Most sane souls wouldn’t consider our recent April weather warm, but we Alaskans know the sunshine feels warmer, and it’s melting the snow. Unfortunately, melting snow can easily cause roof issues or reveal ones that have developed over the winter. Suddenly the melting snow becomes more of a curse than something to enjoy. So here are some tips for Anchorage landlords out there dealing with leaky roofs or for those of you who are worried about it.
Spray the Roof
Perhaps the most annoying thing about leaky roofs is that it never leaks where the actual damage is. Sometimes the only way to find the leak is to spray the roof with water while someone inside watches for dripping water. Obviously, that doesn’t work while there is still snow on the roof. Always think safety first.
Check for Ice Buildup
We get a lot of snow (most winters) in Anchorage, so ice building up on your properties’ roofs can cause a lot of damage. Ice often builds up under the roof membrane, gutters, and shingles. You can prevent leaks by having proper ventilation and installing ice shields and a drip edge. If you already have a leak, check wherever you see ice buildup for possible damage to the roof.
Check Roof Boots
Any vents, chimneys, and skylights are common areas where roofs leak. The “roof boots” help the transition between the vent etc. and the shingles. You can replace the roof boot if you find any that are dry or cracked. Some roof boots are metal, and it is the seal that needs to be checked rather than the boot its self.
Inspect Roof Materials
Shingles can be faulty from the get go and cause problems like leaks and even lead to dry rot. Sometimes installation is the problem and nails can start to push back out. Anytime you are going to be navigating your property’s roof, always make sure to inspect the materials and installation as you go. Stepping on damaged material can cause you serious hard.
Pay Attention to the Valleys
When two roofs come together, they form a valley, and these should always be checked if there is a leak in the roof. All of the water from the roofs gathers in the valleys, and during the winter the snow does too. Often the snow is deepest in the valley and makes it a prime place for damage and leaks.
Leaks are frustratingly tricky, and sometimes it takes a while to find the exact place that is causing the current leak. Think of repairing leaks as a process of elimination, when you’ve gone through the trouble of fixing one area you know that one is fixed, even if you have to move on to others. Don’t give up and keep looking.
If getting up on the roof to look for and fix leaks is more than what you care to deal with, perhaps it’s time to consider working with a professional Anchorage-based property management company that can take care of headaches like leaky roofs for you.