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How To Fix A Leaking Roof Valley

How To Repair Roof Flashing

Dead valleys and flat roofs / How to fix roof leaks

Corroded spots and small holes in roof flashing can be easily repaired. Your roofer may simply cork pinholes using roofing cement and effectively patch holes using a patch cut out from the same material the flashing is made of.

First, your roofer will roughen the area around the hole using a wire brush or sandpaper and carefully clean it. The patch is then cut to a size larger than the hole and affixed with roofing cement. To effectively seal the hole and prevent future leaks, the patch should be covered with more roofing cement.

Flashing that is severely corroded will, however, need to be replaced. Your roofer will have to remove a few rows of shingles plus the old flashing to do this. Finally, the flashing seals will be renewed by chipping out old mortar and caulking along the edges of your flashing. Special masonry caulk is recommended for sealing the joints between the flashing and the wall, chimney, skylight, or vent. However, silicon caulking compound or urethane roofing cement works well for sealing the seam between stem flashing and roof cap.

What Do You Need

No specialist tools are called for, just a screwdriver, a hammer and a caulking gun. Youll need a roll of lead flashing a cartridge or two of builders mastic and some roofing nails. Before you go out and buy these, you might want to check that your life insurance will cover you when working on the roof!

Seriously, you will be working at a height sufficient for a fall to be fatal! Even falling from the roof of a bungalow is likely to cause serious injury so you will need proper access equipment for getting up onto the roof and working up there safely. Youll need to hire that.

The Types Of Dead Valleys

Not all roofs and watersheds are treated equally by home builders and designers. A dead valley is a region on a roofing system where water cannot easily run down the roof because of the junction of two slopes or a slope with a wall.

There are two types of dead valleys: The first is when a normal valley flows into a flat wall corner instead of right off the roof, and the other is as a result of two or more slopes merging into one.

Any low-sloping roof should employ materials that can withstand gradual water runoff without early deterioration, just like any other low-sloped roof. Roofing contractors frequently shingle over these sections without the correct underlayment, which can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars in repairs.

Use a selected low-slope material the first time around to ensure your safety. There is an upfront investment, but it is necessary for your roof’s longevity.

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How To Repair A Leaking Roof Valley Permanently

If a valley in your roof is leaking, more often than not a partial or full replacement will be in order. This could mean replacing your roof tiles, the flashing used, your roofing membrane, or all three.

  • Perform a full inspection of your roof to determine what exactly is causing your leaking roof valley, and what needs replacing.
  • Lift up as many tiles as necessary around the damaged area, so that the damaged flashing can be removed and replaced.
  • The new layer of flashing can now be installed, using either wet-fixing or dry-fixing, depending on your needs and chosen product.
  • If your valley flashing is made from lead, this should only be removed and replaced by a qualified professional. This is due to the toxicity of lead, and the experience needed to install lead flashing correctly.
  • Once your new flashing is in place and any wet fixings have been given time to dry, carefully fit the tiles you removed previously back into place, replacing any damaged or broken tiles.
  • The Problems Caused By Dead Valleys On A Roof

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    Dead valleys have water and debris have nowhere to go resulting in impeded or nonexistent proper drainage. Debris and water in that location can degrade the wood and shingles, resulting in costly repairs in the long run.

    There is a serious problem with dead valleys on any roof since they are prone to accumulating rainwater, snow, leaves, and other debris. As the roofing material ages or begins to disintegrate, stored debris and water will eventually seep through the shingles and cause leaks.

    As time goes on, dead valleys become a problem area for roof services, as leaking spreads to other areas of the roof, and the roof structure beneath the shingles begins to decay. When damage is severe and has continued for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to replace the roof and adjoining structural components.

    Even if it is possible to fix a dead valley, if it is not done early enough or in the wrong way, it can still become a problem your roof’s lifespan will be significantly reduced if you don’t fix the dead valley.

    Builders and roofers frequently utilize the “solution” of running a bundle of shingles and felt paper down in an area with little to no slope. Despite what they believe, this will not endure long because using a shoddy solution like this will get you a leak in this area within three to five years.

    False solutions like these have the potential to inflict significant harm. These are only a few examples:

    1. Excessive roof leaks

    3. Ice and water dams

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    Why Does The Sarking On The Sides Of The Valleys Get Wet And Will It Cause Leaks

    A lot of roofers do not know that the sarking alongside the sides of the valley should NOT be cut and left overlapping onto the sides of the valleys.The sarking has to be folded back onto the valley batten instead.

    If there is sarking on the sides of the valley, it will draw water into the roof cavity and cause roof leaks.

