Roof Repair After Wind Driven Rain

Why does my roof leak only when its windy?

Wind-driven rain can be one of the biggest challenges a roof and building encounter. Many people ask why does the roof leak only when it’s really windy. The simple answer is that a wind-driven rain pushes water into places that don’t typically get wet. In the Boston, MA area most of the buildings have masonry siding with a flat rubber roof or slate roof or a combination of the two. During a normal rain storm, the water falls relatively straight down and runs down the siding and makes its way into the gutters from the roof. Whereas during a wind-driven rain the water is being pushed into places that usually do not see any volume of water.

On a Boston rubber roof there is going to be standard piping, chimneys, skylights, parapet walls, and other areas that are sealed up and terminate or transition into other building services. These seals and terminations are tested more than usual during a wind-driven rain. For example, if you have a rubber roof the rubber will terminate around the edges. This termination usually occurs on neighboring brick walls and is terminated and covered with flashing. If the rubber roof is terminated on a brick wall and water is being blown into this brick wall the slightest gap or crack in the caulking will begin to leak. Whereas with a rubber roof terminated on the perimeter and covered with flashing the wind can blow water up and underneath the flashing causing leaks.

Wind-driven rain also causes problems for the masonry siding, window caulking, and lintels. For the same reasons as noted above, wind-driven rain will push water into places that water doesn’t normally reach.  Water leaking above windows is a common area where caulking will fail. On a brick building, the perimeter of the window is sealed with caulking on the exterior. The caulking in some cases is the first and only line of defense depending on how old the building and windows are. As the rain is pushed horizontally into the siding water can make its way behind the caulking and into the property.

The best thing you can do after experiencing a random leak from wind-driven rain is to take some pictures or video of where the water is coming in. This will be very helpful to locate the source and fix the problem correctly. Often times a leak from wind-driven rain is not something particularly obvious, especially if the leak only occurs when it’s windy. Pictures and video will enable your contractor to identify the correct source and make appropriate repairs.

Fitzgerald Restoration is a full service building restoration contractor. We are skilled in all aspects of building construction. When we come out to your property we will be able to assess the roof, the siding, and the windows to ensure the proper fix is put in place. We have been working in the Boston, Ma area for many years and also have years of experience working on historical properties. Preserve your valued investment by hiring an experienced contractor. Call Fitzgerald Restoration today for free estimate.