Leak Stoppers, Roof Leak Repair Experts!

Long Island's Most Reliable Residential and Commercial Roof Consultants!

Types of Leaks

Click the links below to go directly to the page didicated to that type of leak, or read through all of them right here!

Skylight leaks:

The biggest misconception with skylights is that they just need tar or re-flashing. The fact is 3 out of 4 skylight leaks we repair are a direct result of a failure in the skylight or skylight top. Installing ice/water shield, new roofing and flashing sounds great, but only works 1 out of 4 times. This is why people dislike skylights. Insuladome, Thermovue, Ventorama, Velux, Wasco, Pella and Anderson are all uniquely manufactured skylights, each having very different flaws. Understanding the design, flaws and common issues along with frequency and, or wind speed and direction is vital to properly diagnosing a skylight leak. This is our specialty, so I will keep my detailed secrets for your analysis.

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Chimney leaks:

Pourous bricks, cracks in mortar, cracks in crown, openings at top edge of flashing , the improper use of flashing, improper use of house wrap (Tyvek, tar paper, etc.), cracks in flashing cement(tar) and/or failure in roof shingles are all possible causes of a chimney leak. Diagnosing the leak’s frequency in accordance with recent and past storm history will help determine the most likely cause. With the right clues and a thorough inspection of all threats visually, a recommendation can then be made that will best repair the leak.

Brick, stone, rock, tile, stucco are popular chimney coverings. All of these surfaces require maintenance to ensure water cannot penetrate the outer surface. If the stucco or mortar fail, immediate leakage and/or erosion of mortar can occur. Re stucco, re-pointing, re-crowning or Silicone water proofing are different ways of repairing these coverings.

Cedar shingles, clap board, vinyl and stucco (Drivet) are common chimney coverings that utilize tar paper or house wrap (Tyvek) to shed penetrating water over metal roof flashing at bottom of wall. This is the common step, apron, wrap flashing method used along roofing/siding joints on 90% of new construction today (by code). When installed properly this metal flashing – roofing – vapor barrier combo can last up to 50 years using our standard aluminum flashing – Timberline HD roofing – 30 lb. wall felt paper.

Chimney chases are the new design in chimneys. They are hollow plywood boxes (usually encasing a gas fireplace/burner stack, but sometimes just for show) covered with any (brick, wood, stone, stucco, etc). The flashing is the common wall flashing system with house wrap. What makes these chimneys unique is the different ways the builder (finisher) covers the chimney top. Proper use of overlapping Bitumen roofing with proper use of primers, flashing, fiberglass, capping and coping is essential. Many leaks from chases occur right at these points. Frequency, age of roof/flashing and visual inspection of the chase top can help determine if the leak is occurring from the top, flashing or roof.

Proper chimney flashing is achieved first through continued motion and good pitch of roofing (usually we install crickets behind chimneys to divert water around back side). With pitch throughout we simply lay ice/water shield underlayment onto chimney, followed by Timberline HD roofing with aluminum apron, step and corner wrap flashings continuing onto chimney surface 4-8 inches. A final Counter flashing is than cut into chimney mortar (brick, stone and tile in some cases) and hung (from chimney) over roofing flashing. This design utilizes the best roofing/wall flashing with an independent wall (counter) flashing allowing these opposing surfaces to move in high winds or through contraction and expansion of different seasons.

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Ice dams:

Ice damming is a direct result of improper attic ventilation, exhaust ducting and insulation. Ice dams are formed when snow melts and freezes to ice at the edge of the roof.

The internal temperature of your attic is the real issue. Heat, high hats, bathroom fans exhausting into attics, leaking attic staircases, leaking air conditioning and heating units (in attic), and heat radiating through insulation all contribute to warming up the attic.

Without proper attic ventilation, attics can be as warm as 50 degrees on a 20 degree night! The best roofing systems will have a hard time keeping the water out. Ice/water shield, Lifetime roof systems and the best 2nd and 3rd generation roofing companies are no match for what Mother Nature is capable of.

What we do to eliminate Ice Damming:

We have created soffits on homes without overhangs, installed low lying louvers, ridge vents, attic baffles, attic exhaust fans, Attic vents, duct tape, insulation and thousands of miles of Weatherwatch ice/water shield to protect hundreds of homes with protection from and the elimination of ICE DAMMING.

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Attic insulation:

Attic insulation is obvious important when it comes to energy bills. Small leaks surrounding all doors and windows allow cold air to enter a home with or without wind based on the openings along the highest ceilings in the home.

If hot air rises (chimney effect) and you are heating up air on a cold day, it rises. If you have holes in your ceiling, lights, Knee wall closet (in cape with closets upstairs), air will shoot through these holes, through attic and outside, literally sucking air in from all exterior walls at bottom level of home. Remember Hot air balloons have holes in the bottom that mean nothing, until the hole at the top is opened (chimney effect). This issue is vital to the elimination of the most damaging roof leak, The Ice Dam.

