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How to Avoid Leaks, Ensure Proper Installation

Many homes are susceptible to leaks at penetrations such as chimneys or vents where there is a hole through the roof. Leaks can be avoided with correct installation or repair practices. Here are some things you need to know to make sure your roof will have what it needs to shed water and not leak.

HGTV has featured a question about this on The question is basically whether roofing tar or mastic is an acceptable way to seal penetrations and why they might leak. Click here to read the full question and answer.

Author Dwight Barnett’s answer is right on. Mastic is not a good way to seal penetrations because it does not shift with the movement of the roof during a storm but will crack and expose the roof to leaks. The proper installation method involves “flashing” penetrations.

Flashing around walls or chimneys which can be major sources of leaks involves using several pieces of thin metal referred to as “flashing” which are fastened to the roof and top pieces called “counter or cap flashing” which is fastened to the penetrating structure such as a wall or chimney. Other types of penetrations which are usually smaller, such as vents, have special flashing made to accommodate the pipe that penetrates the roof. The two components work together to let the roof shed water without leaking but they do not work if water flow is stopped or slowed substantially.

There are several installation practices that you might ask about before contracting a roof replacement or repairs.

-Will shingles be nailed in by hand or nail gun – hand nailing ensures proper depth and placement whereas nail gun work can be sloppy and drive too far into the shingle.

-Will penetrations be flashed – as discussed above, flashing is needed for proper water shedding

-Will waterproofing underlayment be used in valleys – read more about underlayment in What’s in a Roof?: Composite Shingle System.


Our staff is always happy to answer questions about these and any other concerns and discuss your options, so call Lone-Star Roof Systems at one of our 3 offices today!

Mailing Address for All Offices
1511 South Texas Avenue, #172
College Station, TX 77840

College Station Office
722 Peach Creek Cut Off, Ste. 100
College Station, TX 77845

Dallas Office
5040 Grisham Dr., Suite 103
Rowlett, TX 75088

Houston Office
15219 Stuebner Airline, #12
Houston, TX 77069

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