How to Repair a Roof Leak

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One day you notice a crack or stain in the ceiling of your living room or worse, drops begin falling on your head when you go to bed. While unpleasant, the fact it most roofs leak over time. It seems to be a law of nature. Can't I just ignore it? Unfortunately, no. Over time a leak can rot your roof or create mold which is a health hazard so it must be dealt with as soon as possible. The source of all these problems begins on the roof where there is a leak or crack. Often a small skillful repair in the proper location can save years of life for your roof. With some basic tools and knowledge you can fix it yourself and save a lot of money.

The first and hardest part in fixing a leaky roof is finding the source. Those who have an attic may be able to go inside with a flashlight and look around. If you are lucky enough to find the source mark it. Then have someone go up on the roof and tap on the spot where the problem was found. Hopefully the person on the roof will find the source of the problem. If you can't find the source, keep this in mind, most leaks derive from poor sealing around vents or pipes, broken or lost shingles or gutters. Another way to find the leak is to have someone spray water on the roof and look for drops forming on the ceiling.

If you are going up onto to your roof yourself to fix the problem be sure to wear rubber souled shoes and if the roof is steep use a ladder framework for support. You should also use safety ropes. Never go up on a roof if it's wet or icy.

Some 70% of homes use asphalt shingles. Often some of these break off during high winds or crack due to extreme temperature changes. Changing a lost or broken shingle is easy. Using a pry-bar simply pull out the nails holding the old shingle in, slide in a new one, nail it down and glue the shingle above it down on top. If you have to replace shingles near the peak of the roof you may need to shave off and inch or two from the top of the shingles so they fit. If you have to replace several shingles in a row, start at the bottom and nail up from there.

If you decide that the problem is the sealing around a vent or pipe you will probably have to call in a professional. This shouldn't cost a lot, but make sure you get an estimate first. Roof repair and roof replacement are jobs for professional roofers - but fixing a leaky roof is something a handy house owner can usually do himself.

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