How To Fix Leak In Roof

By on August 7, 2015 in Home Maintainence & Remodeling

When you live in a climate with a lot of rain, it can be useful to know how to fix a leaky roof in an emergency. While it is not advisable to replace your roof or undertake major repairs on your own, any quick tips on how to temporarily stop a leak can be very helpful until you can bring in a qualified professional. Water can cause major damage to the structural integrity of your home, not to mention wreak havoc with electrical wiring while creating unpleasant and even dangerous odours. With that in mind, it is important to tackle problems with a leaky roof as soon as you are aware of the leak; sometimes, it can take years for the effects of a leak to be noticed and damage to your home may already have occurred. The following steps should guide you through the process of how to fix a leaky roof until you can hire a professional to make more permanent repairs.

Locate the Source of the Leak

Obviously, the first step in fixing a leaky roof is locating the source of the leak, and this is sometimes easier said than done. Walk through your house and look for internal signs of a leak to get a general idea of where on the roof the leak may have started; unfortunately, water travels the path of least resistance so locating internal signs of a leak may not actually show you where on your roof the leak originates. If you have an attic, you can use a flashlight or bright light to follow water damage, hopefully to the point of origin. Nevertheless, by searching for water damage inside the house, you will get any idea of where to look on the roof.

Next, you will have to methodically inspect your roof for signs of a leak. Cracks, tears, and rot in your roofing material are clear signs that water damage has occurred. Other imperfections in the surface of the roof may also indicate a leak. Take any time to mark these trouble spots with a heavy object that will not be easily blown off by the wind. Several roofing features such as chimneys, skylights, vents, and flashing can also be trouble spots, so be sure to inspect around these features for signs of a leak such as broken seals or lifted shingles.

Repair the Leaks

Always repair roof leaks in dry weather to make certain the best possible repair, and also to protect yourself from injury. First start by repairing leaks around roofing features. If possible, detach the roofing feature, and thoroughly remove old roofing cement and tar. Clean away dirt and debris and be careful to remove excess water with a rag or mop. You can now re-attach the roofing feature and reapply roofing cement around said feature. You will want to overlap the cement from the roof material to the roof feature by a couple of inches to make certain a good seal.

If you have a shingle roof, remove and replace damaged shingles. Shingles should be attached using a liberal amount of roofing cement. Remove old nails and replace them with new ones ensuring to cover them with roofing cement to prevent future leaks. If you have rubber sheathing on your roof, it can be repaired with a coat of roofing cement over the cracks or tears. Again, you will want to overlap the crack with at least 2 inches of roofing cement; and you will also want to put a piece of roof patching fabric into the cement and then cover it with more roofing cement.

Depending on the material that your roof is made from, these guidelines may or may not be appropriate. Be sure to check your roofing material and if you need more help speak to an expert at your local hardware supply store. If you feel the job is more involved than a few simple repairs, it is must have best to contact a professional.


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