Many home owners are opting to get involved in home improvement projects and repairs as a way to save money in the current changing economy. The upside of doing your own roof repairs is that you can have the satisfaction of a job well-done with only the cost of the materials. The downside is that you can completely miss the source of your roof leak and spend a lot of time or money on a failed repair that could have been quickly detected and repaired by a professional roofing contractor. If you decide to go ahead and attempt fixing a leaky roof, here are some tips from the professionals for doing it right …
Roof Valley Leaks
One if the most common causes of a leaky roof begins with problems in a roof valley. This is the section of your roof where two slopes join at an angle. Over time the elements and weather will have a deteriorating effect on the roof valley asphalt shingle. It simply wears out and breaks down or cracks due to the wind, the sun and decomposing organic debris that tends to collect in this low part of the roof. The toughest part of the job is to locate the source of the leak. Start by clearing away all leaves, branches and debris that may be obscuring your view.
Steps for Repairing Damaged Shingles
- Look for missing, rotten or torn shingles. You'll know the shingle is rotten if it pulls easily from the roof. Matching the shingles makes your roof look better but it's not necessary when you are trying to stop further water damage.
- Lift up the edges of shingle surrounding the damaged one and pull up the nails using a small pry bar. Scrape off any loose roofing cement that is left underneath. Be very careful not to puncture the roof deck with the pry bar or damage the good shingles.
- Slide the new shingle into the gap and align it with the other shingles around it.
- Lift up the overlapping shingles and fasten the new shingle through the top corners with two 6d galvanized roofing nails. Seal the nails with roofing cement and then carefully lay all the shingles back into place.
- If the shingles are not damaged enough to replace but have twisted up at the edges, on a warm day when the shingleles are reliably soft you can flatten and attach them to the roof with a little asphalt roofing cement.
Save Your Roof from Serious Damage
Taking care of these minor repairs can save you from replacing major sections of your roof in the long run. Pay attention to a couple issues that can raise when you attempt to repair a roof valley leak: a) your roof is leaking but you can not see any obvious damage or b) you replace the damaged shingles but the leak continues. In either case it is wise to have your roof professionally inspected to prevent serious water damage to the ceilings and walls inside your home.