How to Fix a Roof Leak
Most property owners won’t notice a problem in their roof until they have a leak. But even after finding a leak, locating the source can be difficult because it is often located away from the leak itself.
The reason for roof leaks can occur from any of the following:
- Broken, worn, or missing shingles
- Loose nails
- Poorly sealed or corroded flashing around:
As soon as the water penetrates through the roofing material, it will flow along the roof rafters, sheathing, or topside of ceilings until it either finds a weakened area or sits and penetrates through the ceiling.
How to Find a Roof Leak and its Source
In order to find a roof leak, you will have to look during the day. Head up into the attic and use a bright flashlight to check places above where the leak occurred. Be careful not to step on any insulation or drywall of the ceiling below – only walk on the supporting frames. Look carefully for any wetness in the frames as well.
When it is not raining: look for any discolorations, stains, or watermarks on the wood leftover from evaporated moisture. Then turn the flashlight and look up to find any areas that the sunlight shines in.
When it is raining: Place a bucket on a support beam to collect the dripping water from above. But you will have to wait until the weather improves to begin repairing the roof.
Safety Tips Keep in Mind
- Never go onto a roof during a storm
- Never go on a roof with a steep slope
- Never step onto plastic sheeting
When You Can’t Find the Leak
If you see water stains but can’t find the roof leak, you can do some water-testing. Just wait for dry weather and have a friend or another person in the house help you do a water test.
Have the person stand in the attic watch for water to come through while you use the hose to run water down the roof. Start at the bottom first and work your way up until the other person find the leak in the attic. As soon as you find the hole, use a nail or chalk to mark it for repair.
How to Repair Asphalt Shingle Roof
Most homes in the Midwest will have asphalt shingle roofing materials. There are two ways to repair this roofing material: fix curled shingles or replacing them altogether. Although curled shingles will usually only happen in cold weather.
1. Fixing Curled Shingles
To soften and straighten out the shingle edges, use an electric hair dryer to apply heat and smooth them over. Do not use a blow torch or any open flames as the shingles may be flammable and catch fire.
If you removed the curled shingle, you can reinstall it using asphalt cement or compound. Simply slip it under the shingles above, hammer it in, and apply the shingle cement or compound around the edges.
2. Replacing Damaged Shingles
As long as the roof’s overall condition is still new, you can replace damaged shingles by following the steps below:
- Pull out the worn, damaged shingle by lifting the edges and prying out the nail with a hammer.
- Scrape the area below to remove the remaining cement.
- Use a utility knife to round out the back corners of the new shingle.
- Slide in the new shingle while hammering in 1 ¼ inch galvanized roofing nail into the upper corners of the shingle.
- Finish by covering the nail heads with roof cement.
How to Quickly Fix a Roof Leak
If you are running short on time but are still worried about the damage becoming worse, there are temporary fixes that can be put into place to buy some time. Simply pick up a 12-by-12 sheet of galvanized metal flashing from a local hardware or home improvement store to serve as a temporary cover to patch the hole.
To cover the hole with the galvanized sheet metal, simply lift up the damaged shingle and slip it in underneath. Although you may have to pry up a few roofing nails in the rows above to slip the sheet in deep enough to cover the hole. To test the patch, pour a small bucket of water over the area to see if it leaks below.
Work with Roofing Contractors
It can be difficult to determine whether or you need a few roof repairs or replacement. But a professional roofing contractor can provide some advice after a thorough roof inspection. They can also recommend a new roofing material and manufacturing company based on the type of building materials and your budget.
Reliable Roofing is a professional roofing company with years of experience when it comes to roof maintenance, repair, and replacement. In addition to repairing larger roof leaks, they can replace roofs using the best materials for your building. Their services also include a warranty from the most reliable roofing product manufacturer’s in the nation. For any help with roof repairs or determining whether or not it is time for a new roof, you can contact these professional roofers at (815) 981-9801.