As a property manager, a leaking roof can be a major headache. Not only does it create an inconvenience for your tenants, but it can also damage your property and hurt your bottom line. Knowing how to handle a leaking roof is an essential skill for any property manager, that's why we've created this guide to help you through the process. From identifying the problem to finding the right contractor, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to handle a leaking roof like a pro.
What is A Leaking Roof
Leaking roof is the term used for a leak that originates from outside due to light or heavy rains. The water stains across ceilings on different rooms, loft and rundown walls in a home indicate that a leak or leaks are present on the roof.
Over a short period, a small leak on the rooftop can develop into a serious safety hazard that can result in the home’s insulation damage and compromised ceilings. A ceiling can fall off due to the constant damp exposure on them due to heavy rains. Once the sun hits the roof and the ceiling starts to dry itself out, the ceiling gum becomes hard and loses its grip over time. Afterwards, the ceiling is on borrowed time unless the cause of the leak on the roof is fixed as soon as possible.
Where Does It Occur In The Property?
Leaking roofs can occur and show signs on different areas of a residential property. A leaking roof can cause the leaks in:
Rain drain gutters
What Are The Causes?
In a home, a lot can go wrong in the roof that can contribute to leaking. You can look for the following causes and take further steps to put a stop to your roof leaks.
An aged roof can leak due to constant exposure to harsh natural environments.
Damaged chimneys can cause roof leaks when their brick and mortar develop cracks.
Incorrect installment of flashings or damaged flashing nails and roof junctions are the main contributors to roof leaks.
Holes on rooftops can have a devastating impact on their structural integrity.
Gutter lines for a safe rainwater passage can become blocked and form small dams that allow water buildup or backup and can cause a leak from the rooftop.
Substandard skylight fittings can cause rainwater to come pouring down into the room.
Plumbing vent boots cracks are another common cause of a leaky roof.
Weak sealing of roof valleys can let rainwater find its way inside the home.
Ice build-up on the roof sides can cause damage to the roof and it can end up leaking.
Cracked or broken roof tiles.
What Remedies Are Available?
You can stop a roof from leaking by implementing timely preventive maintenance. It not only keeps your roof in tip-top condition for a safe environment in the home but also lets you avoid costly repairs down the road. You should locate the following sources for leaks and act accordingly.
Pry up the nails to secure old flashings and apply a sealant to the cracked shingles.
Hire a roofer to lay a new leak barrier through the valley and overtop shingling.
Unhook the plumbing vent boot with a knife and use roofing nails to secure it, use a sealant under the shingles to attach them to the new flashings.
Install a roof rake to avoid ice buildup.
Seal any cracks around the skylights with a sealant.
Clear the debris from the rooftop gutter lines.
Hire a professional to repair the chimney to avoid any roof leaks.
Clear all roof vents to keep the condensation buildup away.
Fix the roof dormers and apply a sealant on the cracks.
Check for broken roof tiles and replace the faulty ones
Are there any legal implications?
A landlord has to repair major problems in the home within two weeks if they are compromising a tenant’s health and security, such as a leaking roof from harsh weather conditions.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to report a leaking roof issue either minor or major to the landlord or the property manager. The tenant under no circumstance is liable to pay or try to fix the roof leaks. This responsibility is totally assigned to the landlord.
If the landlord is unwilling to do the roof repairs, the tenant is entitled to compensation or the tenant can obtain an injunction order through a housing solicitor from the court to force the landlord to do the necessary repairs if the roof conditions lie under emergency repairs.
The landlord can make a home insurance claim to cover the cost to fix the leaking roof. Also, if the tenancy agreement states that the tenant is responsible for minor roof repairs, he or she shall cover the repair cost.
What To Consider As A Property Manager?
In case the tenant’s main point of contact is a property manager, it is the property manager’s responsibility to inspect and fix the following roof parts periodically.
Check for cracked tiles, flashings, and shingles and fix them
Clean gutters to prevent rainwater backup
Making sure that there is no ice buildup and ice weight damage in winter
Clean debris around skylights, roof valleys, pipes, and dormers
Check vents and exhaust fans for blockage
Confirm that the sealants in flashings and joins are in perfect condition
Check for any signs of serious roof damage after a heavy storm
Clear the mould that can be caused by a leaking roof
A property manager isn't responsible for cleaning or fixing any faults. The property manager's job is to visually inspect key areas and suggest repairs to the landlord.
The tenant is not responsible to fix the leaking roof but that does not mean that the tenant’s responsibility ends there. The tenant has to report the roof leaks to the landlord or the property manager as soon as he or she sees signs of any trouble to ensure safety. The tenant can:
Check the loft for any signs of condensation
Inspect all the rooms, their ceilings and run down walls for seepage
Check for leaks around skylights and dormers
Examine if the light penetrates through a hole in the roof
Investigate dripping water source after a storm
Check for strange cracking noises from the rooftop
Visually inspect the whole roof for cracked tiles, loose seals, and ice buildup
Capturing photos and videos of the roof damage and presenting the evidence to the landlord or the property manager
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