Roof Repairs aren’t just about replacing shingles and mending leaks. It’s about regularly assessing and taking care of your home to help avoid major problems like structural damage, mold, and rot.
The best way to prevent these problems is through regular maintenance, which means inspecting and clearing debris twice a year and making preventative repairs as needed.
A damaged shingle is not only unsightly, but it’s also a leak waiting to happen. Luckily, fixing individual shingles is relatively simple. If you’re comfortable working on your roof and are able to find matching replacement shingles, it’s just a matter of pulling up the nails that hold the damaged shingle and replacing them.
Damage to shingles is a common problem that can occur due to several factors. Severe storms, prolonged cool weather, and age can all cause shingles to become worn down or cracked. Shingles can also be damaged if improper installation methods are used during the initial roofing process.
Once a shingle is damaged, it’s important to fix the issue quickly so that moisture doesn’t penetrate other areas of the roof or cause structural issues.
If the shingle isn’t fully damaged, a sealant can be applied to the shingle to help protect it from moisture and other weather elements. This will also help the shingle blend in with its surrounding neighbors and create a waterproof barrier for the roof.
To apply a roof sealant, use a putty knife to spread it over the shingle. If you’re concerned about how it will look, you can camouflage the repair by using shingle granules to cover the sealant. Just collect the granules from a nearby undamaged shingle and sprinkle them over the repaired shingle to help it match.
You can also repair shingles by using roof cement to re-nail them into place. However, it’s important to note that if the damaged shingle is located near the end of its lifespan, it may be more beneficial to replace the entire section of the roof rather than simply repairing the affected shingle.
If the shingle is at the very edge of its lifespan, it’s also possible that the shingle will start to curl upward, which can be a sign of ventilation problems in your roof. This problem can usually be treated by applying a sealant to the shingle, which will prevent it from curling up. You can also try to re-nail the shingle down, but be careful not to re-nail it too close to the existing nails.
Flashing is the metal material that’s installed anywhere a roof meets another surface, such as walls, chimneys or other roof sections. It serves to funnel water toward the gutters, but it’s also susceptible to damage from weather and age. Because of this, it’s essential to repair any damaged flashing quickly.
Flashing problems can range from minor issues that require a simple patch to major breaches that require replacement. A roofing contractor can evaluate the condition of your roof’s flashing and recommend repairs if needed.
Common flashing damage includes dents, which appear as indentations in the metal. These dents allow moisture to penetrate the roof structure. Another common flashing issue is corrosion, which develops as the metal rusts. Corroded flashing can also develop holes. Both of these issues allow water to enter the home and cause a wide variety of problems, including mold and ceiling stains.
In addition to rust and corrosion, missing pieces of flashing can pose a serious problem. If a section of flashing becomes detached from the roof, it’s likely to break away in high winds, and your home will be exposed to a dangerous leak. Fortunately, roofers can replace missing sections of flashing quickly and easily, preventing the potential for severe water damage.
When flashing fails, moisture may come in under the shingles and contact the wood roof deck. This moisture can cause the deck to rot and buckle over time, creating a dangerous situation that requires extensive roof repairs.
The most serious problems with flashing can be caused by missing caulk, which allows moisture to penetrate the joint between the flashing and the house. When caulk is old or cracked, it’s essential to replace it with a high-quality sealant to prevent water from entering the roof.
Business owners should always trust a professional roofing contractor to handle any flashing issues, as well as other roof repairs. A professional can perform a thorough inspection and make sure all flashing is in good shape and that the shingles are secured properly. This will help to ensure that the roof and building materials are protected for years to come.
Damaged Chimney or Vent Boots
A roof vent boot seals around a plumbing pipe and prevents water from seeping into the house. However, weather conditions can deteriorate the rubber boots, leading to a leak. Inspect these for cracks, splits and rot. Replace the vent pipe flashing if needed. Roofing professionals use several different types of materials for this job, including plastic or silicone, and galvanized metal. The best choice depends on the location of the leak.
Chimney leaks often result from a gap between the chimney flashing and the crown—the concrete cap at the top of the chimney. If this flashing is corroded, it can allow water to enter the home and damage drywall and framing, as well as the chimney itself. Inspect the chimney for signs of a leak, such as moss or water stains on the ceiling or walls. Then, clean the chimney flue and check the flashing for rust or gaps.
Skylights are another source of leaks, especially in older homes. If you find water stains or other indications of a leak, track down the source. A leaking skylight is usually caused by an improper installation or failure to follow manufacturer instructions. It may be a problem with the skylight itself, or it could be the flashing or shingles surrounding it.
A leaking skylight is not only a nuisance, but it can also allow water to seep into the attic and damage drywall and insulation. Fortunately, skylight leaks can often be easily repaired.
If the leaking is due to a hole, you can repair it by cutting out the damaged area of shingle and flashing. Then, patch the hole with a roofing patch, nail it into place, and apply more roofing cement to ensure a tight seal.
A more permanent fix involves installing step flashing and counter-flashing. This involves sheet metal pieces “stepped” into the brick where the chimney meets the roof, laced into the shingles and sealed with a caulking compound. However, this is a project that most homeowners should leave to a professional. A specialized ladder is needed for this job, and a fall-arrest harness should be worn to reduce the risk of falling from a height.
A roof leak is one of the most dangerous and costly problems you can have as a homeowner. If left untreated, water leaks can cause mold, rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings.
Leaks can start from a number of sources. If you notice a musty odor in a room, there is a good chance there is mold growth and a potential leak. Another indicator is water stains on the ceiling. Look for a dark circle with a discoloration in the middle.
Once you have identified a leak, the next step is to determine its source. This can be difficult to do if you don’t have attic access, so it is important to check your home’s contents for damage and water stains.
The most common source of leaks is areas where penetrations (chimneys, vents, dormers) or skylights are located. Look for loose or cracked shingles around these areas. You can also check the condition of the flashing around these fixtures. If it is missing or damaged, a new roof will be necessary.
Another location where leaks often occur is in the valleys of the roof. These areas are where two planes of the roof meet and create a low point. If the valley flashing is missing or damaged, it can allow water to seep into the home. The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure the valley flashing is properly sealed and intact.
In some cases, a leak can develop at a nail hole or other weak point in the roof. If this occurs, you can cover the problem area with a piece of plastic sheeting and secure it with duct tape to keep rainwater out until you can get a roof repair done.
If you have a roof with good ventilation, it should be easy to find the source of a leak. If not, you may have to go up on the roof with a garden hose and spray down the areas where the leak is occurring. Be sure to spray the downhill sides of the chimney or vent first, then each side, then the top on both sides.