Part 1: The Percentage of Roof Leaks Not Associated with the Shingles
I always tell everyone, “I could teach a monkey to install shingles on a roof.” I wish I had access to a monkey so that I could prove my point. The fact is, most roof leaks are not associated with the shingles themselves, but the protrusions and entities surrounding and within the roof area. These things should be checked out when a new roof is being installed. Diagnosing a problem before will save you grief later.
Through the cap or through the facing, if in bad condition the chimney on your house will leak. I cannot even count the times that we were called out for service because of a leaking chimney area. More than not, it was the chimney itself and not the roof surface. You should have your chimney routinely checked by a qualified person to ensure that it is holding up to the elements.
Whether step flashing, counter flashing, valley flashing, pipe flashing or any other type of flashing, I can assure you at one point or another, if not installed properly, you will develop a leak. Backwater seams, overlap, nailing through flashing, or just not knowing what you are doing are just some of the interesting things we have seen over the years in regards to flashing leaks. Make sure your contractor installs all new flashing when a new roof is installed.
They can be tricky. Quality of the skylight and its existing condition are the true factors in what you should do with them when you replace your roof. Cost, of course, is the other factor to be considered. I can tell you this, 9 out of 10 service calls we look at in regards to the skylight area is skylight related and not shingle related. That pretty much speaks for itself. Be aware of skylight condition and accept the fact that they should be replaced with a new roof installation.
Driven weather has always been a nemesis of roofing contractors. We have provided thousands of service calls for roof leaks to find out that the leak had generated from a side wall or through the siding panels. When having your roof replaced it is important that you speak to your contractor and get them to do a once over of the areas surrounding the roof to ensure additional issues do not exist. If they exist have them addressed as well.