How to Repair a Leaky Roof
Do you cringe when it rains because that means water will be coming through the ceiling? The rain can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the interior of a home if there is a leaky roof. If you've spotted a leak, then you'll need to make sure you complete this repair as fast as you can to limit the potential water damage.
Step #1: Locate The Leak.
Water can appear far from the actual leak point, so you'll want to access the roof from the attic. Remove any insulation and look for flow marks on the wood. Many homes today have a vapor barrier, so you can look for flow marks on the plastic. Most leaks are caused by a “shiner,” which is a nail that missed the frame. Other common leaks involve walls, dormers, roof vents and leftover mounting holes. Once you locate the leak, you'll be prepared to stop the problem.
Step #2: Remove Any Offending Items And Clean The Site.
If your leak is caused by a shiner, then remove it so you can plug the hole. If venting is loose or there are existing holes in the roof, then clean them out so you can create an effective repair. When there is a soffit, however, then you have a complex roof problem that will take several additional steps to repair. Don't be fooled by products that say you can add glue or caulk to fix the roof. A mechanical fix is typically necessary.
Step #3: Begin The Repair.
If you have a vent cover or other roof addition that is just loose, you may be able to repair the leak by affixing the item to the roof. Add flashing to the joint to make sure that precipitation cannot make its way indoors. If there are mounting holes or other types of structural damage, then you'll want to add some flashing to cover the area before placing shingles above the flashing to hide the repair. If the walls or dormers have flashing that is missing, then add it where needed.
Step #4: Complete The Repair.
Once you've repaired the precipitation entry point, it is necessary to repair the interior water damage to complete the repair. This may mean removing wet insulation, replacing damaged drywall and fixtures, and removing moisture from the environment. Trapped moisture from a leak can lead to mold development, even in dry climates, and this can potentially endanger your health. Knowing how to repair a leaky roof can do more than keep you dry. It can also protect your real estate investment. Follow these steps and you'll be able to successfully complete the repair.
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