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UPDATE: For the latest updates and insights on Pineapple Express storms, including a free home preparation checklist, please read our more recent article

A Pineapple Express is driven by a strong, southern branch of the polar jet stream and is marked by the presence of a surface frontal boundary which is typically either slow or stationary, with waves of low pressure traveling along its length. Each of these low-pressure systems brings enhanced rainfall.

If you have been watching the weather reports in the news lately, you know that the rain has made it to the Pacific Northwest, in Portland, and especially in Seattle.

In this blog, we will address many of the common home leak repairs we have observed and made targeted repairs to for over a decade of business.

Leaking Windows And Doors

Of the most common areas for leaks to appear is around windows and doors. This issue is commonly caused by the window or door not being tied into the home’s water-resistant barrier (WRB). If a window is installed correctly, it should not leak. Still, all too often, we find windows with missing head flashing or not enveloped correctly within the home’s WRB. This can create small passageways for water to enter the interior of your home. If a leak is not addressed early, it can cause dry rot and structural damage.

Leaking Roofs

There are many different types of quality roofing materials used today. Still, if the materials are not installed with the appropriate waterproofing and protrusion techniques, they will leak. Your roof handles a lot of rain runoff, and the outer roofing material is there to protect the waterproofing that lies underneath. This waterproofing can be tar paper or a product like GAF “Tiger Paw” roofing underlayment. The purpose of this underlayment to so be the last line of defense for water intrusion. Some of the common roof leak causes are improper or inadequate installation, missing flashing, lose or degraded protrusion collars, tree damage, and clogged gutters. Often if these issues are spotted early, they can be fixed by conducting a small targeted roof repair and do not require a full re-roofing project.

Leaking Skylights

The main issue with skylights is that they provide a linear channel of water to accumulate during roof rain runoff. The reason these units leak is almost always attributed to flashing or installation issues. Very rarely does the cause of the leak have anything to do with the skylight malfunctioning. So, if this type of leak is observed early, it is usually an easy skylight flashing kit repair, and the old skylight does not need to be changed out.

Leaking Decks

In this section, we will discuss two different types of decks; The standard wood plank deck and the waterproof membrane deck. Those who have a standard wood plank deck, the common areas for water intrusion are at the ledger board. This is the board that connects the decking supports to the home. If this board is not flashed correctly or tied into the home’s water-resistant barrier, it can cause water to leak into the structure of the house.

Waterproof membrane decks are generally over a garage or living space, so a leak can cause a significant amount of damage if not addressed early. The common leak areas for this type of decking are at the membrane seams and around any protrusions. This type of deck typically will have a scupper used for water drainage. Still, these can become clogged quickly without routine maintenance and cause water to sit on the membrane. If you have any rips, tears, or lose seems in the membrane material water can accumulate under the decking and cause severe water damage and dry rot. Some of the signs you may have an issue are soft areas, visible damage or bubbling in the membrane, loose-fitting protrusions, or leaks. If the rip or tear is observed immediately, the membrane can be patched and repaired. Still, if the leak has been present for a while, the structure underneath the membrane will need to be repaired, and then the membrane replaced or repaired.

Leaking Crawlspaces

Leaking into the home’s crawlspace is often caused by the ground level being above the home’s foundation. This can cause water to sit against your home and work its way into your home’s siding, sheathing, and under the seal plate. This can be caused by debris buildup from flowerbeds, leaf piles, or gutters terminating to close to the home. If you observe this after an in-depth inspection and no water damage or dry rot is found, this can be remedied by extending your gutter downspouts, removing any soil or debris at least six inches below the siding of the home, and sloping the ground around the house away from the foundation. If these issues have been present for a while, this can cause dry rot to the home’s structure and will need to be repaired by a professional dry rot contractor.

What Do You Do After You Observe A Leak?

The best way to prevent leaks is through proper maintenance of your home, but that’s not always feasible, especially if you are not the original homeowner. Even the best home inspectors will miss water intrusion. Also, in the Pacific Northwest, most leaks are noticeable during the rainy season, which coincidentally, occurs during the holidays when everyone is busy.

Once a leak is noticed, it is essential to act fast and call a water damage and waterproofing expert to make a targeted repair to your home. SFW Construction has been helping save people’s homes from the long-term effects of water damage since 2005. We are Portland natives and know what to look for and where. Leaks need to be repaired by a team that routinely works with and understand home enveloping and waterproofing techniques. Don’t assume you need to completely re-side your home if you have a problem in one area. Contact us and we can inspect your area of concern and hopefully correct it with a targeted repair.