    When the tiles are lifted up. you should not see any sarking on the sides of the valleys at all.

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    Its important to make sure your roof valleys are kept in good condition. Otherwise, ongoing damage can be caused to your home, and it can often start without being obvious enough for you to notice it. However, when stains start to appear in that part of your ceiling under a roof valley, damage has already been caused.

    Major leaks do happen, especially after your roof has been suddenly treated to everything our unpredictable wet Melbourne climate has to offer. Often though, damage can be caused by gradual wear and tear, perhaps due to an initially small, but soon expanding, rust hole. Blockages, such as accumulated leaves and other debris, can also lead to a build-up of water then causing serious damage if it accesses your roof cavity.

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    What Are Roof Valleys And What Cause Roof Valley Leaks

    For those of you who may not know, roof valleys are the troughs formed where two roof slopes meet. Their purpose is to collect any water and direct it away from the roof and into a gutter.

    Why do roof valleys leak?

    The lifespan of a roof valley is pretty impressive. In fact, roof valleys can last for up to 20 years, but unfortunately certain external factors can cut that short. You may not believe it, but the leading contributor to a leaking roof is leaves. Wet leaves have a habit of sticking to the roof valleys causing corrosion and the formation of rust bubbles. These quickly escalate into holes on the valley which, in turn, can destroy neighbouring parts of the roof.

    Leaves can also collect in the roof valleys which in the winter can lead to ice formation. Water expands when its freezing and this, in turn, causes the shingles to move, which also causes a roof to leak.

    Sometimes, roofers overlap the shingles when forming the valleys and this can often cause water to find its way between them.

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    A roofs valley is very prone to leaks, especially if you have an older roof. The reason why the roof valley is such a vulnerable area of the roof has to do with all the rainwater and/or melting snow that accumulates and flows through the valley of the roof before draining into the gutters.

    Roof leaks are also very common in the winter, when all the snow accumulating on a roof creates a potential for a leak to develop, especially if the roofs valley on your home is not properly flashed and or if there is a substantial accumulation of melting and refreezing snow in and around the roofs valley.

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    There are many factors that can contribute towards a failure of a roof valley flashing, structural issues, inadequate construction, improper roofing methods, and the roofing material deterioration.

    Three Types of Valley Flashing: Open, Closed, and Woven

    There are three main types of valley flashing approaches:

  • Open valley flashing approach that makes use of sheet metal flashing and is by far the most preferred and reliable type.
  • Closed valley approach with the trimmed shingle edges on both sides of the valley. This approach doesnt use sheet metal valley flashing, and hence is prone to failure.
  • In this guide, we focus on the roof leaks that are due to closed and woven style valleys.

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    How To Repair Roof Valleys

    Roof valley repair is a common situation where you will need the help of a local professional roofing contractor to help with the problem. Valleys in older roofs are often weak spots prone to damage and leaks. Repairing a damaged or degraded valley takes a clean, orderly process to make the results long-lasting.

    Your roofer will begin by inspecting the valley for holes all along the joint. Next, the valley is carefully cleaned using a wire brush to remove any debris. Small holes can be patched with the same type of sheet metal the original valley is made of using a different metal to patch it will cause corrosion.

    In most cases, valleys can be repaired without touching other parts of your roof. However, if the damage extends beneath your shingles, a few shingles can be removed to create room for repair work before being installed back. To replace a roof valley on most roofs, the ridge capping at the top will need to be removed and later reinstated after the valley has been changed.

    It Is Very Common For Water To Leak At A Valley

    A roof valley is where two sloped roofs meet on a home. This is the point where stormwater will collect and flow into your custom gutter and downspout system. The way the valley is constructed in a shingle roof installation is critical. When improperly installed and flashed, valleys pose a major risk for serious leaking problems. Though valleys are not considered a roofing penetration, they are still required to be flashed and waterproofed.

    As you read this article, you will understand that a valley must include properly installed flashing done by a roofing specialist along the entire area. Below we dive further into this issue so you can have a better visual of why valleys will leak and become such a problem.

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    What Is The Cost To Repoint A Roof Valley

    On most roofs, valley tiles are held in place with mortar a mix of sand and cement.

    Its not uncommon for the mortar to fail and come loose.

    Below is a price guide for a roofer to pull out the loose mortar to a 4-metre roof valley. This work doesnt involve the removal of any roof tiles, the loose mortar is simply pulled out and the gap repointed with new mortar.

    The price includes the cost to erect an access platform as this isnt the type of work that should be done from ladders.

    Preformed Grp Valley Cost

    Roof Leak Repairs on Valley of Residential Shingle Roof in Process ...

