Dry the Rain: Roof Repair For Southern California Residential Rehab Professionals

In our last article, we talked about how residential rehab professionals in Southern California have to be ready for El Nino, which is expected to bring an extreme and extremely unusual amount of rain. This means that aspects of home repair you might not consider, such as flood prevention, need to be addressed. Among these are leaky roofs, which can cause structural damage, as well as unhealthy and unsightly molds and funguses, which drive potential buyers away.

In the article, we talked about the difficulty of finding a leak, since water can snake around the house, and the costs associated with fixing the damage. In this article, we’re going to get into how to actually fix the roof. Amazingly, you’ve done the hardest part- it is way more difficult to find a leak than to fix it. So with the liquid capital you have from your Socotra hard money equity-based loan, you can get your house fix-and-flip property ready for the rains.

Missing Nails: The Simplest Solution

There’s nothing more frustrating than a minor problem becoming a major cause for concern, but that’s exactly what a lot of leaks are. If you have access to your attic, check to see if a “phantom nail”- one that missed the mark- is sticking out. This is a nail that was supposed to go from the roof into a beam, but is sticking into the air. This happens- even conscientious contractors slip up, or just lose concentration for a second. The problem is that a little hole can become a bigger one, and moisture can wick its way down the nail. Even a little bit of water, consistently let in, can lead to mold and weaker wood. It’s an easy fix, though- just snip off the nail and use plug the hole.

Roof Vent

Another common reason for leaks is a roof vent that has come loose or has developed holes due to rust or weather. An easy solution is just to put caulk up, but that isn’t long term, and if the El Nino rain is as heavy as it looks like it is going to be, it may not even last the winter. There is really no better solution than replacing it. When doing so, use rubber-stopped screws, not nail, which can be pulled out easier. The rubber-stopped screws can also be used if the problem isn’t a new roof, but just loose or missing nails.

The Need For Flashing

Flashing is the material that goes under the shingles where the roof intersects with walls. This is very important for preventing leaks and sluicing rain down into the gutters. Unfortunately, it is also prone to tearing, rusting, or coming loose. Flashing is made up of small sections, and if they come loose, they’ll form gaps. When that happens, all the water coming from above it will start to spill into that gap, and you’ll have a leak.

It’s a simple fix, once you find it. You’ll have to tear out the shingles, and put a new flash in, making sure you use the proper nails and that all the flashing pieces are flush with each other, the roof, and the walls. Just because this is easy doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. Take the time to make sure everything is aligned properly. Flashing can be used to fix leaks around:

  • Walls
  • Chimneys
  • Furnaces
  • Dormers

Complex Roof Repairs

If the leak is more systemic, you may have to replace shingles over the whole roof, installing better flashing under them, and possibly a waterproof sealant or adhesive ice-and-water barrier. This is of course a last resort. First make sure that the problem isn’t caused by one of the above issues, or, more sneakily, small holes from a satellite or antenna or some other fixture, like an old Christmas decoration. (it can happen!) This involves really studying the roof, which seems like a pain, but is ultimately less work than replacing every shingle because the last owner nailed his plastic reindeer right into the attic.

Remember, when looking at leaks, it is often due to small holes. Those small holes can cause big-time damage though, and make it harder for you to put your house on the market and sell it once you have finished your residential rehab work. Find the problem, correctly identify it, and take the needed steps to fix it before going whole-hog and tearing up the whole roof. Proper roof repair can be a small part of your hard money loan from Socotra, California’s leading equity-based lender, but it can be a hugely important one. Just as a small hole can lead to huge problems, a simple fix and make a big difference.  


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