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Roof Leak Repair

By Edited Jul 30, 2015 1 1

If you own a home for any length of time then roof leak repair will be something that you are faced with. It is doubtful that any homeowner will avoid the dreaded roof repair. Many shingles that you put on your roof are only good for about 20 years. However, the real durability of the roof shingles is probably less than that.

 When you are faced with a roof leak you need to take it very seriously. A number of problems can arise if the problem goes unchecked. You can get mold and mildew in your attic as well as in the drywall for your ceiling. However, sometimes finding the roof leak can be challenging.

The first thing that you will need to do is locate the source for the roof leak. There are some places on your roof that are more prone to leak than other places and that is where you should start looking. Some of the places that you will want to look are the valleys of your roof and anything that protrudes through your roof such as a skylight, chimney or vents. You will also want to look for spots on your roof where you may be missing shingles.

 Usually the first signs of a roof leak are a wet ceiling. When this happens you will need to crawl into your attic and try to find what is causing your ceiling to become wet. However, be aware that the spot that the water is dripping from may not be the source of the problem. Water has a way a running and then dripping from a different location. You will need to trace the dripping water back to its source so that you can do proper roof leak repair.

Roof Leak Repair

Once you find the source of the roof leak, fixing a shingle roof is not all that difficult. Once you have located the area that is leaking you will need to go on the roof and see if you can find what is causing the leak. If it is in an area of the roof that doesn't have an area where two surfaces meet then you will probably notice a curled, damaged or missing shingle. If the shingles seem to be in good shape and you are sure that the leak is coming from this area then you may need to call a roofing professional to perform your roof leak repair. This may be an indication that of inadequate flashing or a deterioration of the shingles themselves. If this is the case, then it might be time for a new roof. You can try to buy some time but you will need to replace your roof soon. But if you just notice some damaged shingles then you can repair those.

 If the problem is a curled shingle then you can straighten the shingle out and then reattach it with roof cement. You will most likely dispense this cement with a caulking gun. You will need to straighten out the shingles first. If it is a warm day then this is usually not a problem. The warm weather will make the roof shingle pliable. However, if it is a cold day then you may have difficulty straightening the shingle. In order to do so you will need to take a small propane torch and lightly heat the shingle. You need to be careful with this so as not to set it on fire. You just want to heat it up enough so that you can straighten it. You should probably use a glove to do this so that you do not burn yourself.

If the shingle is torn, damaged or missing then you will need to replace the shingle with a new one. Hopefully, you have leftover shingles from when the roof was done the last time.

 The first thing that you will need to do to replace a damaged shingle is to lift up the edges to the shingles that surround it. You will need to use a pry bar to get out the nails that hold the shingle down to the plywood. If the shingle has been entirely blown off of your roof then just remember to remove any nails that may have held it in place.

Then slide the new shingle in place. You may want to round the back edge of the shingle so that it slides in a little easier. Make sure to align it with the shingles on either side of it. You will need to lift the edges of the shingles next to the one you are replacing so that you can take it down with roofing nails. Then you can smooth over the corners of the shingles that you have just lifted. If the edges don't stay down then you might want to use a little roof cement to tack them down.

 If your roof leak repair needs to be made where two surfaces meet, such as, at a chimney or vent then you need to look for breaks in the caulking or flashing. There might be gaps in the lines of roof cement as well.

Fill in the gaps that you see with caulking or roof cement. You can use a putty knife to spread the roof cement if necessary. Don't go skimpy on the cement or caulking. Make sure you give it enough to cover the crack or worn area. If you see nail heads that are showing then you might have water seeping through the nail puncture. In order to correct this you should cover the nail head with roof cement.

Shingle roof leak repairs are fairly easy to take care of but you may want to inspect your roof from time to time and especially after heavy wind storms to stay on top of any damage that may occur.



Feb 22, 2011 3:12pm
Great tips. Wind can rip off shingles from even a new roof. It is good to take a look up there a few times a year. Great article!
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