Top Tips to Find and Fix a Leaky Roof on Your Home

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We tend to forget about looking upwards until unwanted water starts leaking on us indoors. This means that you’re probably dealing with a leaky roof. 

Similar to our ignorance of things, until they start causing us problems, most homeowners don’t have a solid understanding of how to fix a leaky roof. That’s a shame, especially if it’s a minor leakage and something that will take you 15 minutes to fix once you know what you’re doing. 

If you don’t, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our collection of top tips on how to repair a leaky roof in no time.

Identify the Leaky Roof 101

Before we start our deep dive into the nuances of fixing a leaky roof, let’s make sure that you can identify the location of your leaks. 

After all, we were hoping you could figure out that your roof is leaking as soon as possible when the problem is minor and won’t require the intervention of professionals. However, if you feel like you’re dealing with a major leak or your roof has become unsafe, it’s definitely time to talk to professionals like atlanta-roofrepair.com.

If you’re searching for a leak, take a look upward from the spots on the roof. Roof penetrations are the first item to check for. The most frequent cause of leaks is items that breach the roof.

In reality, even on older roofs, leaks in open regions of unbroken shingles are uncommon. Roof vents and plumbing, dormers, chimneys, and anything else that protrudes through the roof are simple examples of penetrations.

They may be several feet above, to the right or left of the leak. If you have access to your attic, the simplest method to find evidence of a leak is to go up there with a flashlight and search for it.

Water stains, black spots and mold are all possibilities. However, if you have a vaulted ceiling, or you have accessibility issues, you’ll have to climb onto the roof and investigate the suspects.

Advanced Techniques for Tricky Leaks

If you’re having trouble finding a leak, seek the assistance of a friend and climb up onto the roof with a garden hose. Begin by soaking the area immediately above the point where the leak first occurs in the home. When using the hose, isolate those regions.

Soak the downhill side of a chimney first, then the sides, and finally the tops of both sides. Keep your assistant inside the home while you wait for the drip to develop. Allow the hose to run for several minutes in one spot before moving it a bit further up the roof.

Tell your assistant to scream if a leak appears. You’ll be close to the source of the leak. Be patient and don’t move the hose too quickly; this procedure may take over an hour. Purchase a meal for your friend. Don’t be alarmed if flowing water doesn’t show the precise position of the leak.

Begin by removing the shingles from the suspected region. There will be proof of the leak after they’ve been deleted, and you’ll be able to track it back to the source. Directly under and around a leaking roof, you’ll notice discolored felt paper, water-stained, or even rotting timber.

How to Deal With a Small Leak

Now that you’ve found the leaks, it’s time to actually do something about it.

But, keep in mind that some roof leaks are difficult to find. Water may appear on a ceiling far away from the source of the leak. Push the insulation aside and check for flow marks on the plastic vapor barrier between the drywall and the attic insulation, if your ceiling has one. Water often leaks through vapor barrier holes, such as at ceiling light fixtures.

Look for “shiners” on the bottom of the roof if you can’t see any apparent flow lines and the stain is minor. When the carpenter fastened the roof sheathing to the rafters, a shiner is a nail that slipped from the frame component.

Moisture from the rooms below condenses on chilly nails as it escapes into the frigid attic. If you go up into your attic on a chilly night, you may notice this. Because the nails are frosted, they will seem white. The frost melts and flows when the attic warms up throughout the day, the nails freeze up again at night, and so on. Snip the nail using side-cutting pliers to solve the problem.

Fix Your Roof Vents

Inspect plastic roof vents for cracked housings and metal roof vents for damaged seams. You may be tempted to apply caulk to the issue, but it isn’t a long-term solution. Other than repairing the broken vents, there isn’t much that you can do. Look for pulled or missing nails around the bottom border of the base.

You should use screws with rubber washers instead. In most instances, you may pull the vent loose by removing nails from under the shingles on both sides. Nails will also be strewn over the top of the vent.

You can usually get them loose without having to remove shingles. Rubber-washed screws are used to secure the bottom. To keep the shingles in place, and provide a water barrier, squeeze a bead of caulk under the shingles along both sides of the vent. That’s a lot simpler than having to re-nail the shingles.

Applying Leaky Roof Advice

If you’ve never fixed any hardware around your home, patching up your leaky roof can seem like a huge challenge. 

But, we hope that our explainer has given you some helpful tips on how to fix minor leaks, which (at minimum) would give your roof some strength to hold on to before the professionals come in for an inspection. 

And, if you’ve enjoyed this article, there’s plenty more where that came from. All you need to do is check out our home renovation section for all the tips and tricks you could need to give your home the care and attention it needs. 

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