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Flat roof leaks:

Flat roof materials last usually 15-20 years with some commercial grade applications lasting up to 30 years. Most flat roofs, however leak within 5-10 years of installation, due to openings in roof at penetrations. (vent pipes, a/c units, fence posts and perimeter flashing)

Flat Roof Repairs

Residential: The most common residential flat roof leak occurs where flat roofing meets siding. The ‘flashing’ at this joint is crucial. Flashing comes in many forms. Flashing can be copper, aluminum, lead or tar. That’s right, tar. The best form of flashing with residential flat (low slope) roofing is actually none of these. Whether it is a metal or the roof sealed right to the siding, either way, it can fail. If the flat roofing were to continue up the wall behind the siding, there is no tar to fail. This method will last as long as the material. It will not fail. Physics never fails. Tricky part to this is the layers of siding. To be done properly, the flat roof (we prefer Rubber roofing) needs to continue behind all layers of siding (vinyl, insulation, asbestos and tar paper is most common).

Commercial: Commercial and industrial flat roofs have perimeter penetration and the trickiest leak: a/c units. Roof perimeters are often kept inches shy of the edge and neatly sealed to existing or new metal using tar (and fiberglass fabric in most cases). This seal will eventually fail allowing water directly in to building or worse, in between layers of flat roofing, sometimes not noticed until roof becomes beyond repair. The adhesion between top roof and underlying roofs is vital to the top roofs survival (longevity), so avoiding leaks on a multi layered roof is vital. It is as simple as adding about 4 inches of material to the roof perimeter. This enables the roof to continue over the edge, overlapping wall or existing metal coping. This raw edge is then finished with an aluminum drip edge to fasten and cover roofing.

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Valley leaks:

Leaks in or near valleys are some of the most difficult leaks to track down and repair. Experience and understanding of the leaks frequency can help determine if the valley is leaking or if the roofing above the valley is leaking (and then showing at the valley). When roofing a home we recommend a closed valley system where the tiles overlap at the valley with ice/water shield underlayment underneath for added protection. As water runs down your main roof and picks up speed when it comes to a closed valley, the water runs onto the adjacent underlying roof. If 2 roof pitches are equal in pitch and size the water will cancel out at the valley. If wind blows water under the overlapping roof at the seam, gravity will eventually pull water back down (as long as the valley is shingled properly). The visual inspection by a professional roofer includes knowing where all factory seams are to find possible seam on seam mistakes and determine where shingles stop beyond they valley (measuring 1 yard (meter) from last visible seam). Factory seams should never be in the valley area. If it is determined that the roof is in good shape, but the valley is improperly installed, re-shingling 2 feet out on each side of valley with ice/water shield and new roofing will be recommended. If the valley looks good but the roof is questionable, new roofing entire section (or roof) will be recommended. Roof cement (tar, flashing cement) should only be used for temporary relief.

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Window leaks:

Most window leaks are not actually the window that is leaking. The leak occurring at the top of a window usually is coming from the window, gutter or skylight above. Leaks only seen at the bottom of a window may be a result of poor caulking (on a replacement window) or clogged weep holes(drains in vinyl sill or in bottom of storm windows). Understanding the frequency of the leak can help determine if the leak is on the roof/gutter (the get wet every time it rains) or if is on the wall/window (these only get wet when the wind blows a certain way). Some windows have flanges (Anderson, Velux, etc.) and some just get caulked in (vinyl replacement). Flange windows utilize the house wrap to keep water out. Vinyl replacements rely on the existing window frame (wood, metal capping, etc.) and existing housewrap usually with different caulked seams.

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Vent pipe leaks:

Plumbing vent pipe collars consist of a metal base (flange) usually made from aluminum with a rubber gasket integrated into the top (middle) of the flange. This boot comes in different sizes allowing installers to slip rubber boot (gasket) over pipe, using the surrounding flange to layer (weave) into roofing, utilizing gravity to shed water, using no caulk or tar to keep water out. Most leaks at vent pipes are from old vent pipe boots. When 2nd layer roofs are installed, most roofers simply tar roofing at base of existing flange. This tar lasts only 5 to 15 years depending on the movement (contraction and expansion) of pipe and the quality of flashing cement (tar). Other vent pipes leak because rubber gaskets on flanges can split or deteriorate. Most quality boots will last for up to 30 years where some can fail at as early as 15 years. When no visible cracks or hole in rubber boot or tar is present it is than important to check all interior plumbing for leaks. Diagnosis begins using leak frequency to determine if leak can be from plumbing, from roof or from base of vent pipe. Once properly diagnosed roof repairs are either to replace vent pipe flange/boot and surrounding roof tiles using black jack to hold down new roof tiles. For short term repair, flashing cement (tar) can be used.

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Serving All of Long Island

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