How to Repair Roof Leaks

There is nothing more irritating than sitting in your favorite chair, only to suddenly have water dripping on your head. Once you find that special bucket to protect your floors and furniture, your next task will be locating the source. After that, you’re ready to take on the task of repairing roof leaks – obviously after the rain has stopped and it is safe to do so. First, though, you need to know the basics of addressing leaks on different kinds of roofs.

Asphalt Shingles

When handling roof leaks on asphalt shingles, your first step is to decide whether the problem is due to the roof’s age or excessive damage. Head over to the sunny side of your roof and try to bend the corners on a few different shingles. If the corners break without flexing, it’s likely time for a new roof. If the source of the leak is a small tear, a loose nail, or a hole, you can easily fix those. You can also fix roof leaks that are due to a single loose or missing shingle, but if there are many different shingles showing considerable damage, you’ll need to call a professional about replacing your roof.

Built-Up Roof Leaks

Built-up roofs are very durable, but they can develop leaks. In most cases, these will be in areas where different sections connect, around the flashing, under the eaves, or around the chimney. Leaks can also occur if there are areas where a large amount of gravel is missing, in blistered areas, and due to separation between the bitumen and felt. If simple repairs, such as keeping gravel covering the surface and sealing holes, don’t fix the roof leaks, you will need to contact a professional about fixing them – unless you are ready to handle hot mapping asphalt on your own.

Metal Roofing

If you need to fix roof leaks in metal roofing, you may be able to deal with small repairs such as replacing loose nails. If you find areas of rust, you can remove them using a wire brush, prime the area, and touch up the area. If there are holes, you can usually address small ones with roof cement. However, if there are flashing problems, or you are not experienced with working with metal, your best bet is going to be calling in a professional to help you repair the leaks.

Wood Shingles

If you have wood shingles, you can easily check for any cracked, split, or lifted shingles. In most cases, these are fairly easy to replace on your own, provided that there aren’t large areas of damage. When you nail down lifted shingles, or replace loosened nails, just make sure to seal them with the appropriate roofing cement. If there is considerable damage, or your roof has a very steep pitch, you should let the professionals handle the problem.
Fixing small roof leaks is often a do-it-yourself job, provided that you’re comfortable with the height and pitch, and provided that you have the appropriate safety gear. If you have any concerns, or the problem is larger than a few shingles, call the experts so you don’t run into even more problems.

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