What Is the Best Way to Repair a Roof?
Finding the leak is the most challenging element of mending a leak in your roof. Repairs are usually straightforward once you have done that. Have you ever stayed awake by a steady drip of water in the middle of the night only to discover that the source is a spot on the ceiling rather than a faucet? There is a good chance you have a roof leak. For now, just get a pail, put it under the drip, and attempt to sleep again. You may look into it tomorrow.
How to Find a Roof Leak
If you have an accessible attic, that is where you should begin your search for a leak. Because most roofs are sloped, the location of the leak on your ceiling and where it entered the roof are most likely two separate locations.
- Look for Wet Spots on Sheathing or Rafters
Bring a flashlight and check the bottom of the roof sheathing and rafters for any shiny or moist places. If the leak is older, the area may have rotten wood or brown mold. If the rafter bays are insulated, you may also search for wet spots on the insulation batts. If you have pinpointed the leak’s position, it is time to acquire a ladder and investigate the source. It might be noticeable, such as missing or broken shingles or exposed fasteners. Make that the flashing surrounding vent pipes, dormers, and roof-pitch transition locations are in good shape.
How to Fix a Roof Leak
Now that you have located the leak, it is time to fix it. Slate, tile, and galvalume (metal) roofs, for example, should be specified by a roofing contractor who is familiar with that material. Roofing contractors also have the appropriate tools (ladders, scaffolding, and fall protection) to deal with steep or difficult roof slopes.
- Find the roof leak.
If you notice that your roof is leaking—most likely due to water stains on the ceiling—make a note of where the leak is, then walk outside with a good pair of binoculars to locate the leak. Look for any shingles that are curled, damaged, or missing. Leaks can happen either where the shingles meet or where the caulking and flashing are damaged. End caps, the tent-shaped tiles that cover the roof’s angular peaks, might potentially be a leak source, so inspect those as well.
- Secure curled shingles.
Curled-back shingles, for example, can be re-secured using a coating of asphalt roofing cement or a tube of its equivalent for use with a caulk gun. First, apply a substantial amount of roofing cement to the bottom of the shingle to ensure that the edge and corners are fixed when fixing a leaky roof. Then firmly press to set.
- Replace damaged or missing shingles.
If your shingles are broken, missing, or deteriorating, replacing them may be able to restore your leaky roof. To remove a damaged shingle, lift the edges of the surrounding shingles and carefully remove nails using a pry bar. After the nails are removed, the shingle should slide out. Next, remove any residual cement from the roof and level, or remove any protruding nails.
- Fix flashing.
Reseal seams with a caulk gun filled with roofing cement to repair leaks caused by metal flashing around chimneys and dormers. If you discover damage to joints that were previously sealed with a line of roof cement, use a putty knife to apply a fresh new layer.
If a whole row of shingles has to be replaced or shingles are lifting off the roof too readily, it is time to bring in a professional roofer such as Capstone Bros Contracting to assess the issue. Roof repairs on the spot will not extend the life of a roof that has to be replaced.
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