A leaking roof can feel alarming. After all, the roof has to protect the rest of your home. A leaky roof can create many issues for your house, and not all roof leaks are the same. There are many causes and degrees to a leaky roof. When you find the leak early, there are a few ways to repair it yourself. In this article, you will find tips on how to fix simple repair jobs. We include flashing, roof vent, shingles repairs, and how to get rid of water stains.
Spotting A Roof Leak
Before you get out your toolbox, let’s first go over spotting a roof leak. Some may be too severe and should get professional attention immediately. However, it is possible to minimize the damage.
Water stains are an obvious sign of a roof leak. If you look at your ceiling and see a puddle-like stain, chances are it’s a leak. These stains can also be brown or yellow. Not only do they look unpleasant, but they expose a bigger problem.
First, you’ll want to check your attic. See if you can spot dripping or pooling water. It will help give you a better idea as to what part of the roof is damaged.
Next, conduct a roof inspection. If you’re comfortable, get up on your roof. Some things to look for include:
- Missing Or Broken Shingles
- Damaged Flashing
- Damaged Gutters
You can also look at your roof from ground level. Sections of missing shingles can show a roof leak. Shingles help protect the roof and underlayment. When you peel back the shingles, you will find another felt, asphalt, or synthetic layer. This is the underlayment. The underlayment provides an extra layer of protection against water. However, when there’s damage to either or both, your roof is susceptible to leaks. Water only needs a small crack to create a big mess. For a full breakdown on how to detect a roof leak, click here.
At Home Roof Repair
Think of these repairs as band-aid solutions. They might help in the short term, but not all will fix the root of the problem. These at-home repairs will help reduce damage before a roofer can thoroughly inspect and fix the leak. Keeping the area clean and dry is very important to prevent mould growth.
To repair the roof flashing around the chimney, you will need a caulk gun and roofing cement. You can repair small holes in the metal flashing. First, use sandpaper around the hole to clean it up. Using the roofing cement, cover the area to secure it. This should help prevent water from entering.
However, if you find the entire flashing area badly damaged, you should contact a roofer. This is because they will need to remove the old flashing and shingles to fix it. This type of work is complex and improper repairs can cause further damage.
Roof Vent Repair
For a leaky roof vent pipe, you will use a similar method to flashing repair. Using a utility knife, cut the old caulk away. Once the area is free of the old caulk, apply a thick bead of new caulk. Be sure the seam runs between the vent pipe and the old rubber gasket. Then, apply another bead under the first one. Using a new rubber gasket, simply slide it on top of the old one.
Replacing & Repairing Shingles
Replacing a few cracked, broken, or missing shingles can help prevent further roof leaks.
You will need:
- Matching Or Similar Shingles
- Sharp Utility Knife
- Pry Bar
- Roofing Nails
- Roof Cement
Carefully remove the existing nails and shingle, lifting the edges with a pry bar. With the utility knife, round out the back edges of the new shingle. This will help you slide it in with more ease. Once it’s aligned, nail down the shingle with the roofing nails. Lastly, use roof cement to cover the nail heads.
If you find shingles buckling, you can fix curled shingles using asphalt roofing cement. Apply the roofing cement to help the shingle lay flat again.
As we mentioned earlier, water stains can be an eyesore. You will need:
- Gentle Sponge
- Spray Bottle
You can use mild bleach to clean and help fade the stain. For every cup of bleach, use three cups of water. Place a towel or sheet on the floor to prevent any drippage. Dip the sponge in the bleach solution and gently wipe away the stain. Once you’re done, spray the area with water. Lastly, use a dry cloth to clean up the area. You can also use a fan to help keep the area dry.
Wait a few days before repainting. You can use a stain-blocking primer that colour matches the rest of your ceiling. Once you have applied the primer, paint one or two coats of latex or oil-based paint.
When To Get Professional Help
Roof repairs can be complex. However, there are a few ways to gauge whether or not you need immediate, professional repair services.
First, if you’re still unsure where the roof leak originated, contact a trusted roofer. Roofing companies have the experience to inspect your roof and identify the area of damage. If environmental causes have damaged your roof, like a recent storm or tree falling onto your roof, you’ll need a professional roofer. Again, professional roofing companies will have the experience and equipment to remove the debris and repair your roof without causing more damage. Similarly, you likely won’t have the tools to fix extensive water damage.
You should contact a professional to replace large sections with missing shingles.
Lastly, water leaks found in multiple areas of your home are another sign of extensive damage. If you have multiple water leaks, it’s time to contact a reputable roofing company to repair the damage.
To Sum It Up
Small roof repairs can help decrease the damage from a roof leak. Fixing the flashing, vent pipe, or shingles can be an afternoon job. On the inside, you can also fix water stains relatively easily. With that said, roof leaks are dangerous. They can cause damage to the roof and overall structure of your home. An experienced roofer will have all the tools ready to properly fix a roof leak.