With heavy and consistent rain a regular visitor to Melbourne of late, there are no doubt many people who have noticed roof leaks on their Melbourne home for the first time.
There are a plethora of potential causes of roof leaks – including damaged tiles, cracked tile cement and rusted metal roofing sheets – but common, overlooked issues are items such as skylights, chimneys and roof vents. All of these require sealing to prevent roof leaks, but over time these sealing materials can deteriorate or become damaged, causing a leak.
Let’s a look at these individually and in more detail, so you can perhaps recognise what’s causing a leak at your home.
Roof leaks from vents
Take a look at your roof from the street and you may see several ‘things’ or ‘small pipes’ coming from it. Without getting too technical, those things are called vents and they are used, for example, to remove steam and gases from kitchens and bathrooms.
Vents can be a common cause of roof leaks on Melbourne homes. Or more correctly, it’s not an issue with the vent itself but the sealing material that is used at the point where the vent exits the roof. If you’ve noticed a leak near this area and your roof materials (generally tiles or metal roofing) seem okay, the culprit is likely to be the vent sealing material.
There are a few common issues. One is the rubber material that is meant to create a tight seal between the vent pipe and the roof. With exposure to the elements, over time the rubber material can deteriorate and split and the next thing you know you’ve got a leak in your home. Other common causes associated with vents can come from waterproofing material, called flashing, metal parts and sealant.
Roof leaks surrounding chimneys
Like vents, chimneys can also cause roof leaks in Melbourne. These can be caused by issues with the masonry structure, in the case of brick chimneys, or the metal structure, in the case of metal chimneys. However, the most common cause of issues with chimneys, like vents, is the sealing material surrounding the chimney.
In this case it’s the flashing or the waterproof material. Chimney flashings generally last a long time, but eventually they can rust and need attention. Another common issue is when flashing hasn’t been installed correctly, so even if your home or chimney is new, don’t discount this as a possible cause of a leak.
Roof leaks caused by skylights
Skylights are terrific assets, letting light into dark rooms that don’t have enough natural light via windows. However, they can also let water in.
If you have a skylight that is leaking, if your skylight is one that opens, firstly check that the skylight is closed and check the weather seal where the skylight meets the surrounds in the closed position. If these looks fine, again the issue is likely to be the flashing or the waterproofing that forms a seal where the skylight unit meets the roof.
Fixing roof leaks caused by vents, chimneys and skylights
If you have a roof leak on your Melbourne home caused by a vent, chimney or skylight, it’s time to call in the professionals. While it is pretty easy for anyone with DIY skills to replace a broken tile and clean gutters, repairing issues such as a damaged flashing requires some extra skills.
This will generally involve removing the roof tiles or roofing sheets surrounding the vent, chimney or skylight, removing the old flashing and replacing it with new material. Once this is done, the roof tiles or roofing sheets can be replaced. In some circumstances, roofing cement and sealants can be used to fix issues, but this is generally only a temporary fix, before proper repairs are carried out later.
Contact Oates – we do it all!
Whether your Melbourne roof leak is caused by an issue surrounding a vent, chimney or skylight, or another issue altogether, the important thing is to get the problem fixed as soon as you can. Even a minor leak can cause damage. A leak that goes unnoticed or is not fixed for some time can significant issues to your home, perhaps costing thousands of dollars to fix.
Oates Roofing Maintenance are experts for all things to do with roofs. From fixing roof leaks and other repairs, to maintaining, cleaning and entirely replacing roofs. We can even rid your home of vermin if they’ve taken up residence in your roof.
Oates services all areas of Melbourne and offers free quotes. To organise a quote today, give us a call on 0435 695 466 or submit a quote form on our website. We’ll take care of everything for you.