7 Ways To Fix A Roof Leak On Your Acworth Home
*Disclaimer: please do not get on your roof if you do not have the experience or equipment. There is a high risk of falling, so please use this as a guide and not an absolute method. Professionals are best equipped for this type of project.
You probably already know that water damage is the worst.
Not only does it look bad but it will continue to get worse if you don’t fix it.
Suddenly, you’ll have this large brown stain on your ceiling or walls that only gets bigger and darker.
The longer you wait, the more it will cost.
Plus, it doesn’t look great and can be embarrassing. Nobody should feel embarrassed about the state of their home.
We’ve seen this situation plenty of times with clients, and it even happens in our own homes sometimes!
Needless to say, it doesn’t stay that way for long.
You should be able to fix your own roof leak if you want to, so here are 7 ways you can do it.
But first, you’ll need to know how to find the leak.
You can find out how much it costs to replace a roof >>
Finding The Source Of The Leak
You start by looking up from where the leak is. Water runs downwards so leaks have to start above that point.
Here are 3 ways to locate your roof leak:
1. Looking In Your Attic
You’ll want to try this option first if you have an attic.
It’s easy because you don’t have to be out on the roof.
Look for any damage, water stains, or mold.
If you can’t find anything solidly pointing to a leak, grab a partner and perform a leak test.
2. Using The Leak Test
You can find the leak by running water over your roof.
Or having someone else do it.
Just run a hose over different sections of the roof while someone inside looks for the leaky area.
Of course, you might find the problem while you’re up there.
3. Inspecting The Roof
You should look for areas missing shingles or any that are damaged.
If you find excessive damage it may be time to go ahead and replace your whole roof.
You’ll be much happier.
If not, let’s look at how you can fix your leaky roof.
Once you find the leak, you can see if one of these 7 ways can repair it.
Let’s start with 3 ways for fixing leaks in asphalt shingle roofs.
3 Ways On How To Repair A Roof Leak With Asphalt Shingles
1. Repairing Curling Shingles
If the shingles are curling you’ll want to straighten and reattach them.
You’ll need a trowel, caulk gun, roof sealant, and roof cement.
Photo by Brian Robinson – creative commons license 2.0
1. Start by smoothing down the curling as much as you can
2. Then, use the caulk gun to put a bit of the roof sealant down (at least under the corners)
3. Press the shingle down
4. Use your trowel to apply the roof cement around the edges
Your shingles are leak-proof again!
Now let’s look at how to fix a torn shingle.
2. Repairing A Clean Shingle Tear
You’ll know a tear is clean because it is fairly straight and not very large.
All you will need is a caulk gun, roof sealant, and a putty knife.
1. Use your caulk gun to apply the sealant under the crack
2. Press the shingle down
3. Apply more sealant on the crack
4. Use your putty knife to spread it around
You can also disguise the sealant with asphalt particles. They can usually be found around the roof and gutters.
Your roof crack is now no longer a problem.
Finally, we can go over fixing broken or missing shingles.
3. Repairing Broken Or Missing Shingles
You’ll need to find a matching shingle before you can do anything else.
The tools for this include a pry bar, hammer, utility knife, 1 ¼ inch galvanized roof nails, roof cement, and a trowel.
You also may need a blow dryer to heat and loosen shingles.
Don’t use anything hotter than a blow dryer or you could further damage your roof
1. Remove broken shingle(s) with the pry bar
2. Take out any nails with your hammer
3. Scrape out the leftover roof cement
4. Use your utility knife to round the back corners of the new shingle (for easier installation)
5. Gently lift the shingles above and slide the new one under them
6. Hammer the nails into the corners
7. Use your trowel to cover the nails with roof cement
Now you know 3 different methods for repairing a leaky asphalt shingle roof.
But what if the shingles aren’t the problem?
If they aren’t, here are 3 ways to repair roof leaks caused by open joinings.
How To Fix A Roof Leak Due To Open Joints
Your roof will have joints if it has chimneys, pipes, valleys, or anything not straight and a roof. These areas where surfaces join may not be sealed well anymore.
Now you have a leak to deal with.
First, you need to find the source. Thankfully, you won’t have to check the entire roof, only areas that join together.
Once you find it, we can start fixing it in one (or more) of these 3 ways.
1. Repairing Gaps Less Than ¼ Inch Wide
You can easily repair these yourself (be careful on roofs).
You will need a caulk gun, roof cement, and a putty knife. Purchase waterproof silicone-based caulk if you have pipes and vents.
1. Get rid of the old sealant, debris, and any wetness
2. Use your putty knife to apply the roof cement
3. For pipes and vents use the waterproof silicone-based caulk
Any larger gaps will require a larger repair job.
Of course, your flashings may just be loose or rusty.
2. Repairing Rusting Or Loose Flashing
Flashing is the metal parts covering areas where the roof joins together.
You can see them at the bottoms of chimneys and pipes, roof valleys, and around skylights.
You’ll need a caulk gun, roof cement and if the damage is great enough, a new piece of galvanized steel.
1. For loose flashing, apply the roof cement beneath it and press it into place
2. If it’s rusting, slide a new piece under the old and seal it with the roof cement
3. If the shingles around it are loose, use the roof cement to bond them and the flashing together
It will be a much bigger job if there are larger areas of damage.
3. Replacing Large Areas Of Damaged Flashing
You may need a larger repair job to fix your flashing.
This can require a pry bar, measuring tape, a pair of straight cutting tin snips, pre-bent base flashing, ice-and-water barrier strips, a caulk gun, roof cement, and galvanized nails.
- Use your pry bar to remove the old flashing
- Measure the joined area
- Use your tin snips to cut a matching piece from your new flashing
- Apply the ice-and-water barrier strips to the joint
- for chimneys and objects, wrap them 4 inches up from the bottom as well
- Wrap flashing around the joint
- Use your caulk gun to seal the joint with roof cement
- If the flashing has nail holes, fill them in with galvanized nails
Your flashing should overlap the joint by about 4 inches on each side
The Final, Absolute Leaky Roof Repair Method
You can always contact a professional.
They can find the leak, give you options, and then help you patch it up.
If they recommend a whole new roof it may be a good idea to listen, or at least get a second opinion.
Leaky roofs can ruin a home.
Well, unless you fix the leak before it gets too big.
Keeping Your Roof In Good Repair
It’s not always easy.
Making sure your roof is in good shape isn’t on everyone’s mind all the time. This is normal as people don’t really look at roofs too much.
If you think there may be a problem with yours, it’s better to handle it now than when it becomes a problem.
You can visit our roofing service page for more information >>