough to cope with its constant use and the stresses of the elements.

Signs Your Roof Decking Isn’t Properly Installed

Roof sheathing is also essential to your home’s structural integrity. And if it’s not properly installed or is damaged and unable to support the roof’s weight, it can cause serious structural problems. Here’s what poor installation looks like:

Installing Materials on Wet Deck After a Rainstorm

Roof decking should not be blacked out right after a rainstorm, as it needs time to dry. Installing the water barrier and shingles before the boards dry out entirely leaves the wood vulnerable to rot and damage. Roofers need to cover sheathing when it rains or wait for it to dry out to prevent the risk of mold growth and premature failure.

Buckling or Blown-Off Shingles

Putting a roof covering on a damaged or poorly installed decking risks more damage to your home over time. Roofing shingles, for instance, won’t lay flat or function as well as they should. This may cause water to pool in sagging areas, leading to leaks and water damage. This will significantly decrease the lifespan of your roof.

If roof decking is soft or damaged, fasteners and nails used to install shingles won’t hold. With this, they can easily buckle or get blown off. You can lose entire sections to gravity or high winds.

Not Allowing Proper Spacing

Plywood and OSB sheets expand and contract as they adjust to their environment (humidity, moisture content of the building, and rain). Unrestrained by framing and fastening, panels can move about 1/8 inch as they acclimatize.

Proper spacing between panels allows framing to absorb most of the expansion. If the panels are jammed tightly together, the expansion may result in unevenness or buckling.

Sagging Rooflines

A dip or curve on the roof could be associated with roof decking which should have been replaced. Soaked or rotting decking can warp, leading to a wavy or bowed roofline and ceiling.

Repair or Replace Roof Decking?

If damage is caught in its early stages, it’s possible to only replace the damaged sections. There’s no need to preemptively replace the whole thing if the sheets are not waterlogged.

However, if the damage is extensive or out of control, you have no other option but to replace all of your roof decking. The longer you go without replacing damaged roof sheathing, the more problems it can create. Some of the problems include mold and mildew, water-damaged electrical systems, waterlogged framing and joists, stained drywall, and costly repairs.

If new sheathing is put on improperly (starting at the top instead of at the bottom) or the sheets don’t join properly because of poor installation, you may need to have a roofing contractor fix the problems before your roof is exposed to damage.

When it’s time for a roof replacement, be sure to ask your roofing contractor about the condition of your roof decking. Hire a reputable local roofer and budget for the best quality materials to ensure the longevity of your home’s roof.

Red Diamond is your best choice in residential roofing contractors in the Denver and Fort Collins area. Contact us today for an experience that is friendly, accessible, transparent, and high-quality.

Posted in About Roofers

Expand your knowledge on the best practices for maintaining your commercial roof

Best practices for maintaining a commercial roofYour commercial roof keeps your building safe from the elements, as long as it remains in good condition. This requires routine maintenance to clean it and check for problems that need to be addressed. Since your roof is such an important investment, it’s essential to know how to properly maintain it.

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Posted in Commercial

How To Wisely Plan For The Cost Of Replacing A Commercial Roof

How to wisely plan for the cost of replacing a commercial roof

Your commercial roof has reached the end of its lifespan and it’s time to have it replaced. There’s no question that a new commercial roof is a costly investment. But understanding the main factors that will determine the costs of your commercial roof replacement can give you an idea of what to expect and how much to budget for your project. Read more ›

Posted in Commercial

How Can You Know What Your Roof Warranty Covers?

How Can You Know What Your Roof Warranty Covers?

Is a residential roof warranty worth more than the paper it is printed on? How can a Denver-area homeowner know what a roof warranty covers Read more ›

Posted in Residential

How To Compare The Top 5 Residential Roofing Material Options

graphic with the quote How To Compare The Top 5 Residential Roofing Material Options

Congratulations, you need a new roof! Yes, we know; nobody says that. But if you step back and think, a complete roof replacement is an excellent opportunity to select a roof that fits your style, taste, budget, and plans. Compare these five residential roofing material options, and then pick the roof type that suits you and your family best.  Read more ›

Posted in Residential

How Roof Financing Works & The 5 Top Options To Consider

How Roof Financing Works & The 5 Top Options To Consider

Life comes at you fast and hard. One minute you are idly contemplating a roof replacement for your Denver and Fort Collins-area home, the next, you are struggling to answer, “How does roof financing work?” Financing for roof replacement is straightforward when you work with a superior, local roofing contractor.  Read more ›

Posted in Residential

When Could My Gutters Overflow Or Cause Roof Leaks?

When Could My Gutters Overflow Or Cause Roof Leaks?

As you enjoy your spring days outdoors under a glorious Colorado sun, perhaps you glance up at your Denver-area home’s gutters every now and then. Can gutters overflow? Should I be worried about my home’s gutters? If your gutters are already overflowing, the questions are probably different: Can gutters cause roof leaks? What can I do about my gutters?

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Posted in Exteriors

Why Are Seamless Gutters Better For My Home?

Why Are Seamless Gutters Better For My Home?

You’ve heard it said but never known: why are seamless gutters better for your Denver-area home? Perhaps you’ve seen those segmented gutter bits and pieces in the big-box do-it-yourself (DIY) store and wondered if they are any good and if you could put them up yourself. We know of three reasons to go with custom-fitted, seamless gutters.  Read more ›

Posted in Residential