Roof Repair Tips

If your roof looks like this, you have waited too long to call your roofer. Kidding. This is actually a green roof made with sod. They are good insulators but there isn’t much demand for this yet in the US.

Why Are Roof Repairs Important?

You roof protects your house which is one of the largest investments you will ever make. The longer you wait to repair problems with your roof and gutters, the more expensive the repair is likely to be. Besides helping to insulate the house, the roof and gutter system are key to moving water away from the house. Although other issues can come up related to the roof, water issues are usually at the top of the list.

Rather than just fixing the gutters or some shingles, if you wait too long you will be dealing with rot and mold. And, potentially in the roof and fascia but in rooms below as well. In addition, if it isn’t maintained properly and the water isn’t led away from the house, you can be talking about flooding problems and mold and mildew in your basement.

Where Roof Leaks Usually Occur

If a tree branch has fallen on the house and punched a hole, the source is obvious. However, it usually isn’t that easy. Even if the roof is old, the problem usually isn’t in areas of uninterrupted shingles. Look for leaks at points with flashing such as where the chimney comes through the roof or vent pipes from bathrooms and thing like this.

How to Find Roof Leaks

If you have a water stain in a room, look on the roof from that spot and then look up. Since gravity takes water downhill, the leak can be getting entrance well above where you are seeing the stain. If you can’t find it by looking in the attic then you will have to go onto the roof and look. You probably want a professional to do this unless you have a low roof or are comfortable with that sort of thing.

One way to find a tricky leak is to take a garden hose. Have a helper look inside for when they see water. Start on a low part of the roof and let the water run down in as small an area as possible. Let it run for several minutes before you move it. Move the hose up a bit and let it run for several more minutes. Continue this until your helper sees water. It could take a while but is usually effective.

Shiners

This is the easiest to fix of all and will never generate much water. A shiner is a nail that came through the roof sheath and missed the roof frame. So, it is just sticking out nice and shiny. Water condenses on it and drips down. To solve this problem, just snip it off as close to the roof as possible with cutting pliers.

Plumbing Vent Boots

These are made of different materials. They can be metal, rubber or plastic or a combination. There is usually also a metal piece of flashing designed for vent pipes which goes down first and then the boot on top of that. You might need to replace one or both. The flashing should slip under the uphill shingles and be screwed down on the lower side with a rubber-washered screw. Then put the new boot on.

Walls, Dormers and Caulk

Dormers have side walls and windows. Missing or cracked siding lets water get in there and run down into the roof. Check the siding first. Make sure that you recaulk carefully if there is cracked or old caulk around the windows or anywhere. Replace the caulk to make a firm seal.

We hope you find this useful and prevent any problems from occurring with your roof or gutters.