How to Repair a Leaky Roof: The Ultimate Guide

May 27, 2020

It is important to fix a leaky roof as soon as possible. You can learn more about what to do by checking out our guide here.

About 5% of homeowners in the U.S. have aging roofs that might need repair or a replacement. A leaking roof is frustrating, and failure to address it as soon as possible can compromise the integrity of your home. A seemingly small leak can extend to the attic before finally damaging the foundation of a house.

You need to fix your roof before a leak escalates. Whether you’re contracting a professional roof repair or doing it yourself, understanding how to repair a leaky roof is crucial. Check out this guide to know more about how to fix a leaky roof.

Find the Leak

The first step in the process of roof repair is finding the leak. You can read on here to know the telltale signs that you have a leaking roof. You might have to inspect your roof once you notice signs such as mold growth, rotting shingles, and water-stained walls and ceilings.

Check your roof for any missing or cracked shingles. You can find leaks on places that shingles butt or where there is a case of compromised flashing. It is also prudent to inspect a roof's angular peaks, and tent-shaped shingles are prone to leaking.

You can also assess your roof for rotten shingles. The level of wear and tear will determine how you'll fix a roof. If the roof issue is widespread and your roof boards already have mold, consider having a professional roofer as your house might have in-depth structural problems.

Straighten the Curled Shingles 

With time, your roof shingles curl, causing the roof to leak. Curling shingles results from hot air trapped in the attic or excess water absorption. Curling shingles might cause leaks in your home when it rains.

It would help if you straightened the curled shingles and then proceeded to apply the roof sealant using a caulking gun. Press your shingles down before covering the edges with the right type of roof cement to secure the corners. Use a generous amount of the asphalt cement then press the corners firmly.

You can use a blow dryer to soften the curled shingles. The shingles are quite brittle in cold temperatures and pliable when the temperatures are high. Intense heat can cause significant damage to your shingles.

Replacing Missing or Damaged Shingles

Rotten or missing shingles can cause a leaky roof. You need to repair the leaks by removing such damaged shingles. Use a pry bar to remove the nails, which will make it easier to slide out the shingles. Next, scrape out the residue on the roof and level all the nails.

Use a utility knife to round the back corners on the old shingles to make it easier to place the new shingles in the right place. The new shingles should align well to avoid any gaps. In corners where the shingles overlap, fasten them using galvanized roofing nails at each corner.

You might want to use roof cement to cover the nails for an attractive finish. While tent-shaped shingles and ridge shingles might appear complicated, the replacement process is still the same. However, new ridge shingles are ideal when considering a replacement.

Fixing a Leaky Flat Roof

Besides shingles, flat roofs can get leaks that are equally a potential damage to your home. Often, leaks are in spots where the tar has been damaged. It is possible to see the leaks, making it easier to address the issue.

It would be best if you start by soaking up any water in the area to dry up quickly. Brush away the gravel and use your utility knife to open the blister. Ensure that you penetrate through the layer as deep as possible without touching the roofing felt.

The next step should involve cutting the edges and removing any water between the roofing layers. Allow the edges to dry. You can use a propane torch if the weather is quite cold. However, you need to be extra careful when using the propane torch as the felt and tar used in the roofing are flammable.

After drying the blisters, coat the bottom edges with roof cement and press it firmly for additional security. Use galvanized nails to close the blisters. Use the roof cement to cover the entire blister and nail heads.

Fixing a Complex Leaky Roof

About 1,008 worker fatalities in 2018, were in the construction industry. From the figures, it is clear that construction exposes people to a myriad of risks. If professionals are at risk of accidents, what about a novice homeowner trying to fix a complex roof issue?

Depending on the complexity of the issue, it would be best to hire a professional to work on your leaky roof. You might never know the extent of a roof leak, and replacing a shingle might not be the best option. An experienced contractor has the skills and knowledge to assess a problem and repair it in the best way possible.

Other than inspecting and assessing the damage, a roofing expert will repair roof leaks with minimal risk. More importantly, you’ll get professional recommendations on how to maintain the roof. Before embarking on a DIY project, assess the roof to know whether the problem needs a professional touch.

It would help to ensure that your gutters are clean, enabling the water to drain quickly. An annual roof inspection will allow you to detect damages before they escalate. Once you identify small damage, work using the variety of tutorials available.

Repairing a Leaky Roof Should Be a Priority for Any Homeowner

How to repair a roof remains a challenge for most homeowners. If a leaky roof appears complex, you’d better seek an expert’s opinion. Roofs are some of the most challenging repairs, and they can pose a risk if you don't follow the right safety measures.

With the right tips, you can fix a leaking roof easily. Whether you’re dealing with rotten shingles or flat roof leaks, you can DIY successfully. Following the guide will ensure that you fix your roof in the best way while you save some dollars that you’d otherwise spend on a contractor.

Please explore our site for more home-related articles.

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One comment on “How to Repair a Leaky Roof: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. One of my friends told me that his roof is leaking small amounts of water lately every time it rains. What you said about how this is a sign that his roof has worn out shingles totally makes sense. I should ask him to reach out to a roofing repair expert before it gets worse.

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