In the battle to keep the water and other weather challenges out of your home, roofing contractors have been given a wide variety of tool to use. One tool that is used in every roofing job is a roof sealant. Most homeowners do not realize just how important a sealant is to maintaining your roof, especially when your home has the kind of roof that relies on a sealant to keep out the water and prevent leaks.
What is a sealant for the roof?
A roofing sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the seams of a roof, or to the entire roof, depending on the design. A sealant can be made from:
A sealant can come in a roll, as a liquid in a bucket, or in a tube as a form of caulk. It is extremely important to choose the right sealant for your roof type to prevent damaging your roof and to get the most from the protective coating.
What kinds of roofs need sealant?
Flat roofs need sealant applied on a regular basis to prevent standing water from creating leaks. Pitched roofs require sealant to prevent water from settling into areas and leaking into your home. The kind of sealant you would use for a flat roof is much different than the sealant you would use for a pitched roof, but the idea behind the sealant is the same.
How often do I need roof sealant?
A professional contractor can let you know how often your roof sealant needs to be reapplied. For flat roofs, a new coat of sealant is recommended every year. For pitched roofs, you can usually go two years in between coats of sealant.
Remember that applying sealant also means inspecting the roof and filling in any potential problem areas with sealant in the form of caulk. If the entire roof is not inspected thoroughly and properly coated, then you could still have problems with leaking water.
What does sealant do?
Even the best roofing contractors will tell you that materials such as asphalt shingles and metal roofs leave gaps after installation. Sealant is used to fill those gaps and prevent water from getting into your home.
Sealant is also used to reinforce the roofing material and help it to withstand the elements. For example, if you have a valley in your roof, then a coat of sealant can help to prevent water from getting in and damaging your home.
Tips for roof sealant
There are some types of roof sealant available at your local home improvement warehouse, and there are some that can only be purchased by contractors. This is because applying sealant properly is something that should be left to a professional roofing contractor. Sealant that is applied improperly is not effective and, in some instances, can actually do damage to your roof.
Even if it does not look like your sealant needs to be replaced, it is a good idea to still have the roof re-sealed on a regular basis. Sealant covers areas that you cannot see and the areas that are more exposed to the elements tend to be hidden very well. That is why it is a good idea to have your roof on a regular re-sealing rotation with a local contractor.
Finding the right roof sealant contractor
Take your time and find a roof sealant contractor that you feel confident can do the job right. Recommending and applying roof sealant properly takes an experienced and professional contractor. It is not a job that should be left to just any roofer. Check online and talk to only the most reputable and experienced roofers.
You should get at least three roof sealing quotes with explanations as to why each contractor choose the sealant they are recommending. You should get a consensus from each contractor on what kind of sealant should be used for your roof. If you do not have a consensus, then talk in detail with each contractor and determine which sealant is the best for your situation.
Every reputable contractor will be more than happy to produce references, insurance coverage information, and a copy of their contractor's license for you. Contractors who will not provide that information should not be part of your process.
Sealing a roof is one of those processes that many homeowners are unaware of, but is necessary to proper roof maintenance. Talk to the reputable roofing contractors in your area and get quotes on sealing your roof to protect it from the elements. If you stay current on your roof sealing needs, then you can avoid the damage that comes with leaks and other roofing issues.