    GRP stands for Glass-Reinforced Plastic and is seen as an excellent alternative to lead-lined valleys. GRP products take far less time to install than other options are generally much cheaper to buy and are extremely lightweight, putting less strain on your structures.

    The preforming increases the install time, with them being easy to handle and ready to attach the roof, they also don’t streak or stain. These valleys shouldn’t need replacing for many years, so they’re certainly a good choice for most homes.

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    Preformed Mortarless Valley Cost

    These roof valleys direct water to the guttering on your home without it discharging over the sides due to long upstands either side of the valet. They also have a variation available in which there is a central upstand for homes with two roof slopes that have uneven pitches.

    They are very similar to GRP valleys, but with slight alterations. They benefit from the same advantages that GRP valleys do however, they are slightly more expensive and take longer to accurately install.

    Cost Of Removing A Roof Valley

    To remove a roof valley, it would cost around £300 depending on the size and type of roof you have. People will remove a roof valley to repair the cement underneath, to repair a roof valley leak or simply to prepare for a full roof valley construction.

    A roof valley may also be removed will new fibreglass valley gutters are installed, which are becoming more common in recent years, although you donât always have to remove the valley for this job.

    People often question whether this can be done as a DIY job, as is becoming increasingly more common in the modern world. The problem with this is twofold, firstly, working at height is a lot more challenging than people realise, especially on certain types of roof, and it can get very windy up there even if it isnât down below.

    Secondly, you can damage a roof very easily simply walking on it, and you can damage it even easier by removing roof valleys if you donât have any experience in this type of work.

    We always encourage anyone to enlist the help of trained and licensed professionals for specialist work on roofs and homes. Of course, there are many tasks that can be done as a DIY project, but some are simply too advanced to be attempted.

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    How To Fix Dead Valleys On Tile And Shingle Roof Valleys

    When a valley terminates on tile rather than the edge of a roof, it causes the most trouble. While a dead valley may appear to be a problem at first, it can survive as long as any other area of the roof with correct installation and upkeep.

    Almost every roof has some sort of valley in it, and for a tile roof, an issue that may arise is when the amount and/or speed of water pouring out of the valley causes the water to splash or seep under the tile. If the end of the valley is positioned incorrectly, water will pool on the underlayment rather than on top of the tile.

    Continuous accumulation of water makes the underlayment too wet. Typically, this problem will not lead to a leak right away but rather over time.

    When a leak like this happens, the plywood base will have to be replaced because it will have been compromised by the leak. Installing flashing at the end of a valley helps the hard galvanized steel valley metal mold with the tile, and this type of leak may be readily prevented.

    When checking for leaks, flooding of the roof can be done to establish where the leak is coming from if the water drains off. The roof has to be completely cleared of debris first to reveal any hidden areas of damage.

    Any compromised shingles or tiles will have to be replaced. Before this happens, the area of damage or leakage should be stripped bare to the roofing deck.

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    A roof valley is the part of your roof where two roof sections come together. Rain collects here and has to be channelled down into your guttering system. Roof valleys have to deal with a lot of water during heavy rainfall, so naturally it is vital that they are securely water tight.

    Roof valleys are usually made from lead, copper, fibreglass or concrete tiles. Fixing a leak could be as simple as repointing your roof valley while reusing your existing materials. On the other hand a more significant repair could require new valley flashing, tiles, or even supporting felt and timbers.

    A blocked valley can cause water to overflow resulting in longer term damage. It can can be cleared of leaves, moss and other debris fairly easily as a part of your basic roof maintenance. If the valley flashing is cracked or the pointing has degraded, then replacing it is a bigger task. A well installed roof valley can last 40 years and more.

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    Costs Of Roof Valley Repair

    We mentioned earlier that when the survey or work has begun on your roof valley repair or replacement, other issues that may hamper the contractor’s ability to complete the job can appear. Flashing and valleys can hide other problems with tiles or shingles, like crack, lifted or broken tiles and shrunken and damaged shingles.

    In this case, it would be pointless to repair or replace the valley without also repairing the shingle or tile issues. Take a look at our article on repairing broken roof tiles to find out more about the costs associated with the job.

    If you or the contractor discover that the valley is blocked with debris and other foreign objects, this will need to be cleared before any survey or work can be completed on it.

    If you have trees that overhang your roof, moss could even be an issue. This cleaning and debris removal arent too expensive, and it’s integral to keep your roof in good shape. Again, check out this article on removing roof moss to discover more about the process and pricing of roof cleaning.

    In short, these repairs, cleanings and replacements can range from £50 to £500 depending on the severity of the problem and how quickly it must be rectified. It all depends on your unique circumstances.

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