A Detailed Diy Guide For Repairing Leaks In Shingle Roofs

The roof is an important component of your house, but not all homeowners understand the steps to take when the roofing begins to wear out. Here are tips to help you find roof leaks in your house and fix them.

1. Find Roof Leaks

Roof Leaks

One common telltale sign of a leaking roof is water stains on the ceilings. When you start checking for sources of the leaks, you need to be a few steps above the leaks, especially if you have a slanting roof. Items penetrating the roofs, such as roof vents, plumbing, and chimneys, are a common source of leaks.

If you have an attic, you can easily track the leak by going to the attic space to check for any signs of water stains or mold. On the other hand, if your roof is vaulted, or you lack attic access, then you will need to climb the top to examine it.

When you have a hard time locating the source of the leaks, you might have to use a water hose. Get someone to stay inside the house as you climb the roof and start soaking it with water, and have them let you know once the roof starts dripping. This method requires patience, as you will have to stay on one spot for a few minutes before moving to another section.

Also, be on the lookout for curled, cracked, or missing shingles on the sections with water leaks to determine if there is extensive damage from wear and tear. Replacing a few shingles or resealing small gaps is easy, but complete roof replacement is vital if there is extensive roof damage.


2. Follow Proper Safety Precautions

Climbing the roof is ideal when it is warm and dry. Darkness and wetness are your worst enemy when it comes to roof repair. If possible, delay your work until the afternoon to allow a few hours for the morning dew to dry up.

It is also essential to put on harnesses and other safety equipment on the roof, especially on steep roofs or long repair projects. The belt should be hooked to an anchor point and the harness. Safety goggles and gloves are also vital when repairing your shingles. A roofer's ladder will prove helpful as it has hooks that attach to the roof's slope to hold it in place.


3. Repair Asphalt Shingles

Repair Asphalt Shingles

It is not uncommon to find that your asphalt shingles have started curling after some time. When your roof starts leaking due to curled shingles, cut them out then apply a sealant under the raised corners. Once the adhesive is applied, press down the new shingles and use roof cement on the edges for coverage. Working during a warm day will prove ideal, as the warmth makes the asphalt shingles pliable. When it is cold, you will notice that the shingles are brittle, but a small heat source, such as a blow-dryer, can soften them.
Small tears can easily be repaired using a roof sealant instead of having to replace the shingle completely. After sealing the crack, you can check the gutter for asphalt granules to sprinkle on the crack to help you disguise the repair.

On the other hand, if there are broken or missing shingles on the roof, you will need to make a trip to the hardware store to find matching shingles. When replacing the shingles, use a pry bar to lift the edges of the broken pieces, then use a hammer to remove the nails at the corners to make it easier to slide the shingle out. Scrape the area to get rid of any cement left behind.

Put up the new shingles by gently lifting the shingles above and driving roofing nails into the corners. At this point, replace any roofing nails you removed that helped to secure the shingles above the broken piece. Finally, apply roofing cement over the nail heads and edges of the new shingle.


4. Repair Wooden Shingles

Repair Wooden Shingles

Use a hammer and chisel to get rid of wooden shakes using a proper position and controlled motion to prevent damage to the neighboring shakes, and remove the broken pieces using pliers. After that, inspect the area to find the nails that held it in place, then cut them off using a hacksaw to create room for the new shingle.

When replacing wooden shingles, it is crucial to purchase shingles that match the ones on your roofline. Measure the exact space you plan to put up the shingle and trim the new shake to ensure it fits the gap. It is important to cut the shingle about 0.95cm smaller than the space to allow some room for expansion. Slide in the new shake and secure it using galvanized nails, then seal off the exposed nails using roofing cement.


Conclusion

We hope you have found our repair methods helpful. Keep in mind, shingle roofs don’t last forever, unlike metal roofs, their lifetime is around 15 to 20 years. While a metal roof can last much longer. When it comes to replacing your roof, a metal roof may be something to consider.

Vera Watson
 

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