Roof Repairs on the North Shore of Boston

March 27, 2016

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The North Shore of Boston has a variety of homes of all ages and styles—which includes a variety of roofs. Once a leak is detected, we often find that the homeowner is resigned to needing a new roof way before that is really necessary. We would rather preserve the existing roof as long we can.

One of the most common sources of problems with a roof is the flashing underneath. Flashing has been used on roofs since the early 1800s to prevent water damage to the structure. Like roofs themselves, flashing is made from many materials, including copper, lead, aluminum, and steel, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

For example, a homeowner reported a leak from the slate roof of his home in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Slate is very durable (sometimes called “the 100-year roof”); but once it leaks, a homeowner is likely to believe the slate roof has reached its end date. Our advice: Never give up on a slate roof too soon!

At this North Shore of Boston home, we removed slate shingles from the valley formed where two portions of the roof met (see photo on right). Underneath, we found water damaged wood due to a faulty gutter and compromised flashing. We repaired the wood, replaced the flashing, repaired the gutter, and reinstalled the slate, good for another hundred years!

In Gloucester, Massachusetts, a homeowner called us about a leak from the home’s rubber roof. Here again, we found that the problem was not the roof itself but poorly installed flashing on a chimney. My guy on the roof said, “I looked at the ridge and the water damage could be addressed with some recaulking and by reforming the lead flashing to be a tighter seal. We also need to investigate the rubber itself to see if there are any weak points.” As it turned out the recaulking and the work on the flashing fixed the problem (see photo on left).

Finally, on a home in Essex, Massachusetts, we discovered the source of a leak in an old lap seal that was compromised. Lap sealant is used around roof edges, vents, chimneys, and other places where water can seep in. We cleaned out the old lap seal and re-sealed with a modern product.

Whatever the age of your North Shore home and whatever material the roof is made from, it still needs annual inspection and regular maintenance. If your roof leaks, contact WORKS and let us assess the situation for you. A total roof replacement may be much further off in your future than you think.