You’re minding your own business one afternoon when a mild summer thunderstorm rolls through. You think nothing of it, other than perhaps to be thankful that the garden’s getting some much-needed watering, when you notice a dark spot on your ceiling. You manage to reach it, and it feels wet. You’ve got a roof leak. Your first course of action is to stop the leak, then you’ll need to consider whether you can leave the repair alone or if you need to reroof your home.
You have several options for repairs, but knowing your choices of roof coatings is important.
There are quite a few different roof coatings designed to work with multiple types of roofing, from asphalt shingles to sheet metal and everything in between. However, they’re not all created equal. Some are designed for roof restoration, while others are designed to help stop leaks. Yet others are water resistant, but not waterproof. How do you choose the right option from the many different roof coatings out there?
The first step is to know your roofing type. Do you have asphalt shingles? Maybe you have a metal roof. Perhaps you have a slate or tile roof, or maybe one of several other types. The type of roof in question will dictate a great deal about the path you follow for repairs. For example, if you have an asphalt shingle roof, your choices are going to include solvent and water-based asphalt coatings, as well as solvent-based aluminum asphalt coatings.
The next step is to determine the actual nature of the threat to your roof. Are you missing shingles only? If so, you’ll need very little knowledge of roofing sealants – a few new shingles should fix things up nicely. However, if you’re dealing with a hole punched through your roof by a fallen branch or a more serious threat, you’ll need to take different steps.
You’ll also need to consider the age and general condition of the roof. If it’s aging and in only “ok” condition, it might be a wiser course of action to reroof the entire home, rather than using roof coatings to fix the current leak. Aging, deteriorating roofs will be more susceptible to new leaks, and you’ll end up spending more on repairs than if you just went ahead and opted for roof restoration right now.
How do you know which option is right for your situation? Where do you go from here? The best choice is to work with a professional roof inspector or roofing company. A trained professional will be able to determine the overall condition of your roof, and whether or not roofing sealants will be effective over the long-term, or if they will be little more than a stopgap.
Of course, you can’t choose such a professional blindly. Look for an inspector or roofing company with considerable experience in the field, as well as a long list of satisfied customers. Any roofer that won’t provide references should be avoided.