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Syracuse Roofing: Article About Dormer Windows

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Dormer windows are a lovely addition to many styles of home, including Cape Cods and Shaker styled homes. The dormers provide extra sunlight and ventilation to the home's upper level. However, this rooftop extension is also prone to developing leaks, ice dams and other moisture related problems. With professional assistance from an experienced Syracuse roofing service, homeowners can have their dormers protected against leaks caused by heavy rains, ice dams and melting snow.

One of the most popular methods that roofers use for protecting a dormer's wing walls from leaks is with peel and stick membranes. This membrane is installed during the construction process once the wing walls are in place. It is not possible to retrofit a dormer with these membranes because they need to overlap the junction of the roof and dormer walls. The peel and stick nature of the membrane makes it easy for roofers to install after the home is framed and the roof is ready to be installed. One side of the material has an adhesive already applied to it. The membrane also includes rip cords so that it can be pulled apart into sections that are not as wide. The membrane is made of rubber and can be expected to last as long as the home's siding and framing do.

Have a question regarding windows or siding? Please ask any of the roofing contractors from Ideal Construction of Syracuse.

After installation of the membrane, the dormer's siding, underlay, roofing and flashing can be affixed to the plywood.

Another important aspect of waterproofing a dormer is installation of a thick, asphalt based underlay. The underlay should be tightly seamed around and underneath the membrane. Any areas where separate strips of underlay need to be laid across the dormer extension should be overlapped by at least 1 inch, with construction mastic applied to seal the seams. By doing this, the roofers create a water resistant covering for the entire dormer structure.

After the siding and shingles or tiles have been added to the dormer, the final waterproofing touches will be put into place. Roofers will use the same type of flashing that is used on the rest of the roof. This flashing should be applied to the valleys where the dormer and roof intersect. Aluminum, stainless steel and copper are the most common types of flashing strips. The edges of the flashing are sealed up with construction adhesive or silicon caulk. Every year or two, the roof should be inspected for signs of loose flashing or missing caulk, especially in the valleys around the dormers.

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