How to Patch a Leaky Roof

Roofs are made to last for years. But over time, they start to break down resulting in a leaky roof, a loss of insulation, and other potential issues. Once these problems occur, it may be a sign that a new roof is on the horizon. However, you can get more life out of your roof by fixing small issues yourself. 

For example, if you notice a small leak, it may not be too difficult to patch the roof yourself, especially if your roof is made of a material that’s easy to work with like asphalt shingles. If that’s the case you may be able to flatten and re-secure shingles or replace them completely.

If you find a pesky leak, here are the steps you will want to take. 

Find the Leak

First, you will want to find the source of the leak. You will probably see a sign of the leak on your interior such as a damp stain on the wall. This will give you some idea of where the leak is. 

Then go to the roof and look for curled, cracked, or missing shingles that may be causing the leak. End caps and shingles that cover the angles of the roof are also common leak sources so those should be checked as well. 

Re-Secure Curled Tiles

If curled tiles are causing your leak, you can repair them by brushing on a coat of asphalt roofing cement or a similar material. Simply apply a generous amount to the bottom of the tile and press firmly to set. 

Replace Missing or Damaged Tiles

If you see that tiles are missing or have signs of damage, the best option will be to replace them. 

First, you will need to remove the shingle. You can do this by lifting the edges of the surrounding tiles. Then use a pry bar to take out any nails that are holding the tile down. Scrape away residue cement and protruding nails to create a smooth surface. 

Next, take your new tile and round out the edges. This will make it easier for you to slip it under the existing tiles. 

Once the tile is in place, secure it with 6d galvanized roofing nails. Then cover the nail heads with roofing cement for extra security. 

Repair Flashing

Leaks around chimneys and dormers will call for a flashing repair. To make repairs, simply use a caulk gun to reseal joints. If there is damage to previously sealed joints, use a putty knife to apply a new coat. 

If you find that a lot of tiles need replacement, or that the shingles lift from the roof too easily, it may be time for a new roof.

A roof is a major investment. While roofs wear down over time, these tips will help you deal with leaks to get the most out of the money you spent. Good luck making effective repairs in your home.