Looking for some tips to make your roof repair go a little smoother?
Most homeowners will experience a roof repair at some point in their lives. While it’s important to take care of your roof, it’s also easy to make mistakes that can end up costing you more money and time in the long run. Knowing some tips from the pros can help you avoid these costly mistakes and help you feel accomplished in caring for your home.
The unfortunate reality is your roof isn’t perfect and leaks happen! But knowing how to find and fix a minor leak can save you a ton of time and money. Maintenance is vital to keeping your roof and home in good shape for years to come. So here are some of the most helpful roof repair tips for handy homeowners like you.
Roof leaks are not as easy to spot as you might think. But throughout the years of experience in roofing, we can round out some of the most common signs of a roof leak to a few key things. And homeowners can easily spot some of these to get ahead of a roof leak and ensure it gets repaired before getting worse!
Signs of a roof leak:
Now, these are not the only signs of a leak, but they’re the most obvious and easy to spot, even for the untrained eye. Leaks can still be small enough to where you don’t notice damage, or the leak takes longer to cause water damage.
Be mindful after strong storms (mainly hail and wind) that it’s possible you could’ve received storm damage. That’s why checking for loose granules in the gutters or spotting debris on your roof can help you get ahead of potential damage by checking those areas specifically.
Now, finding the specific leak is more difficult than seeing the signs of it. Leaks can be so small that you can’t see them at first glance. But there are a few things you can do to find the leak in order to repair it.
Minor leaks can be very easy to repair. Some common repairs might be replacing just the damaged shingles, caulking around a rusted or corroded roofing nail, or replacing damaged flashing.
Small holes can occur from hail or debris damage on your roof. It’s relatively simple to repair a minor hole using caulk and flashing. Commonly, mounting holes underneath shingles are the most susceptible to leaks. They can lead to rot and mold growth if left unrepaired. So once exposed, fill the small holes with caulk, then lay flashing on top to ensure a watertight seal.
Flashing is often one of the first things to go on your roof. Consistent wear and tear and exposure to the elements can damage flashing. It’s easy to replace, though, even for the amateur handyman.
It’s very important to always replace step flashing anytime there is damage so that water doesn’t get under the shingles and cause more damage down the road. For more installation steps and tips, check out this guide.
Just like flashing, your roofing vents and pipe boots are also very susceptible to leaks if they’re damaged. Because these are put in place via a cut hole in your roof and use flashing to seal the edges, they must be replaced ASAP once damaged.
The replacement of your vents and boots goes very similar to replacing your flashing. You need to pry up the shingles around it (or remove them completely) in order to carefully remove the pipe or vent.
Then, ensure there is no damage to the roof decking underneath. Once you confirm that, go ahead and install a new roofing vent or pipe boot in its place. Follow up with flashing, caulking, and replay the shingles back in place.
Chimneys are sealed using flashing or step flashing as well. There can also be cracks in the chimney itself that can cause leaks all the way down to your ground floor if severe enough. A professional mason may be required to repair chimney leaks, but if it’s just the flashing that is damaged around the chimney, go ahead and follow the flashing repair steps to fix this all-too-common leak.
Short answer: no. You shouldn’t rely on caulk to repair all of your roof leaks. While it can be a good way to finish a leak repair, relying solely on caulk can only buy you time. Only use caulk for very small holes as filler, or where you can’t use flashing to create a watertight seal.
Typically, a roofing issue will be something that you can fix yourself with ease. However, if the leak is too severe or you’ve experienced more extensive damage—it’s best to call in a professional and get an estimate on how much it will cost to repair or replace your roof. Complex roofing issues and leaks could be sagging, larger holes, large sections of missing shingles, or extensive leaks that have soaked your attic.
We’ve seen a lot of failed DIY repairs in our day, and if homeowners only knew what NOT to do, they could’ve saved themselves a lot of pain and strife. So to help you, here is what not to do when it comes to roof repair.
We love a homeowner who can tackle their own DIY repairs and home projects. But without the proper experience or knowledge to get the job done, you can dig yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of without the help of a professional roofer.
Luckily, the Dreamworx team is here to help. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get your roof leak repaired as soon as possible. If you don’t want to deal with the stress of fixing your own roof, give us a call! We can inspect your roof, get you an estimate, and repair your roof faster than you can say “help”.
“Living comfortably at home means living in a safe, cozy house that protects you from outside elements.” -Dreamworx Co-Owner, Charlie Anderson