Now that spring showers are on their way, you'll want to keep your home dry by tackling roof leaks as soon as possible. We've put together this handy step-by-step guide to fixing your roof leak.
1. Find the source of the leak before trying to fix it. Locate the leak by searching for wet, moldy, or rotten roofing rafters and underlayment materials in your attic or crawlspace. Remember that water flows downward, which means that more moisture could be entering from the roof than it may appear. Keep an eye out for "frosty" or "shiner" nails that missed the rafter and are sticking through the roof-deck. Evaporating water often leaves behind a calcium buildup that looks like frost on improperly sunk nails.
2. Examine the overall health of your roof. Take a look at your roof from ground level using a pair of binoculars. Most American homes feature asphalt-shingle roofs, which are thankfully fairly easy to repair. If you notice cracked, blistered, missing, or peeling shingles on more than a quarter of your roof, you likely need to have a new one installed. If you can’t seem to locate the source of the leak, either use extreme caution or call a roofing professional to climb up onto the roof to check for any obvious causes of the leak. Keep in mind that some insurance policies allow only roofing professionals to mount your roof, in which case you will want to request assistance from a local, licensed roofing company.
3. It's time for the close-up examination. Check all the roof vents for holes, cracks, and signs of damage. In addition, keep in mind that flashing that is bent, damaged or missing should be replaced immediately. Flashing connects different parts of the roof to the building's structure and to each other, and is usually made of a metal, such as copper, lead, alumnium, or steel. If you need to repair flashing, avoid doing so with a hammer and caulk-gun, which will likely just cause greater damages and more leaks.
4. Fix the leak. Once you've located the leak, stuff it closed with a fast-bonding agent appropriate for your roofing material. Then, cover it using a piece of flashing secured firmly with rubbered bolts or screws. Replace any tiles or shingles removed to access the trouble spot. On the parts exposed to sunlight and weather, do your best to rely on a mechanical fix using flashing and bolts rather than a chemical fix using caulking or glue.
Regardless of whether you decide to DIY your roof leak repair or consult a professional roofing company, take the time to carefully identify any roofing problems so that you can fix them as soon as possible. Ignoring minor roofing problems often leads to hefty repairs or even roof replacements in the future.
At AROCON Roofing and Construction, our expert roofing technicians have repaired thousands of leaky roofs in the Maryland and Northern Virginia region, and would love to help you with your next roofing or home improvement project. We are currenctly offering a $198 Roof and Gutter Tune-Up, which includes shingle replacements, caulking, pipe gasket repairs and more!