Your roof goes through a lot of wear-and-tear as it gets exposed to different climatic conditions.
It’s also very common to have a water leak through your roof after a storm or heavy rain. And even a small roof leak can cause consequential damage to a home, if not repaired on time.
There are many ways to fix this issue, including a DIY method, but it’s always advised to get professional help. The whole process can be a little dangerous, and it requires a skilled roofer for ensuring a quality roof leak repair.
Follow the 7 steps I have listed below for finding and repairing a leaky roof.
1. Find the Leak
This is the first and the hardest step in dealing with a roof leak repair. It happens because water sometimes travels a distance before dripping through the roof.
To locate the exact leak look for signs of water damage like discoloration, mold, or dampness. Try to follow the path of the leak through sloped surfaces.
Also, try doing this during the day, so you can find sunlight shining through holes or cracks.
2. Secure the Leak
Once you have found the leak from the inside, try to seal it with a roof patch or caulk. Make sure you evenly spread it and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
Now you can move to secure the roof from the outside.
3. Repair Curled Shingles
Inspect if any shingles have curled due to the moisture. If you find any, just lift them gently and apply a good amount of roofing cement under the shingle. Then press it back firmly to ensure the cement sets properly.
Either use roofing nails or a heavy rock to weigh down the curled shingle for about 24 hours.
But please bear in mind, DIYing your roof damage isn’t safe. You also risk damaging other layers of your roof by improperly installing even a single shingle. A wise decision here would be to hire a professional for the job.
4. Replace Damaged/Missing Shingles
If your shingles are damaged beyond repair, it’s best to replace them. To remove such damaged shingles, just take out the nails with a pry bar. Then round the back corners with a utility knife to ensure the new shingles easily slides under the one above it and aligns with the ones on either side.
After placing the new shingle, lift the corners of the overlapping shingles and fasten the top of the replacement shingle with 6d galvanized roofing nails. Lastly, secure the nails and cover them with roofing cement.
If you don’t have the right equipment and knowledge for this job, call a professional roofer for help.
5. Fix the Roof Flashing
Another reason for a roof leak could be a tear in the metal roof flashing that protects roof edges, valleys, chimneys, and vent pipes.
If you have a leak in your metal flashing, you’ll have to reseal the joints using a caulk gun filled with roof cement. But if the damage is significant, you’ll have to remove several rows of shingles along with the flashing. In such a case, it would be ideal to call a roofing contractor to help with a roof leak repair.
6. Inspect Vent Boots
If the leakage is through the vent boots, then either it’s due to improper installation or a split in the rubber seal.
You can either seal the split using a roof sealant or replace the entire vent pipe, depending on the damage. To do this, you’ll have to remove some shingles and the damaged boot, then reinstalling a new boot along with shingles. Don’t try to do this yourself unless you have adequate knowledge of roofing techniques as you might risk another leak.
7. Get a Free Inspection
Sometimes it can be hard to find the exact location of the leak. And sometimes the damage is bigger than what it appears. In such cases, you have to consult a professional to help with your roof leak repair as soon as possible.
Need help with a Roof Leak Repair?
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