How to Repair a Leaky Roof

Roof leaks can be difficult issues to solve. The leak can cause of ton of damage not only to the roof, but the to the structure of the entire building. Not to worry, anyone can repair a simple roof leak. The longer you wait to repair it, the worse the problem will get, so act soon! We must start by locating the leak and figuring out which repair technique we will need to use to apply to the roofing material.

Step 1: Finding the source of the roof leak. If you feel that your roof is strong enough to walk on, simply get on your roof and search for the leak. The most common symptoms of a leak are missing or badly curled shingled. If the shingles look very dry and cracked this is also a good indication of a leak. As shingles age, their elasticity wears down. They cannot keep up with the temperature changes and this is what causes them to crack and curl. Once you have found your leak, isolate the area with a chalk line so you know exactly where the problem is.

Step 2: Search for other problem areas. Unfortunately, if you have one roof leak, there is a great possibility that you have another leak brewing. Perform a scan of your roof searching for other curled and cracked shingles. Pay extra attached to the flashing around chimneys, vents, skylights and valleys. If you can find the problem before it gets too ugly, you can save a lot of time and money.

Step 3: Attic Research: If your home has an attic you will need to crawl up there and do some research. Grab a flashlight, hammer, and a few long nails. Carefully examine the sheathing from inside the attic. Usually the shingles lay right on top of the sheathing in the attic. If you see any signs of water damage or wetness, hammer a nail through so you can find the problem on the roof.

Repair All Found Roof Leaks

Step 4: Remove all of the vents found with possible leaks. This can usually be done with a flat bar and hammer. After the vents are removed, you will need a brush and scrapper to remove all of the excess tar. Let the area dry out for a while. Next, remove the shingles over the area that is causing the leak. It is generally a good idea to remove all the shingles in a 2 foot radius around the leak. This will allow you to make sure you have found the entire source of the problem.

Step 5: Replace the shingles, vents, etc. that were removed in step 1. As you nail the vents back on make sure to apply a good amount of roof cement around the entire vent. The best kind product for this is All-Weather Roof Cement. It is very thick and tar like. This is the kind of material you need to keep the water out. Note: If you cannot get all of the old roof cement or tar off of the vent, you should probably replace the vent. You want a clean surface to adhere the tar to the roof. When replacing the shingles, you need to slide the new shingles underneath the first row of healthy shingles. You will need to pry up the nails on the first row of healthy shingles to do this and them hammer them back down on top of the new row.

Step 6: Sweep off any excess materials left from replacing the shingles and vents. It's a good idea to make sure no leaves are getting stuck in the valleys in the fall. Leaves can create pockets of moisture in the valleys that lead to leaks. Keep your roof clean and you won't have leaks!

This video should help!

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