Tampa’s rainy season may feel as though it lasts 13 months a year. Your roof feels the effects of the nearly four feet of water Tampa receives annually – most of it from June through September. Combine the heavy rainfall with blistering heat, and your home is at risk of developing a roof leak. Here are three quick tips to plug the possibility of a roof leak:
1. Check the Pierced Area
Your think of your Tampa home as a smooth, waterproof barrier. But your home’s roof is pierced by many projections:
- Chimney—the primary suspect in detecting a roof leak; inspect your step flashing; does a chimney cricket (a miniature, peaked roof leading into the vertical face of the chimney) allow water to run off down valley flashing into gutters?
- Sanitary vent stacks—neoprene or rubber boots around the vent stacks easily dry out and split under the sun’s ultraviolet radiation
- Kitchen and bath fan vents—these need flashing and sealing; insects and pests often use these as entry points
- Skylights—while affording ample light, skylights also afford water a great entry point; inspect the flashing and ensure intact seals (silicone or roof caulk) around the perimeter
- Satellite television dish—bolts through your roof shingles anchor it into the sheathing; those bolts need sealant
2. Check the Flashing
Metal flashing serves to collect and redirect rainwater down to your gutters in three critical areas of your Tampa home’s roof:
- Where major vertical projections cut through your roof line
- At dormers
Generally, flashing does not rust (it is usually aluminum), but it can get damaged. Flashing is very thin and susceptible to bending; around chimneys, step flashing may have lost sealant that once prevented water from rising against gravity (capillary action), causing a roof leak.
3. Drip Edge Check
Drip edge is a specially formed metal strip that directs rainwater away from the edge of your roof. Yes, it looks good, too, like pinstriping on a car or piping on a blouse, but its main job is to protect the fascia—the vertical wood molding—from water infiltration. Your Tampa home’s gutters attach to the fascia board. The fascia is vulnerable to water traveling in behind it, leading to rot and a roof leak, if your drip edge is missing or damaged.
You could risk checking your roof yourself (if you have the proper safety training and equipment), but an annual inspection by a local, trusted roofer is your best strategy to prevent a roof leak. Before Tampa’s rainy season begins, is your roof ready?
Contact Imperial Roofing for help with your roof leak prevention.