What to do when water leaks appear in roof coverings?

Certainly, when we discover that there are signs of water leaks in the roof of our house or in general any building, we are concerned, because this always brings more serious consequences for the structure in the medium and long term.

The best advice in general, is to turn to a professional who will guide us on the magnitude of the work we have to do (from the roof replacement, to the waterproofing of the entire roof or the placement of insulation, or the repair of fissures or cracks).

Correcting fissures and cracks is a primary issue for the maintenance of roofs, roofing slabs or roofs of houses. By repairing leaks, we prevent possible damage to electrical appliances due to moisture.

By eliminating leaks in the roofs we avoid major problems such as leaks, oxidation of the pipes, possible short circuits for users, in addition, in many occasions this presence of water combined with the lack of insulation on the roof can even cause mold that can be harmful to the health of our customers.

Steps to undertake the roof repair

The first step is to locate the exact location of the origin of the leak, which is just on the opposite side of the sector visible from inside the house: the top (outside) of the roof.

It may seem simple, but it is necessary to be careful in determining the exact place to correct, otherwise we run the risk of losing valuable time and even materials, without being able to correct the problem.

One of the simplest methods is to look at the underside of the roof (on the inside of the house) at a time when it has started to rain.

Alternatively, it is possible to simulate the effect of rain by pouring water on the roof with a hose or other similar means. If a powerful beam of light (such as that of a flashlight) is shone on the roof, the first drops of water will be perceived.

Waterproofing: Our great ally against leaks

Waterproofing is a method, where by means of specially manufactured blankets, usually made of plastic asphalt materials, we can protect any concrete structure that serves as a roof covering.

What are the steps to waterproof the roof?

Before starting with the waterproofing, we must identify and discover if the problem of the leak comes from the deteriorated or non-existent waterproofing of the roof with the help of a qualified professional to detect this type of failures.

Once the problem has been detected and the roof is ready to be waterproofed, the following steps should be taken:

1.-Carefully clean the surface to be waterproofed

It is necessary to clean well the surface to work of branches, garbage and remains of broken tiles. It is essential to clean well the area where the work will be done and, once the repair is finished, try to make sure that the roof surface is as smooth as possible.

This will be done to prevent tree branches or other objects left on the roof from blocking the gutters or forming holes where water stagnates. Often it is this type of water accumulation that wears out the materials and ends up causing a leak.

2.- To place the suitable insulation in the roof covering

It is the moment to take advantage to place isolation in the cover, this way the heat leakage will be avoided and in the case of inverted covers, to protect the waterproofing. To improve the performance of the waterproofing, extruded polystyrene panels (with a ribbed surface on both sides) can be installed on top of the waterproofing sheet.

3.- Installing the roof tiles or the roof finish

This is the last step of the activity to complete the waterproofing, it must be done with the conditions specified by the manufacturer of the mantle strips used for waterproofing.

4.- Do not forget some safety recommendations

When the work is to be carried out on the roof, precautions should be taken even more carefully. It is advisable to avoid climbing whenever the surface is damp and to wear shoes with non-slip soles, as well as a helmet and appropriate gloves.

Final considerations for proper waterproofing

As a general rule, the surface should be examined at least once a year, to determine precisely what the roof may present, initially, this is a visual inspection, which should be done with a person knowledgeable in the subject.

When improving the roof to avoid leaks or future moisture problems due to condensation, it is advisable to install extruded polystyrene panels to improve and protect the roof, since it is one of the few insulating materials that does not degrade in the presence of water.

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