Everyone who has ever had a leaking roof knows this problem is something far worse from the thing that keeps you awake on a rainy night. Even a small roof leak can prove to be a critical problem for the entire household. Ceiling damage, damage to electrical wiring, slip hazards, mold and mildew, health concerns, and compromised house integrity are only some of the issues that can arise as a result of this seemingly small breakdown. Let’s see how to deal with this menace.
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Check the Most Likely Leak Spots
Even though your roof may look pretty healthy on the outside, there are a few parts that are especially prone to leaking. These parts are:
- Ice dams
- Plumbing vent flashing
- Satellite and cable installations
Keep in mind though, you will most likely need rain or snow to properly identify the state of the roof, but a little bit of freezing will pay off in the long run. If you are already facing leaks, start your search in the attic – leak spots are very rarely directly above the dripping location.
Install a Drip Edge
First, drip edges are very visually pleasing. Second, they do a great job in keeping insects, snakes and critters out of your house. Finally, it seems that wind driven rain somehow always finds a way into the narrow space between the fascia board and roof deck. If you install a drip edge, you will address this issue as well.
Cover the Leaking Area
Of course, even if you’ve taken all the precautionary measures, leaks will sometimes appear nevertheless. And they can really catch you off-guard. The best thing you can do when water starts dripping on your head out of the blue is to go to the basement, pull out plastic sheeting, cover the leaking roof area and nail the sheet along the eaves. A plastic sheet is not that great of a protection against the elements, but it will keep you dry until you proceed to some more extensive repairs.
Make an Emergency Repair
Another way to immediately stop leaking is to make an emergency roof repair. Depending on the roofing, you can make repair in three ways:
- Flat roof – In this case, you will need a specially made primer and dry repair conditions. Dust off loose material from the leaking spot, apply the primer to the damaged area and spread it onto the undamaged area of the roof as well. Wait until the primer dries and fill the hole with some self-adhesive material. Apply a patch to the damaged area and smooth it with a flat-roof roller.
- Shingle roof – Pull the nails out of the roof, remove the damaged shingle, and use a pry bar to lift the tab above the damaged area. Cut a new shingle to an appropriate length, slide it into position and fasten it with roofing nails. Once you’re done, press the shingle back into place.
- Tile roof – Lift the tiles that overlap the damaged tile and pull the mentioned tile out. All you have to do now is to reverse this process and put a new tile into the empty slot.
Replace the Roof
Depending on the type, roofing usually has a lifespan of 15-30 years. If your roof is nearing its end or it’s too heavily damaged, you should consider replacing it altogether. Current manufacturers like Sydney Wide Metal Roofing make durable metal roofs of excellent quality; so, if you’re planning a major renovation, you should give this a serious thought.
If you follow these few tips, your roof should be safe and your house free from any externally induced moisture. Roof leaks are not a problem that should be taken lightly. Invest all of your efforts in prevention, and react at the first sign of trouble. This is the only way you can keep your family safe.
By: Diana Smith