Top 10 Roofing Tips

Here are 10 things you must know about common roof leak locations and how to fix them safely.

Related To:

  1. Maintenance
  2. Roofs

take time and be patient on roof repair

Think Safety First

Fussing to try and find a leak as soon as it happens is something that could put you in the hospital. Meddling on a roof while it's raining or covered with ice and snow isn't the ideal way to find a leak. Trying to temporarily fix a leak could be highly dangerous. If you want to do it right, there is no quick-fix. Just take your time, and be very patient and careful to wait for Mother Nature to give you the green light.

Take Precautions

Being on a roof will put the body in positions that are not comfortable or safe. Make sure to wear rubber sole shoes to prevent slipping. Also use a harness and always work with a buddy.

Spray the Roof

use garden hose on the roof to find leak

Take a garden hose and go up to the roof and start spraying in different locations to find the leak. Wait if it's wintertime because it's not safe to run water on the roof when it's freezing out.

Keep Gutters Clean

common cause for roof leaks are clogged gutters

One of the most common areas and causes for roof leaks are clogged gutters. Gutters that have not been cleaned can cause the water to build up during rain.

Avoid Dry Rot

Dry rot can lead to wet ceiling

Dry rot isn't related to any type of water damage, but lack of ventilation. If a roof repair is right in the middle of the roof, there is a chance that the plywood might be deteriorating. The roof will actually sag in and cause the roof shingles to get brittle, crack and then leak. Preventing dry rot consists of installing a ridge vent, which will only work if there is a soffit vent. Holes have to be drilled through the soffit vents so cool air comes in through the bottom and pushes the hot air out through the top.

Prevent Ice Buildup

prevent ice build up

In the wintertime, ice has no problem building up under the roof membrane, shingles and gutters. The ice builds back up when it reaches the wall line where the house is heated and it creates an interior drip. Proper ventilation, rain and ice shields along with installing a drip edge will help prevent this problem.

Fix Roof Boots

Make certain the roof boots fit snugly

Flashing, roofing, ice damping and skylights are all obvious places for potential leaks. One thing people often miss is the rubber boots. It's where the roof fence comes up that you find roof boots. If they dry up they will cause major leaks. It's a quick fix; purchase a new roof boot in a local hardware store. You may have to remove some of the shingles, lay a better tar under it and put it back in place.

Inspect Materials

cracks can lead to big roof disasters

Sometimes shingles are faulty and will begin to crack after they've been nailed down. Faulty installation with nails and shingles can also play a big part in leaks. Nails could be nailed too low and it will start pushing back up. Make sure to always check merchandise before getting on the roof.

Check Valleys

valleys are very common places for leaks

A valley is where the intersection of two roofs comes together. It is also called the ridge, which is again where two roofs meet at the top. Valleys are very common places for leaks because that's where the water from the entire roof goes to and it will start sloshing back and forth.

Eliminate Leaks

sometimes leaks come in twos and threes

It's important not to get discouraged when a leak can't be found. It's a process of elimination. You've covered one area, installed the shingles back and sealed it watertight so at least one spot is eliminated. Now, you can try other areas.

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